Census and Students

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0-5 knots South.
  • From 17:00 onwards, 15-20 knots West.
  • Sky: clear and sunny most of the day.
  • From 17:00 onwards, some clouds and rain.
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • Census day!
  • One sea lion was branded U958.
  • Colour wise it looks like a Steller, but if you look at the head I think it was a California.
  • Laura and her class found a sculpin (type of fish) head.
  • Four of what I suspect to be Short-billed Dowitchers today. Fun to watch!
  • Didn’t see the killdeer today, which is unusual.
  1. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 66
  2. Harbour Seals: 60
  3. California Sea Lions: 57
  4. Elephant Seals: 13 (4 on Great Race, 9 on Middle Rock)
  5. Pigeon Guillemots:  269
  6. Seagulls unspecified: 154
  7. Surfbirds: 57
  8. Canada Geese: 17
  9. Black Turnstones: 17
  10. Cormorants unspecified: 14
  11. Harlequin Ducks: 9 (5 males and 4 females)
  12. Black Oystercatchers: 6
  13. Savannah Sparrows: 6
  14. Short-billed Dowitchers: 4
  15. Bald Eagles: 2 (2 adults, 0 immature)

Boats

  • A couple of eco-tours came by.
  • Second Nature came out multiple times, delivering 4 groups of students.
  • On her second last return, she had overheating issues, so Kyle had to come out in Haiku for the last trip.

Visitors

  • Kyle, James, Laura, and 26 students came out to Race Rocks today.
  • The students were doing a walk about with Laura, discussing marine biology for their upcoming final exam.
  • James did some work on the Davis Weather station and got most of it working again.

Other

  • Four DND blasts today.
  • 10:05, 10:07, 11:24, and 11:26.

Crows & Eggs

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0-5 knots North
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: calm
  • For a couple of hours in the afternoon, wind 15-20 knots West, and some rain.

Ecological

  • Two crows pecked about in an abandoned goose nest.
  • Quite a good day for birding!
  • Three elephant seals on Great Race.

Maintenance

  • Ran the desalinator.

Boats

  • At least three eco-tours came by today.

A Monday With Seals

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 5-10 knots West
  • Sky: overcast, sprinklings of rain in the afternoon
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • Three elephant seals on Great Race, three on Middle Rock.
  • The newest elephant seal went over to the western part of the island, and seemed genuinely surprised to see me when I passed by.
  • The first time she saw me her eyes nearly popped out of their sockets at me.
  • She had some fresh minor wounds on her back.
  • I saw five eagles sharing a kill on the South Seal Rocks. There was a sixth one nearby.

Maintenance

  • Some goose work.

Boats

  • Lots of eco-tours came by today. At least six.
  • I watched the odd looking Dutch cargo ship the Happy Ranger, with her Big Lift ability, wander through the strait.

Saturday

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 5-10 knots North West
  • Sky: clear and sunny all day
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • Two e-seals on Great Race.

Maintenance

  • Ran the desalinator.
  • Did some goose work.

Boats

  • A few boats wandered by.
  • The Mahimahi, a US container ship departed from Seattle, was especially noisy as it passed by.

The Return of Otter

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 5-10 knots North East, then from 15:00 onwards 15-25 knots West
  • Sky: mostly overcast
  • Water: rippled

Ecological

  • Census day!
  • This morning at about 7:00 I spied the Otter wandering along the wooden deck.
  • Later in the early evening I spied him again and got two photos!
  • Saw one branded California Sea Lion: X[?]60
  • Watched fascinated as two crows boldly flew up to two eagles and scampered about next to them!
  • Saw some seagulls muck about in a goose nest. I think they were eating the eggs.
  1. Harbour Seals: 70
  2. California Sea Lions: 70
  3. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 53
  4. Elephant Seals: 9 (2 on Great Race, 7 on Middle Rock)
  5. River Otter: 1
  6. Seagulls unspecified: 172
  7. Pigeon Guillemots: 138
  8. Surfbirds: 88
  9. Cormorants unspecified: 49 (all on Middle Rocks)
  10. Canada Geese: 19
  11. Black Turnstones: 14
  12. Harlequin Ducks: 9 (5 males and 4 females)
  13. Black Oystercatchers: 6
  14. Bald Eagles: 2 (2 adults, 0 immature)
  15. Savannah Sparrow: 2
  16. Crows: 2

Maintenance

  • Lots of intense goose work.
  • Pumped one 55 gallon barrel of diesel into the tidy tank.

Boats

  • A couple of eco-tours came by, as well as pleasure craft.
  • In the late morning, several kayakers entered the reserve.
  • Most of them stayed over by the North Rocks, but a few wandered down to South Rocks.
  • Some of them had difficulty dealing with the strong ebb tidal current, and had to renegotiate their route to rejoin the others.
  • Stay safe out there!

Jellyfish and Crow

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind in the morning: 10-15 knots North East
  • Wind in the evening: 20-25 knots East
  • Sky: mix of clear and clouds
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • The weaner was gone today, so just the 2 e-seals on Great Race.
  • A couple of adult bald eagles were around today.
  • One crow was poking about the island.
  • I saw a bunch of tiny jellyfish in the water beside the jetty.
  • It was impossible to get a good photo of them though.
  • Perhaps they were Mitrocoma cellularia?

Maintenance

  • Some goose work.

Boats

  • A few eco-tours came by today.

The Seals Touch Down

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 20-25 knots NE, later 0-10 NE
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • Census day!
  • In the morning there were 2 e-seals on Great Race, and 6 on Middle Rock.
  • In the afternoon there were 3 e-seals on Great Race, and 4 on Middle Rock.
  • As far as I am aware, there were only 2 e-seals in the reserve yesterday.
  • Most of the addled eggs in the Canada goose nest near the Students’ House were cracked open and strewn about today around noon.
  • I suspect a crow to be the culprit, having seen one hanging around that nest yesterday.
  • Saw one branded California Sea Lion, but I couldn’t make out all the marks. U89[?]
  • Four young bald eagles were unsuccessfully hunting the seagulls all morning.
  1. Harbour Seals: 92
  2. California Sea Lions: 69
  3. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 43
  4. Elephant Seals: 8 (2 on Great Race, 6 on Middle Rock)
  5. Seagulls unspecified: 352
  6. Pigeon Guillemots: 111
  7. Cormorants unspecified: 26
  8. Brandt’s Cormorants: 16
  9. Pelagic Cormorants: 12
  10. Double Crested Cormorant: 7
  11. Surfbirds: 50
  12. Black Turnstones: 30
  13. Canada Geese: 18
  14. Harlequin Ducks: 11 (6 males and 5 females)
  15. Rock Sandpipers: 6
  16. Bald Eagles: 6 (2 adults, 4 immature)
  17. Black Oystercatchers: 6
  18. Savannah Sparrow: 1
  19. Unidentified Hawk: 1
  20. Killdeer: 1
  21. Crow: 1?

Maintenance

  • Transferred diesel from the Students’ House tank into the Tidy Tank.
  • Some goose work.

Bald Eagles and Stuff

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 10-20 knots NE
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: 1′ chop
  • At about 18:00 it began to rain for a bit.

Ecological

  • The female elephant seal and the weaner spent the day sleeping on the ramp beside the jetty.
  • Some eagle activity that kept the geese and seagulls wary.

Maintenance

  • Some goose work.
  • Nearly finished topping up the batteries.

Boats

  • One eco-tour came by in the morning.

Other

  • Heard a couple of planes pass over the reserve.
  • One in the morning, and one in the afternoon.

HMCS Vancouver

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0-10 knots E/NE
  • Sky: clear
  • Water: rippled

Ecological

  • The weaner returned. I’m not sure how much longer the term “weaner” applies?
  • Initially I thought the weaner was a male, but now I think it is actually a female.
  • There were three adult bald eagles in the reserve today. I just missed getting a photo of all three flying together.
  • I made a little “trip” to the north-west edge of Great Race.

Maintenance

  • Hand pumped some diesel.

Boats

  • Kyle came out in Haiku with some food for me!
  • A large Canadian Navy ship, the HMCS Vancouver, tied up on the navy buoy at the mouth of Pedder Bay.

Visit from Cheanuh First Nations

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 10-15 knots SW, later 5-10 West
  • Sky: clear
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • A new female elephant seal appeared this afternoon.
  • The weaner moved about 3 feet all day, snoozing on top of the cistern.
  • Watched some geese engage in battle.
  • Some nice flowers.

Maintenance

  • Month end report data collection.
  • Stacked some firewood.
  • Did some goose work.

Boats

  • Kyle came out in Second Nature with some visitors from the local First Nations Reserve.
  • While presumably checking out the harbour seals, they came across a boat with some of their friends in it.

Visitors

  • The chief from Cheanuh, his wife, and their two children came out with Kyle and Guy.