Change of the time and Elephant pup gone

Weather

Very calm day ,overcast but some sun in the afternoon ,some rain too. A true Spring weather.  South East wind ,3 knots at 8:00 (we have to understand 7:00 of Yesterday usual nightmare for a few days ),Visibility over 13 miles,Atmospheric pressure:102.2KPA.

Vessels

Busier on Sunday :at least 5 boats around :recreational and eco tours vessels.We tried the air pump horn for the too closed one and it was efficient. they left…Made Guy happy!

Overflight

3 times the same helicopter

Ecological

This is really the news of the week : the little elephant seal pup is gone.!We couldn’t believe it and went 3 times around the rocks …We realised at the same time that more geese than the day before were around ! We counted 17  so that means 8 couples and a lonely one  and  for sure many eggs  next month!. The gulls too are everywhere… the nesting season is on. If the solar panels were still clean ,the rocks,roofs and alleys had already some white spots and it has been a lot noisier that even a week ago. The Sea lions with the clear sky Yesterday night were  very loud… Boss was back and 1 juvenile Elephant Seal

Maintenance

We have been busy with the general cleaning of the place . It is our last day.We have to leave this wonderful rock but welcome to Riley !

Census and gale again in the evening

Weather

At 8:00:10 North East wind ,calm and overcast .Rain in the morning and no wind at all around 10AM .The usual calm weather before a storm and  around 6:00PM to 11:00, The wind from West raised steadily from 20 to 40 knots . We noticed that the darkness is coming only after 6H30

Vessel and aeroplans

The morning was really calm so it was easy for me to notice that something was wrong…like a chainsaw running somewhere and looking by the window all around the rock you could see a small grey zodiac, full speed creating a panic all around!!! Finally It headed to Pedder Bay…End of the story. I Coast guard’s helicopter

Census

Eagles :2 but 5 on Sunday

Gulls:320

Steller Sea Lions :22

Californian Sea Lion:60

Elephant Seals:2 juvenile males and 1 pup

Harlequin Duck:21

Cormorants:90

Geese :8 on Saturday and 17 on Sunday!

Pigeons- Guillemots :around 35

Crow:2

Black turnstones:10

Harbour Seals:50

Oystercatchers:8 on Saturday but 18 on Sunday

It is interesting to notice that on Saturday with the coming storm the Island was not as busy as on Sunday where we could see more animals especially birds around.

 

 

 

 

 

Rainy and windy days

Weather

On Wednesday: It has been a calm day with a light west wind ,cloudy and some rain in the afternoon  and pretty cold around 4 degrees in the morning. On Thursday: North east wind light in the morning but a warning of gale  expected for the night. Grey and low sky and rain later in the day at 5pm the wind was already above 20 knots. In the night it raised slowly but at 3 in the morning we had gusts above 30 knots and at 7h00 AM  between 38 and 42 knots. on Friday it blowed to 3 PM but it was sunny and that gave a beautiful scenery …The sunrise is now at 6:36 and the sunset  at 6:11 Pm so really longer days…the atmospheric pressure was 101.2 KPA on Friday.

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Ecological

On Thursday we had  a new young male on the rock so that makes 5 Elephants seals around . The pup is very active now and if Chunk doesn’t come back he could survive and now it is really time for the birds : first the geese they are all around and can be spoted in very surprising place . Because of the rain lately we had nice pools and they enjoyed  long bathing sessions and feathers cleaning .Delicious to look at… but at the same time they are very dirty and we have to clean again the alleys every day. We count 5 couples and a lonely limping one . The second major group of birds are the gulls and today for the first time we had a Summer feeling : they were getting noisy and were scattered all around at their own precise spot. We even saw some picking herbs and branches and observed the first fights .With the rain  and the rising wind we noticed that all the Sea lions were gone . They came back at the end of the day (Friday)

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Grey day before the gale

Weather

East wind ,9 knots calm . Despite the quiet atmosphere the current has been very strong with a big swell coming from East . It would have been impossible to land Today and it has been a grey day cloudy with a low sky .It has been foggy on Sooke and Vancouver Island You could feel the change of weather and the gale expected for the night. At 7:30 PM the wind was already between 29 and 34 knots.and 42 at 9:00PM and 43 at 10PM

Ecological

The colony of Guillemots is back(around 70) around the jetty like usual fishing in the strong currents of the outgoing tide.There were still some Stellers Sea Lions but not more than 15 but very closed on the rocks under the yellow tanks. The geese were getting so busy and noisy . You could see them on the most surprising spots of the island. We had to clean the alleys again . they put so much mess..dropping everywhere.

other

No eco tour boats  and a blast from DND

Last snow

Weather

When we wake up it was white all around but at 9:00 green again. North West wind ,10 knots,2.8degrees at 8:oo. cloudy to overcast,5miles of visibility,very low tide in the eveningDSC_0056

Ecological

the geese (around 10) are everywhere to be seen ,busy ,noisy and defensive … coupling coming soon…DSC_0035DSC_0115DSC_0111

Maintenance

The soft water tank has been filled again since the Student’s stay.The light level is not big these days,but despites that, we got 25 Amps by hour ..It is very good and this because  all the solars panels are functioning (Since last Summer). We see the difference. We finished to stack the wood in the main house for next Winter and we are getting ready for our coming departure on Monday 13Th

Other

1 Helicopter going towards Sooke. Only 1 watching boat

Students on the Island

Weather

Windy day above 20 knots from West on Wednesday and Friday but the rest of the time light wind and calm sea, overcast to rainy mainly grey days

Ecological

The geese at least 3 couples and the oyster catchers (3 couples too) are already going by 2.Chunk is not back and the 3 elephant Seals:Boss,the younger male and the last pup are around.The pigeons guillemots (around 30 )have been seen again but not even one when we did the census…The population situation is very different from one day to the other

Work with students

The plan was to make them paint the desalinisaton house but there was too much moisture  and we have to let it dry before any painting job . So they helped us with the wood : stalking and splitting and  cleaning around the jetty. Guy explained them all the systems involved on Race Rocks( electricity stockage,desalinisation…) and I did the census 2 times in 2 groups. We can tell that during their stay we didn’t use so much water Thanks to them ;they really understood the challenge of the place! One of them  had a look at our emergency supply.

Maintenance

End of the month reports. Jetty cleaning with the high pressure washer

Vessels and flights

2,3 watching boats at the most, a Canadian Frigate coming back towards Esquilmalt, a big fishing boat heading to the ocean and an helicopter closed

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The pup died

Weather

At 8:00 28 knots from North East. White crest and choppy. Visibility 10 miles.  Temperature :3.8 d. Celsius.It has been windy to the end of the afternoon :35 knots at noon.

Ecological

The pup was still alive around 9AM . He had managed to move just a little bit but later when we came to have a look he was already dead and the birds were already on it.Short life ,actually 1month and 10 days.(This is pretty common and  the mortality is very high with the newborn Northern Elephant seals.) The second one was still sleeping closed to the tower and Chunk was gone. Just the the two pacific other males were there. The geese had been very noisy those last days and it looked like they were preparing for mating. Flowers are everywhere…Spring.

Vessels and plane

We saw 3 watching boats and this was surprising if you consider the wind and sea around Race Rocks yesterday. A plane was above going towards Sooke.Many sail boat around Victoria and we could observe for a long time Amatuana leaving for Spring break.

the storm never came

Weather

Looking at the forecast we were expecting a gust (to 40knots)on the 17th but it stayed pretty calm .Just a big swell came from East. When we had a look on the website Windyty the wind was on the West coast outside and on Victoria and the North of Vancouver Island. The sky has been very cloudy with a dark sea  and rain never far.The air temperature was a higher and the water too( around 7 degrees Celsius.) In the morning of the 18th in a gloomy atmosphere the flag was hanging like a stick for a while and like the day before keeps changing its direction all the time . The tides are really high. never saw them like that before

Ecological

Everything is fine in the nursery .The big male spend his days closed to the females and babies ,waiting for his turn and sometimes trying to get one or the other but to now without success. We got the visit of a few eagles and some geese .

Maintenance

More wood split and stacked. The desalinator and generator are on almost everyday . Guy hauled up with the crane a very long log around 30feet. The last 200 liters of gas oil have been transfered to the yellow tank.We have now 7 barrels empty ready to be filled up and 2 Propane bottles. The barrels bottoms have been got rid of rust  and repainted.

Vessels

One watching boat almost everyday

 

Weather’s Fine

Weather and Sea Conditions

Winds: 5 – 15 knots, west-southwest

Sky: Clear

Visibility: Good 15 nm

Barometer: 101.5 falling Wednesday evening

Forecast: Wind increasing to westerly 5 to 15 near noon Thursday and to westerly 15 to 25 Thursday afternoon. Strong wind warning in effect.

Vessels in Ecological Reserve

Whale watching vessels: Fifteen observed working in Ecological Reserve (ER)

No other commercial operators, noted in Reserve today.

Sport fishing vessels: Five noted in Reserve today. None observed fishing in ER. One sport boat speeding through ER. One open run-about with a windshield was seen chasing a Humpback Whale and hopscotching with it in order to position itself in front of whale’s path.

Animal Census

Steller Sea Lion 429

California Sea Lion 402

Harbour Seal 133

Northern Elephant Seal 6 (3 of those on Great Race)

Sea Otter 1 (seen during week)

River Otter 0, (no evidence seen either)

Bigg’s (Transient) Killer Whale 6 (just outside ER)

Dall’s Porpoise 3 (seen during week just outside ER)

Harbour Porpoise 2 (seen during week just outside ER)

Humpback Whale 1 (3 during count week adjacent to ER)

Canada Goose 24

Cackling Goose 1

Harlequin Duck 0

Double-crested Cormorant 4

Pelagic Cormorant 11

Brandt’s Cormorant 39

Bald Eagle1 (seen during week)

Black Oystercatcher 22

Black Turnstone 17

Surfbirds 9

Ruddy Turnstone 1 (seen during week)

Sanderling 2

Western Sandpiper 5

Kildeer 3

Glaucous-winged Gull 1274

California Gull 83

Herring Gull 1

Heerman’s Gull 5

Gull spp. 328

Savannah Sparrow 23

Sustainability

Made fresh water using solar power to energize de-salinator.

Visitors None

Maintenance and Operations

Weather station back on-line after three months off. Fence maintenance, good for a few hours ; – )

 

Battle of the Bulls

Female Elephant Seal

Female Elephant Seal

Ecological Happenings

  • Blustery overcast day with periods of rain.
  • The male Elephant seals continued to be vocal, following the arrival of the female, and were issuing challenges in the morning. The males fought in the water later with the victor trumpeting after having beaten his opponent.
  • Injured Black Turnstone seen hopping about as it was missing a leg.

Marine Vessels

  • Coast Guard Helicopter overhead.

Maintenance

  • Spliced new stern line onto the Whaler.
  • Finished heat shrinking electrical connections on the new power/fuse panel to the Whaler.
  • Cleaned U-bend to bathroom sink in main house.
Challange

Challange

Battle wounds

Battle wounds

Trumpeting in the water

Trumpeting in the water

Immature Bald Eagle

Immature Bald Eagle

Dunlin

Dunlin

Canadian Geese

Canadian Geese

Bald Eagle with catch

Bald Eagle with catch

BEagle with fish2BEagle 2

BEagle in flight2