Census

Weather

  • Visibility: clear, 15 miles throughout the day
  • Wind: ranging from 9-22 knots throughout the day
  • Sky: overcast for most of the day
  • Water: calm, a bit choppy at times

Boats/Visitors

  • Didn’t notice much boat traffic today aside from the usual busy commercial freighters
  • No visitors today

Ecological

  • More failed mating attempts by the young male elephant seals with the one female on the island.

Census

  • Cormorants – 90
  • Gulls – 275
  • Elephant Seals – 6  (3 adolescent males, 1 adult male, 1 adult female and 1 pup)
  • California Sea Lions – 120
  • Stellar Seal Lions – 93
  • Black Turnstones – 10
  • Canada Geese – 4
  • Bald Eagles – 7

    Three males surround the single female currently on the island

The Battles Begin

Weather

  • Visibility: 10-15 miles throughout the day
  • Wind: light breezes throughout the day, 4-11 knots
  • Sky: overcast this morning then cleared up a bit by late afternoon
  • Water: mostly calm, a bit choppy at times

Boats/Visitors

  • The usual commercial freighter and barge traffic
  • Garry and a friend came out for the annual christmas bird count

Ecological

  • Two of the younger male elephant seals got into a fight/chase with the larger of the two dominating until Bernard (the biggest of the 5 males currently on the island) stepped in and sent them both on the run. With the females heading this way soon it may prove to be a bloody new year with the males fighting for dominance.
  • Large group of oyster catchers, 18-20 strong, hanging around the south west end of the island.
  • Didn’t see any canada geese today for the first time in a while.
  • Garry’s friend pointed out some harlequin ducks in the water I hadn’t noticed.
  • One of the elephant seal pups looks like an older male may have attacked it. It’s head and back are covered with lacerations and gouges.

Windy Day

Weather

  • Visibility: very clear throughout the day, 15 Miles
  • Wind: heavy winds all day reaching upwards of 33 knots
  • Sky: sunny with no clouds
  • Water: rough, 3 foot swells

Boats/Visitors

  • Boat traffic was pretty minimum today with the rough water
  • No visitors today

Ecological

  • Not much has changed in terms of wildlife on the island in the last few days. Consistent number of gulls, sea lions, eagles, black turnstones, canada geese and cormorants with one or two large male elephant seals.

A Break From the Blasts

Weather

  • Visibility: Clear throughout the day
  • Wind: Light breezes throughout the day with strong gusts up to 40 knots overnight
  • Sky: Cloudy with sunny break
  • Water: a bit choppy, one foot swells in the morning

Boats/Visitors

  • Boat traffic was pretty minimum today, whale watching boat cruised by
  • No visitors today

Ecological

  • Not much has changed in terms of wildlife on the island in the last few days. Consistent number of gulls, sea lions, eagles, black turnstones, canada geese and cormorants with one or large two male elephant seals.
  • Haven’t seen any whales of any kind yet unfortunately.

Other

  • DND blasting has taken a break for the past week which has been nice.

Stellar Pups

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles for most of the day with the Washington coast as clear as I’ve seen it so far, until early evening when fog came in from the east covering downtown Victoria from view.
  • Wind: Little to no breeze during the day with it picking up to 14-18 knots by 7pm.
  • Sky: Mostly cloudy with some sun
  • Water: calm throughout the day, a bit choppy at times

Boats/Visitors

  • Boat traffic was fairly minimum today with the usual commercial vessels in the distance and one or two whale watching boats.
  • No visitors today

Ecological

  • There seems to be more stellar sea lion pups on the island, especially on the south rocks in the last few days, though I may just have not noticed them among the “piles” of bodies as they tend to lay all over each other.
  • Still lots of Black Turnstones, Cormorants, Eagles, Canada Geese and Gulls around
  • Only saw one of the male elephant seals around today

Other

  • Chopped some bigger logs into kindling for the woodstove this afternoon and cleaned up a lot of rocks of varying sizes that have been falling from the paths and bank walls between the lighthouse and science house.
  • Pretty chilly today, had frost on the ground and frozen puddles for the first time.

Sleepy Seals and Hungry Geese

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles throughout the day, clearest day I’ve seen here since Dec 1
  • Wind: Light breezes throughout the day
  • Sky: very sunny
  • Water: mostly calm

Boats/Visitors

  • No visitors today
  • Had the usual divers and whale watching boats go by

Ecological

  • Still a lot of Sea Lions around. South Rock is almost always covered with Stellar and Californias.
  • Consistent small groups of Canada Geese munching on the grass
  • Two male Elephant Seals are still hanging around, sleeping mostly

Census, birds and mammals

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 6-10 NE throughout day
  • Sky: cloudy with some sun
  • Water: mostly calm, a bit choppy

Boats/Visitors

  • had a few eco tour boats cruise by
  • no visitors today

Ecological

Census:

  • California Sea Lions – 120
  • Stellar Sea Lions – 102
  • Harbour Seals – 4
  • Seagulls – 252
  • Eagles – 5
  • Cormorant – 22
  • Canadian Geese – 12
  • Black Turnstone – 3

Hungry Gulls & Solo Elephant Seal

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles, clear day
  • Wind: 2-9 knots NE
  • Sky: sunny with cloudy periods
  • Water: mostly calm

Boats/Visitors

  • had the same whale watching boat cruise by again
  • no visitors today

Ecological

  • small group of canada geese stopped by today
  • saw two seagulls fight over a fish
  • large elephant seal was on west rocks by himself today

DND Blast and a Surprise Audience

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 Miles
  • Wind: 12-16 NE throughout the day
  • Sky: sunny, very few clouds
  • Water: mostly calm, a bit choppy

Boats/Visitors

  • Had one large eco tour boat full of passengers sneak up on me and yell “Hello” as a group. That was fun (:
  • lots of large shipping vessels passing by including two huge logging barges

Ecological

  • still a decent amount of sea lions around
  • there is another, smaller harbour seal pup hanging out now too
  • Bernard (the elephant seal) is back!
  • haven’t seen any canadian geese in a few days

Other

  • had more large DND blasts go off from Rocky Point that shook the house and startled birds today.

Census Day

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 Miles
  • Wind:  20-15 NW
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: calm

Boats/Visitors

  • A few ecotours today

Ecological

  • 11 elephant seals scattered around today, mostly around the jetty to cool off in the water

Census

  • Stellar Sea Lions: 33
  • California Sea Lions: 23
  • Elephant Seals: 11
  • Harbour Seals: 161
  • Unspecified Gulls: 212
  • Pigeon Guillemots: 53
  • Cormorants: 12
  • Canada Geese: 19
  • Oystercatchers: 8
  • Harlequinn Ducks: 0
  • Crows: 1

Notes

  • The harbour seal numbers have significantly increased but all of the other numbers seem to have gone down
  • The little elephant seal is back, I haven’t seen her for a few days