A Vibe Like No Other

Weather

  • Visibility: 15+ miles, Mt. Baker clearly visible
  • Wind: 20-25 knots NE in the morning and evening, down to near zero in the middle
  • Sky: mix of sun and clouds
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • The weaner went on a few adventures around the house. He even wiggled his way into the doorway, temporarily blocking me from entering the house.
  • Quite a few Canada Geese on the island.
  • Also some eagle action.
  • I saw one eagle flying around with a fish, but I couldn’t get a good photo.

Maintenance

  • Started checking the water levels in the battery room.
  • Tried to manually pump diesel into the day tank without much success.

Boats

  • Several eco-tours came by today.
  • A tug pulling a barge that had a couple of boats on it passed to the north of the reserve.
  • A bit redundant, transporting a boat over water, isn’t it?

Other

  • It was my birthday today.
  • Funny how it seems just like any other day when you are alone with no one to remind you.
  • A unique birthday vibe.

Whale Sighting!

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 10-15 knots West, later 5 knots South, then 5-10 West
  • Sky: clear and sunny!
  • Water: rippled

Ecological

  • Census day!
  • Shortly before 15:30 as I was counting shorebirds, I heard a loud noise to my right. Glancing over, I was thrilled to see a whale surfacing in the South Channel. I managed to get some photos as it resurfaced farther south-west.
  1. California Sea Lions: 79
  2. Harbour Seals: 69
  3. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 33
  4. Elephant Seals: 3, all on Great Race, 2 young males, 1 weaner
  5. Whale: 1 (I think it was an Orca)
  6. Seagulls unspecified: 269
  7. Pigeon Guillemots: 45
  8. Cormorants unspecified: 30
  9. Double Crested Cormorants: 9
  10. Surfbirds: 37
  11. Harlequin Ducks: 27 (15 males and 12 females)
  12. Canada Geese: 24
  13. Black Turnstones: 20
  14. Bald Eagles: 20 (4 adults, 16 immature)
  15. Black Oystercatchers: 6
  16. Rock Sandpipers: 4
  17. Crows: 3

Boats

  • A few eco-tours passed by today.
  • Second Nature came out with food supplies for me.
  • A large navy sailboat passed by north of the reserve.

Visitors

  • Kyle and Jeff came out in Second Nature.

Other

  • One helicopter flew just south of the reserve in the morning.

Sea Lions, Boats, & Other Stuff

Weather

  • Visibility: 15+ miles (Mt. Baker visible)
  • Wind: 5-10 knots West
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: rippled

Ecological

  • Census day!
  • Two California sea lions with neck rings. Poor guys.
  • Two sea lions with brands.
  • California: X168
  • Steller: 678
  • Saw a few California sea lions with head injuries, as well as one Steller.
  1. California Sea Lions: 678
  2. Northern (Steller) Sea Lions: 533
  3. Harbour Seals: 37
  4. Elephant Seals: 5 on Great Race
  5. Seagulls unspecified: 449
  6. Thayer’s Gulls: 235
  7. Glaucous-winged Gulls: 20
  8. Cormorants unspecified: 357
  9. Brandt’s Cormorants: 10
  10. Pelagic Cormorants: 6
  11. Double Crested Cormorants: 4
  12. Black Turnstones: 20
  13. Canada Geese: 5
  14. Dunlin: 1
  15. Savannah Sparrow: 1
  16. Bald Eagle: 1 adult

Maintenance

  • Ran the saltwater pump into the cistern for 5 and a quarter hours.

Boats

  • A handful of eco-tours came by today. At least 5.
  • One of the boats caused a minor sea lion stampede on the east part of Great Race.
  • My photos only show the tail end of the stampede.
  • Much more happened between the “pre stampede” photo and my end shots.

Military Blasting

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0-10 knots NW
  • Sky: mix of blue and clouds
  • Water: calm

evening-appoaches-11

Ecological

  • A gaggle of 19 Canada Geese arrived on Great Race today.
  • The birds and sea lions weren’t too pleased with all the DND blasting.

Maintenance

  • The usual chores.
  • Took some ash out of the wood stove.

Boats

  • Kyle came by in Second Nature to pick up Natasha.
  • A couple of eco-tours came by.

Visitors

  • Natasha left today.

tasha-says-goodbye-8-11

Other

  • Lots of DND blasting today.
  • Small, medium, and large blasts.
  • 10:59, 11:16, 11:18, 12:01, 12:04, 12:51, 1:07.

boom-8-11

A Visitor

Weather

  • Visibility: 15+ miles (Mt. Baker visible)
  • Wind: 5-10 knots NE
  • Sky: gently overcast
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • 5 elephant seals on Great Race.
  • 19 Canada Geese on the island.

Maintenance

  • Regular chores.
  • Kyle brought me some items for future application.
  • A thermometer and a 1″ H valve.

Boats

  • A few eco-tours came by today.
  • Kyle brought Natasha out for a visit.

eco-tour-4-11

Re-engaged

After Monday’s difficulties with the log, yesterday was even worse as I was unable to log on to the website. The problem seems to have been only temporary though, because I am now able to log on using both my computer and the main house computer.

Here is a summary of yesterday and today, along with photos from Monday.

Monday 31 October 2016-Photos

Tuesday 1 November 2016-Report & Chore Day

  • Weather
  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0-5 knots E
  • Sky: rain
  • Water: calm
  • 5 elephant seals on Great Race today.
  • Had to push the dead sea lion out past the jetty where it finally floated away.
  • An inquisitive seagull floated up to the corpse and gave it a peck.
  • Spotty the harbour seal was back on his rock near the jetty.
  • Couldn’t log on to the Race Rocks website.
  • Finished gathering data for the month end report.
  • Completed October month end report for Kyle.
  • Entered and sent off October seawater report.
  • Ran the desalinator.

Wednesday 2 November 2015

  • Weather
  • Visibility: 5 miles
  • Wind: 15-20 knots NE
  • Sky: overcast with showers
  • Water: 2′ chop
  • Fierce waves crashing against the jetty today.
  • Expected to be windy overnight, with things calming down by noon tomorrow.
  • Lots of Canada Geese on the island today.

big-waves-2-11

The Dunlin!

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0-5 knots East
  • Sky: overcast with showers
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • Saw one California Sea Lion with a nasty looking neck wound.
  • Conducted a census today.
  • Several bird species notably absent today.
  • No Harlequin Ducks, Savannah Sparrows, or Black Oystercatchers.
  • The Sparrows have been absent all week; I suspect gone for the winter.
  • I’m sure the Harlequins and Oystercatchers are still around.
  • Only saw two Heermann’s Gulls; I think last weeks group was just passing through.
  • I did see my first Dunlin of the season though!
  • And lots more Black Turnstones than in previous weeks.
  • They like to splash around in the rain puddles.
  1. California Sea Lions: 606
  2. Northern (Steller) Sea Lions: 181
  3. Harbour Seals: 12
  4. Elephant Seals: 7 (2 on Great Race, 5 on Middle Rock)
  5. Seagulls unspecified: 586
  6. Thayer’s Gulls: 114
  7. Glaucous-winged Gulls: 76
  8. Heermann’s Gulls: 2
  9. Cormorants unspecified: 356
  10. Black Turnstone: 33
  11. Canada Geese: 3
  12. Bald Eagles: 3 (2 adult, 1 immature)
  13. Dunlin: 1

Maintenance

  • The usual chores.
  • Reset the electric fence which has been faring unusually well.

Boats

  • A surprising number of eco-tours today, given the weather, day of the week, and month.
  • I counted at least 10.

A Strong Breeze

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles with occasional fog interludes
  • Wind: 20-25 knots NE, later down to 15
  • Sky: showers
  • Water: choppy, especially in Middle Channel where waves and current collided.
  • The foghorn went off for a minute or so in the afternoon.

choppy-26-10

Ecological

  • Still lots of sea lions on and around the jetty.
  • Lots of Canada Geese on the island.

Maintenance

  • Yesterday at 21:30 the windspeed display showed 00.0 despite clear wind.
  • It started working again sometime in the early morning.
  • The usual chores.

Boats

  • A few eco-tours came by in the afternoon.
  • One of them was here when the foghorn went off.

hark-a-boat-26-10

The Cackling Goose!

Weather

  • The 7:00 weather report (plus developments).
  • Visibility: 10 miles (later 15)
  • Wind: 0-5 knots South (15-25 knots West noon onwards)
  • Sky: overcast and raining (sun in the afternoon)
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • All the elephant seals except for the smallest guy were off island today.
  • I did see 6 of them playing in the water near the jetty.
  • Improved my seagull identification skills today.
  • This was the first day I noticed many Heermann’s Gulls.
  • Fun to watch the lone cackling goose wander with the larger Canadians.
  • Saw one branded California Sea Lion: U975
  • Saw one California Sea Lion with a plastic neck ring.
  • Conducted an all day animal census.
  1. California Sea Lions: 434
  2. Northern (Steller) Sea Lions: 219
  3. Harbour Seals: 59
  4. Elephant Seals: 7
  5. Seagulls: 1077 (Tentative 85% Thayer’s, 15% Glaucous-Winged)
  6. Cormorants: 375 (Tentative: 30 Pelagic, 25 Double Crested, 14 Brandt’s.)
  7. Heermann’s Gulls: 50
  8. Black Turnstone: 24
  9. Canada Geese: 11
  10. Black Oystercatchers: 10
  11. Harlequin Ducks: 3 (1 male, 2 female)
  12. Cackling Goose: 1
  13. Savannah Sparrow: 1
  14. Bald Eagle: 1 adult on South Rock

Maintenance

  • Extended my new fence set up.
  • Removed the fence in front of the students’ house.
  • It was never very effective, and is less needed now.
  • Ran the desalinator in the afternoon.

Boats

  • Several eco-tours came by today.
  • One small boat was observed speeding in the reserve.