A No Weaner Census

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 5-10 knots North
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: rippled

Ecological

  • Census day!
  • The weaner was gone this morning. Hopefully he is ok.
  • Normally I only ever see killdeer at night, but today I saw a pair off and on all day!
  1. California Sea Lions: 85
  2. Harbour Seals: 44
  3. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 39
  4. Elephant Seals: 1 male
  5. Seagulls unspecified: 269 (same total two weeks in a row!)
  6. Pigeon Guillemots: 241
  7. Cormorants unspecified: 57
  8. Surfbirds: 49
  9. Harlequin Ducks: 32 (16 males and 16 females)
  10. Black Turnstones: 22
  11. Canada Geese: 13
  12. Black Oystercatchers: 9
  13. Bald Eagles: 6 (2 adults, 4 immature)
  14. Killdeer: 2

Boats

  • Kyle stopped by for 1 minute to exchange the extra security camera for a new Wifi access point.
  • There were several fishing boats literally yards outside the Rockfish Conservation Area.
  • A few eco-tours came by.

Maintenance

  • Installed the new Wifi access point in the Students’ House.

Other

  • Lots of DND blasting today.
  • Small blasts at the following times:
  • 10:25, 10:27, 10:45, and 12:34.
  • Larger blasts at the following times:
  • 12:32, 12:53, 14:52, 14:54, and 15:11.

A Gale of a Day

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 25-30 knots West at 7:45
  • 40 knots West at 9:20
  • 43 knots West at 10:20
  • Down to 10-15 knots West by the evening
  • Sky: mostly clear, sunny from 12:45 on
  • Water: 1′ chop, later 3′ chop

Ecological

  • The two older elephant seals were gone by noon.
  • Only the weaner remains.

Boats

  • One eco-tour came by in the morning.
  • The amount of wake it was leaving made it look like it was going too fast?

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.

Turkey Vulture

Weather

  • The 8am weather report.
  • Visibility: 10 miles, 15+ later on
  • Wind: 10-15 knots North, continuous 25-30 knots W noon onwards
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: 1′ chop
  • Last night the foghorn sounded off between 23:00 and midnight.
  • This morning there was a pleasant rainbow over the reserve.

Ecological

  • At around 13:45 a Turkey Vulture appeared over Great Race.
  • It flew around the island for about 15 minutes, engaging in many aerial battles with the seagulls.
  • Apparently their appearance in the reserve at this time of year is uncommon.
  • There remained the same 3 elephant seals on Great Race today.
  • In the late afternoon a harbour seal was planked on a rock near the jetty.

Boats

  • 3 eco-tours came by in the afternoon.

 

Ecoguardian Changeover

Weather

  • Guy et Christine’s 8am weather report.
  • Visibility: 13 miles
  • Wind: 5-10 knots West
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: 1′ chop

03-13 Waves

Ecological

  • The elephant seal weaner was back on the grass between the buildings.
  • One juvenile male spent the day sleeping by the tower.
  • A second young male appeared in the afternoon and pestered the weaner.
  • I was pleased to spy several oystercatchers, a pair of harlequin ducks, two bald eagles, and a raven, amongst the usual seagulls, cormorants, and black turnstones.

03-13 Weaner and male

Maintenance

  • Guy, Christine, and Kyle gave me a tour of the facilities.
  • Various little changes here and there, but overall no massive differences.
  • Unpacked and settled in to the house.

Boats

  • Kyle and Second Nature brought me out around 12:30.
  • They departed at 1:20 with Guy et Christine.
  • 3 eco-tours came by in the afternoon.

03-13 Eco-tour 1 03-13 Eco-tour 2

Visitors

  • Kyle

Other

  • I am excited to be starting my fourth lengthy shift out at Race Rocks.
  • This is Riley Strother signing off and wishing you a goodnight!

Pigeons – guillemots back

Weather

Very light wind,not stable going from  West to East,calm sea, Sky:overcast to cloudy and rainy (light).Visibility :10 miles, Air temperature:3.9 degrees Celsius.

Ecological

Today for the first time this winter we saw a flock of guillemots :30 around.Chunk was gone fishing but back in the evening .12 geese almost all the time on the Rock.

Vessels

One watching vessel and a big fishing boat heading to the Ocean.

Census

Pigeons -guillemots:35

Elephants Seals : 5 to 6

Gulls :650

Californians Sea Lions :235. One tagged: no 486

Steelers sea Lions:55

Geese:12

Eagles:6 to 9

Harlequin Ducks:7

Harbour Seals:27

Cormorants:110

Christmas Bird Count-1

We had lined up several people to go out today for the annual Christmas Bird Count, unfortunately the gale warning and the increasing wind from the North East made it impossible to get anyone out . With an impending storm the birds often disappear and such seems to be the case today. The following general pictures showing the few groupings of birds were taken from the tower camera 1  at mid-day. Alex will provide on the ground details later.

Last Full Day of the Shift

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 15-20 knots W, later 10 knots E, then 20 knots N
  • Sky: sunny in the morning, cloudy in the afternoon
  • Water: calm
  • Too cloudy to see the large moon tonight.

Ecological

  • 3 elephant seals on Great Race.
  • The little female did not return with the others.
  • I observed two armadas of cormorants in the afternoon.
  • Then they all flew away!
  • Also one young seagull is wandering around with a broken wing.
  • I think it is the same gull that I saw a couple of weeks ago.

Maintenance

  • Added one 55 gallon barrel of diesel to the tidy tank.
  • Finished hauling the various unused pieces of the electric fence back to the tank shed.
  • Stacked some firewood.
  • Cleaned the house for Guy.
  • Published the July, August, September, and October seawater data sheets on the website.

Boats

  • One boat appeared to be inspecting the Rosedale Rock buoy.
  • Two eco-tours came by.

Other

  • This is my last log post out at Race Rocks, until next time.
  • Hopefully I will be back out here in the springtime!
  • Signing off now. Good luck Guy (and Alex)!

photo-on-2016-11-14-at-7-49-pm

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.

Mystery Ship

Weather

  • Visibility: 5-15 miles
  • Wind: 5-10 knots SE, at times up to 18
  • Sky: foggy much of the day
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • The elephant seals were down in the water near the jetty
  • Saw 5 cormorants going on an adventure on a floating log.

Maintenance

  • The usual chores

Boats

  • I spied a rather official looking ship south of Race Rocks, but it wasn’t marked on the AIS marine vessel tracking website.
  • It looked to me like a Canadian Coast Guard ship, though it was not the Sir Wilfred Laurier.
  • A few eco-tours came by today.
  • The Ogden Point Dive Boat was over near Middle Rock around noon.