Census

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 Miles
  • Wind: 15-25 SW this morning, down to 5-15 SW this afternoon
  • Sky: Very Sunny
  • Water: Waves about a metre this morning, to flat in the afternoon

Boats/Visitors

  • a few boats went by today, saw some tour boats, fishing boats and sailboats

Ecological

  • Quite a few of the sea lions were in the water today, with their fins up, soaking in the sunlight

Census

  • Stellar Sea Lions – 35
  • California Sea Lions – 38
  • Harbour Seals – 27
  • Elephant Seals – 2 females and 3 males
  • Gulls – 213
  • Cormorants – 24
  • Eagles – 5
  • Harlquin Ducks – 14
  • Black Turnstones – 18
  • Black Oyster Catchers – 8
  • Geese – 12
  • Fox Sparrows – 2

Protective Father Elephant Seal

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 Miles
  • Wind: 5-10 knots NW
  • Sky: sunny with cloudy periods
  • Water: mostly calm, a bit choppy

Boats/Visitors

  • Saw two ecotour boats go by
  • No visitors

Ecological

  • Bernard was keeping an eye out for the pups today, looking up from his sleep every time one of them would cry out, which is less frequent and high pitched now too as they continue to grow. Having a father elephant seal protect it’s pups like this after the mother has left is not ordinary behaviour so this has been very interesting to watch.
  • Lots of Canada Geese landed on the island today, around 6-10 pairs that are very territorial with each other. I assume they’re getting ready for nesting season as that generally starts around March.
  • Still a decent number of cormorants, black oyster catchers and black turnstones around too.

Notes

  • DND blasting has started up again with several loud explosions going off each day for the past few days.

Blasting and Pups

Weather

  • Visibility:15 Miles
  • Wind: 20-30 NW
  • Sky: Sunny with cloudy periods
  • Water: Very rough, 1-2 meter swells

Boats/Visitors

  • Very little boat traffic today

Ecological

  • The youngest elephant seal pup is doing well, staying close to mom with a large male sleeping close by for most of the day.
  • Saw a harbor lone seal on the east side of the island sunning itself.

Notes

  • I’m back at Race Rocks for the rest of this month. Very happy to be here again (:
  • A lot of DND blasting today. Every blast sends hundreds of birds into a frightened, flying frenzy and startles the sea lions off the rocks.

Guillemots are back

I just received this email from Pam Birley ” The Pigeon Guillemots are back !   They are even earlier this year.   It is usually February when I first see them.”     Thanks Pam for the observation from Leiscester England! Laas has also been out getting pictures of them.

 

It is also interesting to note that the elephant seal pup is doing very well this year. As Ecoguardian Laas Parnell has noted the one large male tends to keep the others on the island at bay. Hopefully this year the pup can survive once the mother leaves and it becomes a weaner. In most of the past years since pups first started being born on the island, aggressive males have led to a tragic end. I have requested BC Parks and DFO to produce a policy on what support can be offered in the event a pup is injured in the crucial period before it goes to the ocean after its month long weaning period. So far this has not been acted upon, so again this year it will be left up to chance, and hopefully the so-far protective bull will remain that way. The following pictures are from Camera1 at the top of the tower on Race Rocks.

Green-winged Teal

Weather

  • Visibility: 10-15 Miles
  • Wind: 15-25 NE
  • Sky: Cloudy
  • Water: Choppy about 1 metre

Boats/Visitors

  • a couple ecotours went by today

Ecological

  • The 4 day old pup is doing well
  • The largest male was on the other side of the lighthouse today but came “running” when he heard the mother yelling at one of the juveniles getting too close, the big guy came and chased him off so Springtide ecotours got a bit of show today
  • Also some Green-winged Teals today along with harlequins, oystercatchers and eagles

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