Long term record for harbour seal at Race Rocks

Pam Birley sent this picture today that she took with the remote camera of Six-spot, a harbour seal she has photographed over a several year period. see previous post at http://www.racerocks.ca/6-spot-the-harbour-seal-observed-at-rr-since-2008/

New keeper amongst old visitors

Current tenants on race rocks include stellar sea lions, harbour seals mostly on the rocky coastline as well as our well represented group of californian sea lions up from the south, Enjoying some Canadian hospitality. Weather conditions around the lighthouse have been anything from consistent ranging from dense fog and prevailing winds to calm swells and sunshine. As always loads of marine traffic from both sides of the coast, bigger vessels from the states are all braving the heavy currents to catch a glimpse of the wide variety of sea life we are currently housing. Most importantly the Elephant seals are really taking advantage of the well maintained landscape as they always find a nice place to snooze and are very reluctant to give it up to any competing deep sleeper. Shifting to the upcoming weather forecast, Predictably the strong wind warning will relinquish late this evening with wind conditions improving to 10-20 the rest of the week.

Dan over and out

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

Swiftsure Race Today

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 Miles
  • Wind:  5-10 NW was a bit less in the middle of the day but picked up a bit again
  • Sky: clear and sunny
  • Water: calm

Boats/Visitors

  • A lot of ecotours today, along with countless boats sailing by and fishing

Ecological

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

Other

  • The swiftsure race started today and hundreds of sailboats went sailing by the lighthouse today

Census Day, Thursday, May 25th

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 Miles
  • Wind:  0-5 NW
  • Sky: clear and sunny
  • Water: calm

Boats/Visitors

  • Many different boats around today

Ecological

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

Other

  • DND blasting continues

Census

  • Stellar Sea Lions: 42
  • California Sea Lions: 44
  • Elephant Seals: 14
  • Harbour Seals: 36
  • Unspecified Gulls: 321
  • Pigeon Guillemots: 120
  • Cormorants: 23
  • Canada Geese: 16
  • Oystercatchers: 8
  • Harlequinn Ducks: 5 males (that I could see)

Notes

  • I have not seen any eagles today but I saw them yesterday and they have been hanging around so I am guessing they are around here somewhere
  • There is another Elephant seal
  • An increase in sea lions as well as gulls

 

 

Census day

Weather

  • Visibility: 10 Miles, a bit foggy this morning but burned off by noon to partly cloudy
  • Wind: 10-15 NW got continuously more calm through the day
  • Sky: partly cloudy throughout the day
  • Water: stayed consistently calm

Boats/Visitors

  • A lot of ecotours came through today
  • Had a couple visitors, come by with Kyle this morning and then had Kyle and Guy come back this afternoon to help me out with a couple things

Ecological

  • Census day!
    1. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 35
    2. Harbour Seals: 44
    3. California Sea Lions: 23
    4. Elephant Seals: 13
    5. Seagulls unspecified: 291
    6. Pigeon Guillemots: 152
    7. Cormorants unspecified: 29
    8. Canada Geese: 14
    9. Savannah Sparrows: 0
    10. Harlequin Ducks: 8 (2 female, 6 male)
    11. Black Oystercatchers: 8
    12. Bald Eagles: 2 (2 adults, 1 immature)
  • There are 2 more elephant seals than usual! so thats exciting, they stayed scattered today on the path from the lighthouse to the jetty
  • As you can see there have been a decrease in sea lions, they are no longer on the southern rocks and have moved to the main island one group on the north side and another group on the southside
  • There have been an increase in gulls, pigeon guillemots and cormorants, also the harlequins are back, I did not see them last week
  • There has also been an increase in harbour seals, when I counted them they were mostly all on the Middle Rocks but have since scattered about the South Islands as well

Cenusus Day

Weather

  • Visibility: 10 Miles
  • Wind: Morning 0-5 NW picked up in the afternoon, varied between 10-20 knots NW
  • Sky: Overcast, bit of rain throughout the day
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  1. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 45
  2. Harbour Seals: 30
  3. California Sea Lions: 37
  4. Elephant Seals: 11
  5. Seagulls unspecified: 278
  6. Pigeon Guillemots: 125
  7. Cormorants unspecified: 16
  8. Canada Geese: 19
  9. Savannah Sparrows: 12
  10. Harlequin Ducks: 0
  11. Black Oystercatchers: 8
  12. Bald Eagles: 2 (2 adults, 1 immature)

Boats

  • had a few eco tours come through morning and late afternoon

Maintenance

  • Scrubbed some of the solar panels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Census of Birds and Mammals

Weather

  • Visibility: 10 miles, later 15 until…
  • 19:35 onwards foggy, 100 yards.
  • Fog horn sounded for over 3 hours.
  • Wind: 0-5 knots South East.
  • In the evening 15-25 West.
  • Sky: overcast, then sunny, then foggy.
  • Water: calm

Mount Baker near sunrise.

Strangely disturbed water.

Ecological

  • Census day! Counting stuff!
  • Found what to me is a solo mystery bird.
  • Surprised to see no Black Turnstones around today.
  1. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 53
  2. Harbour Seals: 35
  3. California Sea Lions: 29
  4. Elephant Seals: 13 (11 on Great Race, 2 on Middle Rock)
  5. Seagulls unspecified: 304
  6. Pigeon Guillemots: 225
  7. Cormorants unspecified: 21
  8. Canada Geese: 18
  9. Savannah Sparrows: 10
  10. Harlequin Ducks: 9 (6 males and 3 females)
  11. Black Oystercatchers: 7
  12. Bald Eagles: 2 (2 adults, 1 immature)
  13. Mystery bird: 1
  14. Black Turnstones: ZERO!

Maintenance

  • Ran the desalinator.

Boats

  • Lots of eco-tours cameth by today. Over 10!
  • Some of them were perhaps a bit too close to the mammals at times?
  • Kyle brought me my final food order; milk, red and green bell peppers, sour cream, and onions.
  • Eerily reminiscent of the Thin White Duke’s diet..

Visitors

  • Kyle with food stuff.

A Windy Census

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 20-30 knots West all day
  • Sky: mostly clear.
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • Census day!
  • Saw a Steller sea lion branded 365Y.
  • Saw a California sea lion branded U949
  • I’m pretty sure the high winds were responsible for some of the lower bird counts.
  1. Harbour Seals: 114
  2. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 65
  3. California Sea Lions: 63
  4. Elephant Seals: 11 (8 on Great Race, 3 on Middle Rock)
  5. Seagulls unspecified: 251
  6. Pigeon Guillemots: 68
  7. Cormorants unspecified: 22
  8. Canada Geese: 17
  9. Black Turnstones: 16
  10. Surfbirds: 5
  11. Harlequin Ducks: 5 (2 males and 3 females)
  12. Black Oystercatchers: 4
  13. Savannah Sparrows: 4
  14. Bald Eagles: 2 (2 adults, 0 immature)
  15. Crows: 2

Other

  • I spent a good portion of the day ill in bed.

Census and Students

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0-5 knots South.
  • From 17:00 onwards, 15-20 knots West.
  • Sky: clear and sunny most of the day.
  • From 17:00 onwards, some clouds and rain.
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • Census day!
  • One sea lion was branded U958.
  • Colour wise it looks like a Steller, but if you look at the head I think it was a California.
  • Laura and her class found a sculpin (type of fish) head.
  • Four of what I suspect to be Short-billed Dowitchers today. Fun to watch!
  • Didn’t see the killdeer today, which is unusual.
  1. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 66
  2. Harbour Seals: 60
  3. California Sea Lions: 57
  4. Elephant Seals: 13 (4 on Great Race, 9 on Middle Rock)
  5. Pigeon Guillemots:  269
  6. Seagulls unspecified: 154
  7. Surfbirds: 57
  8. Canada Geese: 17
  9. Black Turnstones: 17
  10. Cormorants unspecified: 14
  11. Harlequin Ducks: 9 (5 males and 4 females)
  12. Black Oystercatchers: 6
  13. Savannah Sparrows: 6
  14. Short-billed Dowitchers: 4
  15. Bald Eagles: 2 (2 adults, 0 immature)

Boats

  • A couple of eco-tours came by.
  • Second Nature came out multiple times, delivering 4 groups of students.
  • On her second last return, she had overheating issues, so Kyle had to come out in Haiku for the last trip.

Visitors

  • Kyle, James, Laura, and 26 students came out to Race Rocks today.
  • The students were doing a walk about with Laura, discussing marine biology for their upcoming final exam.
  • James did some work on the Davis Weather station and got most of it working again.

Other

  • Four DND blasts today.
  • 10:05, 10:07, 11:24, and 11:26.