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.

Sunshine Friday

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0-5 knots South West.
  • In the early afternoon, 15-20 knots North East.
  • In the evening, 5-10 knots South East.
  • Sky: clear and sunny most of the day.
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • The weaner returned for what I believe to be the first time since April 10th.
  • She(?) spent the whole day snoozing on the ramp beside the jetty.
  • One elephant seal went over to join the lonely muddy e-seal on the west side of the island.
  • This made for a total of three elephant seals on Great Race today.
  • There were six elephant seals on Middle Rock.
  • I only saw one Short-billed Dowitcher today.

Maintenance

  • Did some goose work.
  • Hand pumped some diesel.

 

Sunday

  • Weather
  • Visibility: 15+ miles
  • Mount Baker clearly visible!
  • Wind: 15-20 knots North East
  • Sky: clear and sunny
  • Water: 1′ chop
  • A nice sunrise!

Ecological

  • Two elephant seals on Great Race.

Maintenance

  • Cleaned the solar panels.
  • Some goose work.

Boats

  • A few eco-tours came by today.

Seagull Fights

Weather

  • Visibility: 10 miles, later 15+
  • Wind: 20-25 knots North, later 0-5 N
  • Sky: overcast, then sun, then overcast
  • Water: 2′ chop, then calm
  • Great view in the afternoon to the Cascades, 85 miles away!

Ecological

  • 2 elephant seals on Great Race.
  • Lots of geese looking to make nests.
  • Several seagull fights happening as well.

Maintenance

  • Ran the desalinator in the afternoon.
  • Goose work.

Boats

  • A couple of eco-tours came by.

End of Shift

The wind blew from the northeast at 13-26 knots.  A small swell with whitecaps blew in from the northeast.  The barometer dropped from 1024 hPa to 1015 hPa.  The temperature reached a high of 5oC at 15:00.

There were no boats seen within the reserve today.

Everyday there appears to be fewer gulls and sea lions in the reserve.  An official count will happen on Thursday with the census.  There are still a lot of cormorants congregating on the shores of Great Race, as well as Turbine Rock and North Rocks.  The harbour seals are hauling out at low tides on various rocky ledges close to the shoreline.

Today was filled with cleaning and wrapping up some tasks that I’ve been doing while here for the past five weeks: construction in the basement of the Marine Science Centre, sorting out photos, and cutting up firewood that was collected at the shore and piled up by the tank house to get the salt rinsed off by the rain. Tomorrow is a shift change that will see Alex arrive for the winter shift.  I’ve had a great time as the Ecoguardian, learning lots from the species and history of this beautiful piece of land and sea.