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.
Another calm day with 9 knots,North East wind at 8:00AM ,Calm sea,Cloudy to some sunny periods,Visibility over 13 miles. Sea water :7.1 degrees Celsius
I thought to have seen the famous seal on Turbine Rock this morning. there was a beautiful spotted Seal and actually the first one like that I ever saw…but when I went to do the census I discovered 7 or 8 spotted ones all together on South Island so…I am not sure anymore …Is “6 spots “around or not?…I let Pam to be the expert and the judge . Again Chunk :he spend the afternoon closed to Guy working at the cleaning of the railway (drifting wood again).A lot of activity for the gulls on the fish banks. In the night I have been awaken by the Sea Lions for the first time in those Winter months
3 Watchers and a police boats going towards Esquilmalt..some small fishing boats closed to Pedder Bay.
North east wind at 8:00AM, 12 knots ,over 13 miles of visibility.Pretty chilly morning (4 degrees Celsius ), cloudy and rainy.
So many eagles around and some crows too…I guess they are attracted by the Elephant Seal body still in the rocks but actually they have been everywhere around all the time…juveniles and adults.. Boss was coming back early from water. The 2 females have almost not moved from the birth spot and gradually the pups got bigger. Pam saw the famous harbour Seal ,”Six Spots” is his name but we we have not found him yet.
see the shadow of the eagles on South Island
Maintenance and visits
Kyle came Today to get the chain saw that needed some repairs or a new one …The dryer has also some problems.With Guy they had a look at the old and unused generator. it will be hauled out pretty soon. In the afternoon Travis from the college came in his Kayak and stopped for a visit of the place and some chatting with us . The day was just perfect for the crossing : no current and no wind.! One watching boat seen
They spent much of the afternoon playing in the water near the jetty.
Added one entire 55 gallon barrel into the Tidy Tank.
Cleaned the solar panels.
One small pleasure craft came through the reserve today.
It looked like it might have been too close to the harbour seals on Turbine.
Kyle and Guy brought me two boxes of food today. Much appreciated and needed!
I know this isn’t really related to the reserve, but I hope that Pam Birley, our honorary eco-guardian, is enjoying the celebrations of Leicester City’s first ever English Premier League win! Cheers to all you do for the reserve, and your city!
48 knots falls into the “storm” category. Only “violent storm” and “hurricane” are higher on the scale. The house is shuddering.
Water: 2′ chop, later at least 5′
Sky: overcast and some rain
The mother elephant seal on Great Race was gone this morning, making the fourth pup a weaner. He is much smaller than the previous weaner was, and over on Middle Rock the mother is still with her pup, who was born approximately 8 days before, and is quite larger. All this makes me think the mother has left prematurely?
In the morning Chunk spent some time chasing the weaner, but he was too slow to catch him and he gave up, later heading over to Middle Rock.
Chuckles showed up on Great Race afterwards and has been watching the weaner.
At one point I found the weaner chewing on a wire cord underneath the big old yellow diesel tank by the Energy Building.
Today was the first day that I saw a great blue heron at Race Rocks! Not a first in general though, or for Race Rocks.
Pam Birley also noticed the heron and she took some photos with the webcam.
I received this photo today of a river otter who likes curling up and going to sleep just down the slope from the remote control camera 5 from Pam Birley. Odd behaviour considering that they are usually very secretive out there on the island.
I am just doing up my final notes for my oral presentation to the NEB Kinder Morgan TMX hearings in Burnaby on Thursday, and have noted that river and sea otters have not been recognized by the consultants of the oil company as being significant marine mammals in the Strait of Juan de Fuca . Only the Humpback and Southern Resident Orcas and the Northern Sealion are considered as representative of the marine mammals in the path of tanker traffic. So we are supposed to believe that the Northern Sealion is a proxy for all the other marine mammals in terms of impact.
We had pointed out in past submissions that the elephant seal birthing colony is rather unique also, but no separate recognition has been forthcoming for harbour and elephant seal birthing colonies.
Today I had a look at the E-seals on the lawn using Camera 1 with the following pics.