The First Aggressive Geese

Weather

  • Visibility: 10 miles in the morning, later 15.
  • Wind: 5-10 knots North
  • Sky: overcast and some rain
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • Just the weaner on Great Race today.
  • He has a bit of a snotty nose. I suppose he has a cold?
  • I encountered my first pair of aggressive Canada Geese today.
  • Perhaps the nesting has begun?

Boats

  • The Pacific Scout Pilot boat passed through Race Passage today.
  • No eco-tours that I saw.

Other

  • Lots of DND blasting today.
  • There were blasts at the following times:
  • 10:38, 11:05, 13:18, 13:20, 15:19, 15:21, and 15:49.
  • The first few blasts really startled the birds, especially the Pigeon Guillemots.

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.

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.

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

A Windy Census

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 20-25 knots West in the morning, picking up to 30-35 by noon.
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: 3′ chop

DSC_6368

Ecological

  • I oversaw an enthusiastic day long census with Maya, Tazi, and Ali.
  • Discovered a new Black Oystercatcher nest with 3 eggs!
  • Maya and Tazi discovered a new Canada Goose nest.
  • I begin to suspect that our new elephant seal male is actually Chuckles.
  • If he did nothing but eat for 3 months straight, that would explain his girth.
  • Saw a Steller Sea Lion branded 9628.
  • We found a blood star, and Maya showed us various chitons.
  • Maya and Tazi did a transect.
  1. Harbour Seals: 190
  2. California Sea Lions: 42
  3. Steller/Northern Sea Lions: 39
  4. Elephant Seals: 15 (13 on Great Race, 2 in the Southern waters)
  5. Seagulls: 225 (Glaucous-winged)
  6. Pigeon Guillemots: 82
  7. Canada Geese: 36 (14 on Great Race, 22 flyovers)
  8. Black Oystercatchers: 8 (plus 2 nests with a total 5 eggs)
  9. Harlequin Ducks: 3 (2 male, 1 female)
  10. Cormorants: 3
  11. Barn Swallows: 2

Maintenance

  • We cleaned the solar panels.
  • Finished cleaning the boathouse floor with T.S.P.
  • Repainted some rusty propane tanks.
  • Sanded the westward facing bench by the Students’ house.

Boats

  • Several eco-tours came by in the morning, but as wind picked up they disappeared.

Black Oystercatcher Nest!

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 25-30 knots West in the morning
  • The rest of the day 15 knots West.
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: 2′ chop

Ecological

  • Finally discovered a Black Oystercatcher nest!
  • 2 eggs are inside the “nest”.
  • Their nests are made of rocks and shells.
  • Census day.
  • I don’t seem to see any Black Turnstones or Surfbirds anymore.
  • Also less Bald Eagles.
  • And the Otter has been gone for a while.
  1. Harbour Seals: 117
  2. Northern Sea Lions: 32
  3. California Sea Lions: 22 (one branded U 687)
  4. Elephant Seals: 20 (17 on Great Race, 3 on Middle Rock)
  5. Seagulls: 327
  6. Pigeon Guillemots: 114
  7. Canada Geese: 21 (14 resident geese, 7 stopovers)
  8. Black Oystercatchers: 10 (plus 2 eggs!)
  9. Harlequin Ducks: 8 (6 males, 2 females)
  10. Cormorants: 4
  11. Barn Swallows: 2
  12. Bald Eagle: 1 immature
  13. Savannah Sparrow: 1

Maintenance

  • Rust painting.
  • More thistle weed whacking.
  • You can cut them down like you’re the Queen of Hearts, but they grow back.
  • Cleaned the solar panels.

Boats

  • Four or so eco-tours came by today.

A Visitor From Afar

Weather

  • Visibility: 10-15 miles today. At times quite hazy.
  • Wind: 15-25 knots West
  • Sky: clear and sunny
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • Conducted a census today.
  • Found a tiny dead harbour seal on the rocks.
  • A flock of geese arrived in the late afternoon.
  1. Harbour Seals: 91
  2. Northern Sea Lions: 35
  3. Elephant Seals: 22 (17 on Great Race, 5 on Middle Rock)
  4. California Sea Lions: 20
  5. Seagulls: 275
  6. Pigeon Guillemots: 130
  7. Canada Geese: 20! (although for much of the day only 10)
  8. Black Oystercatchers: 8
  9. Harlequin Ducks: 3 (2 females, 1 male)
  10. Cormorants: 2
  11. Bald Eagle: 1
  12. Rock Sandpiper: 1
  13. Unidentified large bird on Middle Rock; Owl?: 1

Maintenance

  • Removed lots of algae from the boat house.
  • (Re)discovered that the pressure washer does not work.

Boats

  • About 4 eco-tours came by today.
  • Chris dropped off and picked up my friend Greg O’.

Visitors

  • Greg O’, the tree scientist of Vernon, came by in the afternoon for a 3 hour visit!

Greg O come for a visit!

Other

  • A couple of big DND blasts in the afternoon.

SUP’ers and Census

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0-5 knots South in the morning, 15 knots West in the evening
  • Sky: clear and sunny
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • Conducted a census.
  • Surprised I didn’t see any Black Turnstones today.
  • Saw one Northern sea lion branded 524R.
  1. Northern Sea Lions: 93
  2. California Sea Lions: 59
  3. Elephant Seals: 20 (15 on Great Race. 5 on Middle Rock)
  4. Harbour Seals: 6
  5. Seagulls: 355
  6. Pigeon Guillemots: 101
  7. Canada Geese: 18
  8. Black Oystercatchers: 10
  9. Harlequin Ducks: 6 (5 male, 1 female)
  10. Cormorants: 4
  11. Bald Eagles: 4 (1 adult, 3 immature)
  12. Rock Sandpipers: 2
  13. Crow: 1

Maintenance

  • Cleaned more exterior windows.
  • More goose work.

Boats

  • 12 eco-tours today!
  • Some of them appeared to get too close to the sea lions.
  • Three uninvited SUP’ers (stand up paddle boarders) came by Great Race today.
  • After a short rest and a quick chat I sent them on their way again.

Other

  • Five DND blasts today.
  • Two medium blasts at 10:13 and 10:15.
  • One big blast at 10:17.
  • Two medium blasts at around 12:10.

Windy Census Day

Weather

  • Visibility: 15+ miles
  • Wind: 15-20 knots West in the morning, 25-30 after noon.
  • Sky: Sunny with clouds.
  • Water: 1′ chop
  • Expect the wind to keep it up for a while.

Ecological

  • Conducted a census today.
  • I suspect that the high winds have kept away certain species of birds, making today’s list less impressive.
  1. Harbour Seals: 91
  2. Northern Sea Lions: 47
  3. California Sea Lions: 27
  4. Elephant Seals: 19 (15 on Great Race, 4 on Middle Rock)
  5. Seagulls: 314
  6. Pigeon Guillemots: 108
  7. Surfbirds: 39
  8. Canada Geese: 18
  9. Black Turnstones: 14
  10. Black Oystercatchers: 10
  11. Rock Sandpipers: 3
  12. Bald Eagles: 3 (2 adult, 1 immature)
  13. Savannah Sparrows: 2
  14. Harlequin Ducks: 2 (1 male, 1 female)
  15. Cormorant: 1 (one seen on Turbine Rock)

Maintenance

  • Intended to spray algicide on various building walls, but too windy to ensure accuracy. Perhaps tomorrow if the wind dies down.
  • Started investigating the paint stock.
  • Some goose work.

Boats

  • No boats in the reserve today.

Cruise Ship and Sea Lions

Het Nieuw Amsterdam

Het Nieuw Amsterdam

Census and an Unexpected Trip

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 15-20 knots West
  • Water: 1′ chop
  • Sky: partly cloudy

Ecological

  • Conducted a census.
  1. Harbour Seals: 126
  2. California Sea Lions: 27
  3. Northern Sea Lions: 27
  4. Elephant Seals: 17 (12 on Great Race, 5 on Middle Rock)
  5. River Otter: 1
  6. Seagulls: 563
  7. Pigeon Guillemots: 54
  8. Black Turnstones: 51
  9. Canada Geese: 21
  10. Black Oystercatchers: 14
  11. Savannah Sparrows: 6
  12. Bald Eagles: 5 (4 immature, 1 adult)
  13. Rock Sandpipers: 4
  14. Cormorant: 2
  15. Surfbird: 1

Maintenance

  • Canada Goose themed work.

Boats

  • One eco-tour came by today.
  • Had a phone call from Kyle this morning to let me know that he would be picking me up around 13:00 for a First Nations cultural sensitivity workshop at Pearson College.
  • This was a surprise to me, but nice to get off the island for a few hours.
  • Always good to be reminded and educated on past and present issues.

POW and Middle Rock E-seals

Visitors

  • When Kyle arrived to pick me up he came ashore to take a look at a few things, and then admire the elephant seals.

Other

  • Two loud DND blasts around 12:50.