Visitors of the friend type

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 10-15 knots West
  • In the evening, 20-26 knots West
  • Sky: mostly clear
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • Five elephant seals on Great Race today.
  • I spied a sea otter swimming through the South Channel!
  • Saw a couple of Short-billed Dowitchers, along with another mystery bird.
  • Alas, I had not the camera on me to document this bird; it may have been a Western Sandpiper though!
  • Also saw a swallow for the first time!

Maintenance

  • Cleaned the solar panels.
  • Ran the desalinator.

Boats

  • Kyle dropped off two of my friends in Second Nature.
  • Several eco-tours came by.

Visitors

  • Ian and Stephen came over for a one night visit.
  • They are friends with yours truly, Riley Strother.

R. Strother at work.

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.

 

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.

Short-billed Dowitchers?

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 20-25 knots East, later 5-10 NW
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • The same three elephant seals on Great Race.
  • Around 19:00 I came across two unfamiliar looking birds.
  • While they could be Dunlins, they don’t have the appropriate black belly, and so my guess is that they are Short-billed Dowitchers.

Boats

  • A few eco-tours came by today.

Other

  • There were six DND blast today.
  • Two large ones at 11:33 and 11:35.
  • Two medium ones at 12:40 and 12:42.
  • Two small ones at 14:35 and 14:37.

Field trip for VNHS

2014-09-27gfvnhstowers

 

Members of the Victoria Natural History Society accompanied ER warden Garry Fletcher on a field trip to Race Rocks this morning. Most of the members were avid birdwatchers so this time of year was ideal to view some of the many species that stopover at Race Rocks in their fall migration. See the census records submitted by Daniel Donnecke

 

 

 

Some of the birds seen on the trip”

wtattlerAlso on a trip on a ecotourism vessel, Liam Singh took this image of this  wandering tattler which we had missed.

gfbrande calseal

One branded california sealion was hauled out near the docks. The number was not clear.

Limnodromus griseus: Short-billed Dowitcher–The Race Rocks Taxonomy

dowitechercloseThis juvenile short-billed Dowitcher was seen up near the tower in August 18 2009. It was very tame and quite unconcerned with the local humans. Image by Ian Perry.

short-billed dowitcher short-billed dowitcher
The same juvenile, (Aug 18/ 09) , shown above. Images by G.Fletcher
short-billed dowitcher short-billed dowitcher short-billed dowitcher short-billed dowitcher
Dowitcher probing for invertebrates Note the Halosaccion band of the intertidal zone where it is feeding rear view- note buff colored underparts side view- note dark eye.
Eukarya
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Subphylum Vertebrata
Class Aves
Order Charadriiformes
Family Scolopacidae
Genus Limnodromus
Species griseus
Common Name: Short Billed Dowitcher

dowitcherThe Short-billed Dowitcher breeds in Northern Canada. It winters in South America.
It occurs rarely and solitary at Race Rocks where it stops on migration. Short-billed Dowitchers normally are birds of mudflats along the Pacific Coast. One individual bird was filmed on May 1 2003 (above)as it probed for food among the barnacles and algae of the Halosaccion zone at Race Rocks.

In the photo to the right from September 2005, another dowitcher roamed through the area near the base of the rock on the East side. So presumably we have pictures of the stopover going North and South!

This video shows the Short-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus griseus) in the intertidal zone to the East of the docks at Race Rocks. Note the “sewing machine ” action as it probes for food. The biology class watched this bird on May1/03 before starting on an intertidal transect in the same area. The coloration was noticeably buff-colored when compared to other shore birds. This individual was very fearless, even returning to feed briefly nearby after we had laid down our transect. This is normally a bird of the Pacific Coast mudflats.