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.

Windy Day

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 20-40 knots West
  • Sky: mostly overcast, some rain in the evening.
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • Seven elephant seals on Great Race today.
  • The same set from yesterday, minus the weaner.
  • Some of them are definitely starting to moult.

Boats

  • One brave eco-tour rode the waves today.

Helicopter Generator Swap

Weather

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

Ecological

  • There were eight elephant seals on Great Race today.
  • That is the most I have seen out here during this current shift.
  • Three of the younger males enjoyed a spirited bout or two.
  • The rest of them snoozed off in pairs or alone.
  • The birds and sea lions were definitely disrupted by the helicopter.

Maintenance

  • Kyle and four men from the Coast Guard removed the old Generator B.
  • A Coast Guard helicopter then dropped off a new generator, and took away the old one.
  • They then placed the new generator in its spot.
  • I helped out with various auxiliary tasks, but mostly just took photographs.
  • Tidied up loose tools after everyone had departed.

Boats

  • Second Nature.
  • A few eco-tours.

Visitors

  • Kyle, the four Coast Guard men, and Ian and Stephen.
  • They all departed in the early afternoon.

Other

  • Coast Guard helicopter overflight.

 

Bald Eagle Eating his food

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0-5 knots West
  • In the evening, 15-20 knots West
  • Sky: mostly overcast and a few drops of rain.
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • There were six elephant seals on Great Race today.
  • Other than some brief interactions between two of them near the flagpole, all six kept far apart on separate parts of the island.
  • The weaner has only moved about 10 feet since yesterday.
  • Watched a bald eagle eat a meal on the driftwood lumber pile.

Boats

  • Only one eco-tour that I noticed today.

Earth Day, I presume?

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 25-30 knots North East
  • In the afternoon, 20-25 knots West
  • In the evening, 10-15 knots West
  • Sky: mostly overcast and a few drops of rain.
  • Water: 1′ chop
  • A nice view of the snow on Hurricane Ridge in the morning.

Ecological

  • Four elephant seals on Great Race today.
  • The weaner slept all day beside the main house.

Maintenance

  • On this Earth Day, I would like to take the time to thank (however corny it made sound) the framework of the Ecological Reserve, which helps to maintain the wild beauty of these spectacular islands!

Boats

  • One fishing boat, and a couple of eco-tours came by today.

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.

 

Crows and Moon

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind at 7:00: 10-15 knots West
  • Wind at 10:00: 10-15 knots North East
  • Wind at 15:00: 5-10 knots South West
  • Wind at 20:00: 20-25 knots West
  • Sky: mostly clear, rain at 15:00
  • Water: 1′ chop
  • A rather large moon appeared in the early evening.

Ecological

  • One adult elephant seal departed, leaving just the one.
  • The weaner returned by the slightly unconventional route: north side of the jetty.
  • A murder of crows.

Maintenance

  • Some goose work.

Boats

  • A few eco-tours came by today.

Other

  • Some DND blasting today.
  • Blasts at 13:37, 13:39, and 14:15.

Boat Mania

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind in the morning: 5-10 knots North West
  • Wind in the evening: 20-25 knots West, very cold air.
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • The same 3 elephant seals on Great Race.

Maintenance

  • Finished topping up the batteries.
  • Ran the desalinator.

Boats

  • 6 different eco-tours came by today, including 3 at one time!
  • There was also a pleasure craft in the late afternoon.

The Seals Touch Down

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 20-25 knots NE, later 0-10 NE
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • Census day!
  • In the morning there were 2 e-seals on Great Race, and 6 on Middle Rock.
  • In the afternoon there were 3 e-seals on Great Race, and 4 on Middle Rock.
  • As far as I am aware, there were only 2 e-seals in the reserve yesterday.
  • Most of the addled eggs in the Canada goose nest near the Students’ House were cracked open and strewn about today around noon.
  • I suspect a crow to be the culprit, having seen one hanging around that nest yesterday.
  • Saw one branded California Sea Lion, but I couldn’t make out all the marks. U89[?]
  • Four young bald eagles were unsuccessfully hunting the seagulls all morning.
  1. Harbour Seals: 92
  2. California Sea Lions: 69
  3. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 43
  4. Elephant Seals: 8 (2 on Great Race, 6 on Middle Rock)
  5. Seagulls unspecified: 352
  6. Pigeon Guillemots: 111
  7. Cormorants unspecified: 26
  8. Brandt’s Cormorants: 16
  9. Pelagic Cormorants: 12
  10. Double Crested Cormorant: 7
  11. Surfbirds: 50
  12. Black Turnstones: 30
  13. Canada Geese: 18
  14. Harlequin Ducks: 11 (6 males and 5 females)
  15. Rock Sandpipers: 6
  16. Bald Eagles: 6 (2 adults, 4 immature)
  17. Black Oystercatchers: 6
  18. Savannah Sparrow: 1
  19. Unidentified Hawk: 1
  20. Killdeer: 1
  21. Crow: 1?

Maintenance

  • Transferred diesel from the Students’ House tank into the Tidy Tank.
  • Some goose work.

New Male Elephant Seal

Weather

  • Visibility: 5 miles, later 15
  • Wind: 10-15 knots NW, later 5-10 NW
  • Sky: raining/overcast
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • This morning two elephant seals arrived on the middle of the island.
  • One was the weaner, and at first I thought the other was the female.
  • But then I realized it was a new young adult male. A yearling or so.
  • They both slept all day, and had no interaction.

Maintenance

  • Some goose work.

Other

  • One DND blast at 15:06.