March 17 was a windy day on Race Rocks. The early morning east northeast wind kept intensifying and it was blowing 25 – 30 knots northeast by noon. It kept up for the rest of the day. The barometric pressure started to drop from a high of 1026 hPa, in the afternoon. The forecast includes a gale warning, with the easterlies continuing under sunny skies for at least tomorrow.
One whale-watching vessel was observed working in the Protected Area today and several others were seen transiting the area. Sports-fishing boats were all outside the reserve.
The Nanoose Yarder, a tug, headed west through Race Passage with the fishing vessel, Arctic Fox II in tow. The Arctic Fox II was damaged by fire in Cowichan Bay last winter and looks like she will need some serious TLC before heading out again to troll for tuna, offshore. DND blasting continued.
The impression that the gull population was rising daily, returning en masse was not wrong. Nest site locations from last year are almost fully occupied. Pairs are standing close, pulling vegetation and starting to jockey for position with neighbours. No actual nest building has been observed yet. Canada Geese have been discouraged.
The idea that more California Sea Lions were showing up was backed up by more brands observed today and of course by the counts themselves. Today was animal census day and results are posted below.
|Northern Elephant Seal||0|
|Northern Sea Lion (Steller’s)||41|
|California Sea Lion||123|
|Bald Eagle (juvenile)||9|
|Bald Eagle (adult)||3|
|Glaucous-winged Gull (+ Xs in nesting area)||486|
|Glaucous-winged Gull (+ Xs outside of nesting area)||229|
Today was a catch-up day inside and chores were routine.