Things have been a tad wet over our way,so I thought I’d repost some shots. I took these originally on 2016 October 10. The spot is Rankin rocks which is east of Tofino about 5 miles or so down Tofino inlet. Tranquil’s valley can be seen in the background.
There are two types of Sea Lions we get here,Californians and Stellar’s . Cali’s are around 1/2 ton while their bigger cousins the Stellar’s are twice as large at 1 ton. Cali’s are generally darker than the Stellar’s and of course smaller. Stellar’s always like to be King of the hill on any rocky haul outs. The Californians will be down lower close to the waters edge while the big Stellar boys rest further up.
For some strange reason this fellow was all by himself. Usually they hang out in groups,sunning away with their noses pointing to the sky.
This fellow and I spent some time together. I called him “Lippy” because his left lower lip is damaged. You can clearly see how there is a tear in the upper lip. I wondered why? At first I thought of a boats prop but decided that wasn’t the reason. Propellar wounds have symmetry and repeat in pattern. Than I thought of a Fish farms predator net!
I’ve seen these guys get stuck in those nets before. They breath air like you and I and If they become entangled in the netting they can drown. The Lions charge the salmon nets hoping to grab a unsuspecting salmon! They push against the heavy nets trying to corral a bunch of salmon. Of course they cannot pull the much larger fish through the net squares,so they suck the internal organs of the fish right through the net holes. The salmon than sinks to the bottom of the pen net.
DIvers go into each pen every three days or so to see If there are any dead salmon. When they bring up perfectly healthy salmon with no guts you know there was a predator attack and it was a Lion.
Surrounding the fish farm site is another much larger net called a “Predator Net”(pred net). It engulfs the entire site and is about 10 feet away from the inside fish nets. Its designed to stop Lion attacks but Lions are always trying to get at those tasty fish! Sometimes a Lion will push the pred net in quickly to get at the salmon but get snagged. It looks like thats exactly what happened here to”Lippy” but he was lucky enough to escape with only face wounding.
I went camping last week. I like to camp in Tranquil valley. Each Winter a ballet of Trumpeters stays in Tranquil. They are not like their city cousins who allow people to get close.Just the opposite,they never allow anyone to get close to them!
Forget about your “Punxsutawney Phil’s” and alike for predicting when Spring is going to arrive! Its all Hollywood show and just entertainment. If you really want to know when Spring is around the corner just watch when the Trumpeters leave!
Animals are far more in tune with Mother Natures cycles than we clueless humans are! With the Trumpeters gone from Tranquil Spring is close……..maybe 3 weeks away folks! (for this area)
Now………having said that,the Trumpeters near Tsapee Narrows (K-18/19) are still around. There are 8 in their ballet. I stopped to glass them and was around 1/2 mile away from them. They know me well! I have a distinctive white coloured boat. Even being 1/2 mile away they began to raise the alarm! They have a small spot of land they like. They began to waddle into the water and soon took to flight!
They’ll be leaving soon,I suspect this week. Next Winter I am going to put a trail camera down there to record their daily activities. I did go to this spot to collect some feathers however. They never seem to leave me any large feathers,just small ones.
I count nine in this ballet of swans. I noticed that one is always on guard watching while the others sleep.
Tranquil One was perched on Rankin rocks. You can see Tranquil valley in behind.
I counted 8 today.Four adults & 4 cygnets.These are the hardest birds to get close shots of! Next time I go camping I have a plan! When I know they are inside the river system (only at high tide) I make a few noises.They’ll get nervous & begin to exit the river system.I know their normal exit route, so I’ll simply hide & wait for them to swim past.Once I start shooting the sound from the mirror reflex will spook them for sure,but by then its too late……I’ll will have gotten the shots! Busted!
These are Surfbirds resting.They are migrating right now southward.Rankin rocks provides them with a safe place to rest.No ground predators about. Migratory birds use these places in the same way you would use a hotel on your vacation.
Many birds tuck their beaks into their feathers while they are sleeping.