Wildlife


We didn't eat everything that moved. I regularly saw

There were no bears on Read Island, but I saw them from time to time when we were up Ramsay Arm or Bute Inlet.
There were also many kinds of birds, such as cedar wax wings, hummingbirds, swallows and bald eagles, plenty of frogs, toads, and garter snakes and an enormous variety of intertidal life.

And the odd gull.

Other marine fauna

Other flora

The most astounding display of the fecundity of the place came during one early morning fishing trip with Bob Grey and my father. We arrived at the Surge before sunup, just as the tide was changing. A huge full moon was just setting, casting a beautiful light on the scene. The only noise was the sound of our outboard as we trolled for salmon, and an almost constant blowing of killer whales and porpoises and mewing of gulls, punctuated every once in a while by the shriek and thundering dives of eagles. As the sun rose, and we grew aware of what was going on, we finally just stopped the motor and watched. A huge school of fish, maybe herring, must have been moving through, as there was a feeding frenzy of immense proportions going on. There were killer whales, porpoises and seals in numbers like I had never seen at one time. There were gulls, ducks, what we called shags (cormorants), loons and eagles fishing everywhere. Salmon were running at the surface, dorsal and tails fins leaving wakes as they ran twenty feet at a time before diving again. There were dogfish 'packs', something I had never seen at the surface before. These packs consisted of up to half a dozen dogfish swimming at the surface in a tightening circle. Presumably, the dogfish were trapping groups of the food fish inside the circle and feeding as they wound the circle tighter.

This display lasted for a couple of hours before we finally called it quits and headed back to home. I never did know for sure whether the main food was herring or perhaps a massive run of salmon, but looking over the gunwale of the boat into the water, I saw salmon by the hundreds. They may have been following a school of herring, which was breakfast for them and the birds and the dogfish, and they were breakfast for the seals, and the seals were breakfast for the killer whales.

Toast and eggs was breakfast for me; there were no salmon caught that day.


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