The Daisy Chronicles, day 5

Daisy, that little Pacific Black Duck, arrived at the old Ironwood Tree deep in the Sydney Olympic Forest at 05:10:31 on 7 December. She is due to lay her fifth egg today.

Little is Daisy aware that a Raven came to the nest on Day 4, yesterday, and became curious. It did not, however, disturb the eggs. I am led to believe that this is because they cannot smell them. So if Daisy is able to gather more leaves – these are large eggs – she will be able to thwart the Ravens until such time she runs out of leaves and twigs and must use her down.

Also unknown to Daisy is the fact that Lady and Dad have returned to their River Roost from Goat Island. The streaming cam picked them up today roosting. Will Day fly into the nest to check today? He often does a quick security run.

See the two white dots on the tree in the middle. That is Lady and Dad.

The camera could not focus in on them but it is definitely the White-Bellied Sea Eagle couple that own this nest!

Last year Dad broke one of the eggs and ate it. He did not like the taste. Neither sea eagle likes the down – it sticks to their beak. They simply do not understand it – it is foreign to them. They were curious as to who was using the nest and Dad understood that eggs are not bothered. Indeed, one time I thought Dad was going to incubate those eggs of Daisy’s!

Daisy arrived at 05:10:31. Once again she was very cautious approaching her eggs.

Look who has come to see Daisy! Last year 8 or 9 Rainbow Lorikeets would come and visit Daisy every morning. They were all over the tree surrounding her. It was simply beautiful.

The bird coming down on the top right is called a Noisy Miner. Noisy Miners are members of the Honeyeater family. They are grey with a black head, a yellow-orange beak and feet with a light yellow patch behind the eye. There are also white tips on the tail feathers. They will not hurt Daisy or her eggs. They are curious but it is possible that they could draw the attention of other birds, like the Ravens, that could predate Daisy’s eggs.

The Lorikeets seemed to come every morning like they were saying hello to Daisy. And here they are today. The one must have told the others that their friend, the little Duck, was back in the nest of the sea eagles.

I don’t know about you but I had to run and get a tissue.

No words necessary as the Lorikeets continue to gather around Daisy.

We are nearing the time that Daisy laid her egg yesterday. I can still hear the Lorikeets and the Noisy Miner.

Oh, how grand it was to see the Lorikeets come to welcome Daisy!

Yesterday Daisy laid her 4th egg at 06:19:36. Egg 3 was laid at 06:55:07. I am hoping that it is earlier for Daisy today so that she can wait for the egg to harden, cover the eggs well, and get away from the nest before the Raven or the Sea Eagles arrive. Fingers crossed they stay away!

Daisy began gathering leaves around 06:23.

With the Sea Eagles back at the River Roost, I am so nervous for Daisy. Last year Dad visited often – curious to find out who was using his nest. I do not believe they would harm Daisy but Daisy and Dad certainly played tag with one another. I hope it is more peaceful for our little duck this year but who knows! Wonder when Dad will come and check on this nest?

It is 06:28 nest time. Daisy hasn’t laid her 5th egg. You can still hear the Lorikeets in the tree. Last year they seemed to be around when the larger predators weren’t. Come on Daisy, hurry! Lay your egg and get out of the forest.

At 06:32:55, Daisy lays her 5th egg!

Daisy moves around in the nest bowl clockwise.

She is moving the eggs about but she appears also to be using her paddle feet to enlarge the egg cup. How smart is that?! She needs those eggs to sink down low especially if she is going to lay several more. Notice how big those eggs are. It takes a lot of nutrients out of Daisy’s system to lay all those eggs.

Daisy has settled down lower than on previous days. She has also brought in some more leaves closer to the egg cup.

Daisy is trying to rest. If today, follows what has happened on the previous four days, Daisy will stay on the eggs for about 2 hours, cover them and depart. Let us hope that she is not disturbed and has time to get those leaves over so that nothing seems out of place if Dad or the Raven come calling.

At 06:42, there was only one Sea Eagle at River Roost. Is Dad fishing? or is he coming to the forest? We wait.

Daisy is way down on the eggs, her head tucked in. So far no Sea Eagle coming. Sometimes last year Daisy just got away in the nick of time. She needs to cover those eggs well though and not be in a rush.

Thank you for joining me today. I will continue to monitor Daisy until she departs and check on the nest throughout the day. If anything happens, I will let you know. Take care. Keep sending your positive wishes to our little duck, Daisy!

Thank you to the Sea Eagle@BirdLife Australia Discovery Centre for their streaming cam where I took these screen captures.

2 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks Mary Ann! Daisy is so pretty and so devoted and sweet! The lorikeets are so pretty! I love their colors! Prayers all goes well with Daisy’s eggs this season🙏❤️🐣🐣🐣🐣🐣
    Looking forward to read the next newsletter
    Linda

    1. You are so welcome. Poor Little Duck. She really has a lot of birds around that are dangerous to those eggs. I hope she makes it!

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