My news of Daisy the Duck who has taken over the nest of the White-Bellied Sea Eagles in Sydney’s Olympic forest left off at noon on Day 6. Daisy had laid her 6th egg at 06:42:50. As I begin writing it is 15:56. Periodically, Daisy has taken down from her breast, rolled the eggs, pushed the egg cup with her paddles to enlarge it, and pulled tiny twigs and some leaves closer to her.
The weather forecast is not favourable. It says, “Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Large Hail from Wed 15:46-Wed 18:46.” damaging winds, large hailstones, heavy rainfall that could lead to flash flooding was part of the warning. No wonder Daisy did not want her nest by the edge of the Parramatta River. This forecast is not good but it might, again, work in Daisy’s favour. The tree canopy might protect the eggs and Daisy, if she remains. Lady and Dad are not at the River Roost. But, they, too might want the protection of the forest. We will have to wait and see. Several times I thought Daisy was leaving and she hasn’t. Here are some images from the afternoon of Day 6. Oh, this little duck is so vigilant. I continue to say that I want to dump a basket of leaves on that nest. Oh, it might make all the difference in the world. If the down gets wet and inevitably it will, it shrinks. Indeed, it shrinks like dryer lint which is why they do not recommend you leave dryer lint for the birds to line their nests in the spring.
We are now within the weather warning zone. The old Ironbark Tree is swaying a little and the wind is picking up as evidenced by the leaves on the nest blowing a bit. The Ironbark Tree is strong and flexible – like bamboo. No worries there. They have changed the warning to extend to 19:36. It is currently 17:07. Either a large drop of rain or a hailstone has just hit the camera. Daisy is wet. She is still on her eggs. Loud bird noises from the forest.
I have just received a note from a friend that says that there could be duck boxes in or around the Olympic Forest. If so, I wonder why Daisy didn’t use one of them?
I am curious about something, however. Daisy has been vigorously trying to get down from her chest and from the back of her body under her wings. I went back to look at Daisy’s nest from a year ago on Day 6. Here are three images of that nest. Please notice the amount of down.
To me, this nest was a beautiful work of art. Daisy could fold the down and leaves in on themselves when she left and cover with more leaves.
Notice the covering over. This is Day 6 in winter 2021.
Daisy was approximately a year old last January. She has pulled more down off for the nest. Notice it fluffying around here. You can see the down that Lady tossed around the nest. Last year there was more down and more plant material.
So, I will be watching. I am wondering if Daisy did, in fact, prepare a nest elsewhere and laid some eggs. Something happened to that nest and she decided to try the Sea Eagle’s nest even though it wasn’t her first choice. Did she use most of her down on the other nest? and how will this impact the likelihood that these eggs can be hidden? Just questions tossing around my head as I compare the egg cup from last year, day 6 to this year.
There were no intruders for Daisy on Day 6. She covered her eggs as best she could starting at 18:02:34 flying off the nest at 18:04:04.
The rain had been coming down for awhile and everything was wet.
It continued to rain after Daisy left. You can see one egg and you might also see the down which is wet and has shrunk.
No one has disturbed Daisy’s nest since she left. That is a big plus. She is going to have to pull leaves on other part of the nest and twigs if she lays more eggs which seems likely now.
Daisy is due to arrive back at the nest in about 2 hours and 15 minutes. I will post my next report after she has laid her egg on Day 7. You can watch Daisy here:
Thank you so much for joining me. Send all of your best wishes to Daisy, our adorable little duck.
Thank you to the Sea Eagles @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.