It is after lunch in Sydney, Australia and Daisy is fast asleep incubating her eggs. The morning has been quiet.
Daisy has 8 eggs in her clutch that she has been hard incubating. Daisy laid egg 1 on 3 December nest time. The 8th egg was laid on 10 December. She began hard incubation on 10 December if not December 9. Today is 22 December – the summer solstice – for Daisy. Daisy has been incubating her eggs for 13 days. Hatch will be 3-6 of January in Australia should the eggs survive.
Daisy really had a quiet afternoon. I could see nothing happening. The cam operator checked several times to see if the WBSE were at the River Roost but they were not.
As I remind everyone, there is no reason to believe they would do anything to Daisy from their behaviour last year which was curiosity about the down and Dad going into territorial protection wanting to catch who was using his nest. He was mesmerized by the eggs and at one time everyone thought he might incubate them. It was like he went into some kind of a ‘trance’ — seeing eggs in that place immediately reminded him of Lady’s eggs. It was quite interesting behaviour. He finally broke one but he did not like the taste. I am hoping that he remembers that if he scares Daisy off the eggs again this year.
Throughout the afternoon, Daisy kept gathering up leaves that she could see. She would stretch her long neck and pick them out from under the twigs. You could hardly see her on the nest when the shadows crossed over where the egg cup is located.
Every once in awhile she would see a piece of a leaf and pull it towards her using her bill as a kind of shovel.
Daisy began to cover the eggs around 18:03.
Daisy flies off the nest at 18:03:18 for her evening meal content that her eggs are covered enough to keep predator’s eyes away from them.
It is almost precisely two hours before sunset. Daisy is taking a chance that the Ravens will not come this time of the evening! On the other hand, the Sea Eagles might and that would be a good thing if she were not on the nest. Remember Lady was chased by the Currawong and was so busy watching them so they would not hit her head that she landed on the nest, honked a few times and flew off – she didn’t even look at the nest bowl and see the down. Oh, Daisy is lucky.
Daisy returned at 20:25:39.
It was – what appears to be – a relatively quiet day and evening for Daisy.
I was surprised, however, when Daisy prepared to leave the nest at 02:56:25. I say surprised because of the visit by the Bushtail Possum in the wee hours of the morning before.
I was even more surprised when Daisy walked straight forward, instead of taking the right turn she normally takes, to fly off. It then occurred to me that Daisy might begin to check places to leave the nest for the ducklings to follow. Could this be why?
She flew off the parent branch. Maybe it is a cleaner drop? If you look at the side she normally flies from there is a large piece of the nest with all its bits and pieces of twigs and branches extending out that the little ones might get caught in.
Sunrise is at 05:41.
Daisy returns from her foraging at 07:05:08.
The solstice is upon us. It is ‘winter’ in the Northern Hemisphere and ‘summer’ for Daisy in the Southern. It is the longest ‘dark’ day for us or the longest ‘light’ day for Daisy. In Canada, we look for the light that each day stays with us a little longer. The word Solstice comes from the Latin meaning the time when the ‘sun stood still’. Today, the sun is at its most southern position from Earth. It seems to stop and stand still at the Tropic of Capricorn only to then reverse its direction. It is a turning point in the seasons. It is a symbol of the Earth’s rebirth.
Wishing the rebirth of the sun to fill your lives, your home, your garden, and your heart with warmth and happiness…. Happy Winter Solstice to each of you. And to Daisy, our most favourite adorable duck, Happy Summer Solstice. We wish you an uneventful, boring day.
Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. I will continue to monitor Daisy throughout the day with a brief posting later today on the day’s events. Take care. See you soon!
Note: Congratulations to Samson and Gabby on their second egg which was laid yesterday at the NE Florida Bald Eagle Nest.
Thank you to the Sea Eagles @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.