It is a wild Wednesday in Bird World

28 September 2022

It was really a difficult day to sit and think of hurricanes and osplets beaking one another. After Ian made landfall, I headed for the nature centre to check on that wee duckling. For the second visit in a row, I did not find it. I did find, however, a Solitary Sandpiper, some other Mallards, a couple of Northern Pintails, various Vireos, an adorable squirrel to mention a few of the birds that greeted me today.

A baby American Coot.

The White-breasted Nuthatch stayed at the peanuts for a really long time. The nature centre has a ‘hide’ (a building of sorts with openings where you can watch the birds and not disturb them). It was fantastic to see this beautiful bird make its gravity-defying struts over the wire mesh container.

What a darling. This little Red Squirrel had no idea I was watching him. He is in a perfect spot below the feeder with the American Goldfinches who are dropping seedings all over the place.

A very nice gentleman saw me looking at the Coots but pointed this Solitary Sandpiper out to me on the shore. There had apparently been a Green Heron here the week prior.

This is believed – by me – to be a Ruby-Crowned Kinglet female. But I am waiting for e-Bird to write back with confirmation. Our bird books with their images are often lacking in the kind of detail to make a certain ID and Merlin and I seem not to get along very well!!!!!!!!!!!!

They are moulting – these American Goldfinches.

Being out in the forest with the birds and a few people passing by, with school children researching leaf configurations, and Canada Geese honking in the sky was fantastic. It is the best way to relieve any kind of stress. Shinrinyoku – forest bathing.

In the Mailbox:

Mark your calendars for October 8. This is Cornell Bird Lab’s Big Bird Count Day. I will be posting more information nearer to the time.

As we sit with our eyes glued to the eggs on the ledge of 367 Collins Street waiting for hatch, ‘A’ sent me a note and reminded me of the day the eggs got pretty wet from the rain. Oh, I needed that reminder. It is possible that they will not all hatch. It is possible that none of them will hatch. And bless this young couple if all four do hatch! That new male will really have to show that he is up to the task of feeding a family of 6 including himself. The old dad sure was!

Making News:

The news continues to be about the impact of Hurricane Ian on our beloved raptors. Captiva/Sanibel took a direct hit from the hurricane’s core with winds at 155 mph.

Across the State and a little north is Jacksonville which is home to Samson and Gabby’s nest. This is a video of the impact of the winds on their nest.

Across the country, in the Channel Islands, Thunder and Akecheta were at their nest. It looked like there might have been some intruders as both appeared to be alarming at times. They are a super Bald Eagle couple and it is nice to see you, Cheta.

Australian Nest News:

A super nice fish has shown up at Port Lincoln at 08;28:53. Fantastic. Hopefully these osplets will calm down a little.

It is really nice to see Little Bob right up there in the sweet spot. That fish should fill them all up and put them into super food comas. Mum can have some fish, too, and the kids can sleep.

Little Bob is getting some really good bites and both the older siblings seem, at this moment in time, to be behaving and letting Mum share the fish all around.

A food delivery came around 0740 for the Mum at 367 Collins Street. She flew off the ledge but when she returned she ran from the opposite end of the ledge to the nest. She carefully placed herself over the eggs and rolled them.

My heart goes out to this Mum. She has had food -thankfully but, no real help with incubation. She has almost had to do it all. In Orange, Xavier is so anxious to incubate the eggs and take care of the chicks that it just puts a smile on your face.

How much longer will we get to enjoy the not-so-little Sydney Sea Eagles? They are jumping and flapping and seem to have mastered self-feeding in spite of themselves! Still, it is nice to be fed by Mum and I am sure Lady knows that the days are limited for her to feed her babies.

Thank you for joining me this evening for a brief check on the nests. Head over to Port Lincoln and re-wind to catch that 0830 feeding. Take care of yourselves and continue to send the warmest wishes to the people and nests being impacted by weather around the world. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and videos that make up my screen captures: Northwest Florida-AEF, and IWS, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, and 367 Collins Street by Mirvac.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks Mary Ann for the great updates.
    I’m so glad that all three got a lot of bites at port Lincoln and little Bob especially since the earlier encounter. πŸ™πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•
    The sea eaglets are gorgeous !❀️❀️
    Hopefully all will go well with Melbourne. Has old Dad still not been seen? Gosh I pray he is ok and. It injured. πŸ™β€οΈ
    The trip to the Nature Center sounds like a nice one today. Thanks for the photos of them and the ones we follow too:)
    The little red squirrel was darling 🐿
    I sure wish you could have found the little duckling. We won’t give up hope. Maybe it just swam away close by or left with other ducks. πŸ™
    Thanks Mary Ann and prayers still going up for everyone and our eagles and ospreys and all the animals in Florida who are going through this big storm. πŸ™
    Have a good evening and hope to hear from you soon.

    1. Little Bob ate so well. I worried Big Bob wasn’t going to get anything but the fish kept flapping and Mum moved it and she could reach its beak easier. Yes, I too, wish I could find that little duckling. I am hoping that it was hiding in the reeds. Many were.

      1. Linda Kontol says:

        Thanks Mary Ann! That little duckling could very well be hiding in the reeds
        Hope you see it soon.
        Continue praying for the Florida ospreys and eagles and all birds and animals and everyone in that storms path. I hope it disipates!πŸ™
        See you soon on here πŸ™‚

      2. Linda, I cannot even imagine. Captiva got hit with 155 mph winds. So very frightening and it is going to be a massive clean-up for everyone.

      3. Linda Kontol says:

        Yes it sure will be. I hope they can locate our ospreys and eagles and that everyone survives it πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™

      4. I think the birds will go and check on their nests when things settle down if the nests are still there! I just wonder what this does to the fishing.

  2. Alison says:

    Do we know yet whether Harriet and M15 are okay?
    Meanwhile, Little Bob has been doing SO well. A little dynamo from birth, that one. I am convinced we have another Ervie.
    At Lonsdale Street, I understand there is a pip, and certainly mum’s behaviour this morning would suggest a hatch is very close. How many of the eggs are viable remains to be seen. My heart goes out to this young mum. She has already worked so hard and the most difficult weeks are just ahead.
    I adore Xavier. Yes, he loves his egg time. And this season he does seem to be spending a lot more time in the scrape with Diamond, just hanging, occasionally exchanging quiet little chirps. It’s been heartwarming to see them together. What a beautiful (and hysterically funny) couple they are.
    Loved the little squirrel. I twice spent a year in the US as a child (academic father, sabbatical leave) and my favourite memory of the whole two years involves chipmunks. We got to drive from LA to New York, through several national parks on the way. The experience of a lifetime, especially back in 1965, when those parks were still pretty much pristine.
    Fingers crossed for the Collins Street scrape and for all the birds in the wake of Hurricane Ian.

    1. We do not know yet. I am checking every once in awhile. I think you are right. Little Bob is certainly proving himself to be worthy of the antics of his brother, Ervie. What a lovely childhood. Yes, the parks were amazing back then! That was what we did on our holidays – visit the national parks and historic homes. It was a great education and I love chipmunks, too. I am happy you are enjoying the squirrels. That little one at the nature centre was a darling. Oh, I hope that Mum does OK at Melbourne. I keep thinking she must be worn out. I hope that the male steps up the food delivery and has things stashed in that corner already that we cannot see.

    2. Harriet and M15’s nest is completely gone but the tree is still standing.

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