20 June 2023
Good Morning Everyone,
I am just starting my blog for tomorrow and the news on the TV is on – I don’t have TV at home (only the wifi cable) so sometimes it is a bit of a treat but this is all about weather – no BBC news. There is SNOW in British Columbia (Kelowna), flooding in Alberta, 20 tornadoes in Mississippi, and deadly storms moving from Texas to Florida. Of course, I am thinking about all the birds and wildlife – there are many others thinking about people! Please stay safe!
It is a beautiful day in Manitoba. The thunderstorms that were forecast have not happened. The breeze on the island is a nice change from the hot humid city.
A beautiful spot to have dinner while watching Barn Swallows and Dragonflies eat the mosquitoes and the huge horse flies!
Ringed-billed Gulls are one of the most common birds in North America. They are easily distinguished from other gulls by their mustard yellow bills and that thick black ring. But look at those eyes…in the 9th and 10th centuries, the Chinese perfected porcelain and high-fire glazes. One was celadon – designed to mimic jade. But the range of celadon hues went from light watery blues to olive green. That eye is also extraordinary with its kohl-like liner. Soft grey feathers on the back and wings and a black tail with white splotches complete its beautiful ‘costume’. Of course, the mustard yellow leggings match the bill!
It was difficult to tell the species of ducks…there were definitely Mallards and Green-winged Teals.
There were wee ones paddling about.
This is one of a pair of Tundra Swans at this pond, but at another, there were twelve. The Marina owner told me there were initially two, then six last year, and that number has now doubled. Everyone is delighted! We even had one lone Tundra Swan wintering over in a pond fed by an Artesian Well near Oak Hammock Marsh this past winter.
The roads were lined with Crows and Red-winged Blackbirds. There were hundreds of ducks and a Bald Eagle flew over the pond at dusk. Pelicans and gulls were flitting about along with a myriad of songbirds.
I learned two exciting things this evening. The first one is fascinating in light of changing climatic conditions. Bald Eagles are now at Hecla Island in January because there is ice fishing. Remember – migration is more about a constant food supply than it is about temperature. Eagles prefer cooler weather as opposed to the hot (sorry Florida!). The second is that American White Pelicans have breeding nests around Deer Island. I hope to go by boat before I head home.
I am hoping to see a few more Bald Eagles flying low on American Eagle Day!
Speaking of eagles, our dear Murphy is back in his own enclosure, free to have a nice bath in the pool and eat his food without his ‘little baby’ taking it! Murphy gave us all hope that the impossible could be made possible through love and compassion.
Thank you for all the notes about Little Mini at the Patchogue Nest. Sundays are always difficult with Dad not being able to bring in many fish. This generally translates into the big siblings being ravenous on Monday. Still, Mini seems to have eaten well enough.
‘L’ wrote that Little Mini had a nice late feeding! Well done, Mini.
Tiny Little not only had the private late feeding but everything is back to normal…he got the first fish while the others slept and preened. Way to go Tiny! You are not so tiny anymore…look at those lovely feathers coming!
The Marders have retrieved the two osplet bodies. Thank you ‘SW’ for sending me that message. I am so pleased that people want to follow up and find out what caused this tragedy, as it might lead us to understand what has happened at some of the other nests that lost osplets. The surviving chick appears to be doing better. Fingers crossed.
‘A’ has been anxiously awaiting two events – Deyani’s fledge and the second egg at the WBSE nest in Sydney. Here is her report:
“Lady did not leave the nest after she returned from her break this morning (as per my earlier email), but I note that she has a very healthy crop, so obviously had a nice breakfast during her short break this morning. Just before 11:31 she stands, stretches and reveals – ONE egg. Still no potential sibling. I repeat – if it is not laid in the next few hours, we will have a gap of more than 72 hours between eggs (it’s already closing in on 70 hours). That is Not A Good Thing. The only salvation will be a mixed-gender nest where the second hatch is female. Otherwise, I would be anxious for a second hatch.”
Lady laid her second egg today. It was visible at 0704. Hard incubation begins!
“As night fell, Deyani was glowing in the dark, just like her beautiful mum. Her chest is quite snowy-white and she looks almost ethereal. Oh how we will miss this energetic little ball of fun. She and her gorgeous parents have been an absolute joy this season, have they not? I am already looking forward to next year, with the hope that this time, the hawklet can have a sibling.”
It is a really good thing that Deyani has not fledged. It has rained – pouring down rain and that brings me to memories of Little Yurruga or Indigo as ‘A’ reminded me. Young fledges are just learning about wings. The weight of the water is terrible for them as can be the cold and damp.
Deyani has the most gorgeous blue-green-gray eyes.
The Barnegat Light nest is extremely unstable. ‘H’ reports that Little got 13 bites of fish today which is noting to sneeze at but the significant changes have been that Big is now beaking and intimidating Little along with Middle.
At the Boulder County Fairgrounds, Little seems to have had at least one great meal. Look at that bulging crop!
It is difficult to see how much Little is getting fed at the South Cape May Meadows nest. Zeus and Hera are good parents and there is fish – the big ones need more than Little. Send good wishes.
Cowlitz Only Bob had some fish…oh, I wish there were more. This nest can, at times, be hard to watch…hoping.
The Italians are rejoicing. The Osprey Re-introduction scheme appears to be taking off!
Storks make me happy. Karl II and Kaia with their surviving three. Rain is forecast to come on Thursday!
It has been an excellent – and tiring – day, and it is nearing midnight. The nests that we have been worried about are alright, including Little at Barnegat Light. There was enough food. We need to wait and hope the aggressive behaviour dissipates.
‘R’ introduced me to Temple Grandin. Do you know this amazing woman? If not, check her out. I brought with me a copy of her book, Animals Make Us Human. She is remarkable for her dedication to making the lives of animals and their emotions understood. Will write a good synopsis when I am finished. Good night, everyone!
Thank you for being with me today. Please take care of yourself. Do not go out in the storms and be safe if you are in their path. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, recommendations, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped to make up my blog today: “A, H, L, R, SW’, Google Maps, World Bird Sanctuary, PSEG, Marders, Sydney Eagle Cam, Window to Wildlife, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ, Boulder County Fair Grounds osplets, SCMM, Cowlitz PUD, SK Hideaway and Cal Falcons, Gregarious J Toonen and Ospreys, Hawks Aloft Inc, and Loodeskalender Forum.