WBSE30 is alive…Saturday in Bird World

22 July 2023

Good Morning All!

It was an exciting time in the garden today. The usual suspects were all here but there was a new addition! The European Starlings brought at least one of the juveniles to the garden. It ate in the square feeder, drank in the bird bath, and went into the lilacs to be fed by a parent. Warmed my heart because so many of the Avian families in my neighbourhood bring their babies to the garden to eat and to be safe.

It is very difficult to tell European Starling adults apart – the males and females – just like it is with Blue Jays. This juvenile Starling is gorgeous. The bird book says it is a ‘dull grey-brown’. Well, I don’t think there is anything ‘dull’ about this little beauty.

Just look at the plumage. Under the neck is a soft dark grey collar with a light dove grey trim. Think about the reticula lace ruffs of European royalty in the late 16th century! Not precisely, but think along those lines when you look at the plumage of birds.

So now look at that lovely collar.

Then skip over to the wings and the rump and you begin to get the darkest charcoal, nearly ebony in parts with thicker and more defined outlines on the feathers. This time they almost appear bronze. This is seriously a handsome juvenile.

You can see more of that golden bronze that breaks into a rust when the juvie leans over and the light hits those feathers.

My goodness – what an excellent combination for a fall wardrobe. I worked with a man once that collected all manner of natural objects – well, he collected lots, but he often told me that we have to look to nature for the colours and the patterns. He was right.

The adult trying to find the juvenile in all the thick lilac branches to feed it. This is why I fill those feeders up day in and day out…I could not be more happier to see the adults bringing their babies to the garden. It is a tough world in an urban environment for wildlife. I continue to say that and I hope you don’t get tone-deaf to hearing it. We have taken over their habitat and it is up to us to help them. On the hottest of days that means water – water is hopefully something everyone can spare. But the next time you are tossing food into the bin look and see what you are throwing away. Would a bird eat it?

How did you spend your Friday? I know that many were watching Little Mini to see if she would fledge. Let us hope that she is with us a few more days before flying but, she wants to. Remember. Mini was so tiny we could hardly find her in the nest amidst the big siblings. She appears to be a female which means she has 50% more growth to do than say Three who appears to be a male. Her wings are the span of the nest, she has her tail feathers, now for all of them just to be ‘perfect’ and then, her body will know when to fly. Unless someone knocks her out of the nest or she gets crazy listening to Three ‘fish cry’.

Mini had at least two nice fish and a glorious PS on Friday. The adults do not forget about the chicks on the nest.

Look out below!

As a result of Mini and doing a lot of clearing out, I did not watch the nests on Friday hardly at all. And that is sometimes a good thing. It was not a beautiful day – it was hot and very humid. I still need to get to the nature centre for my daily walk. Instead, I watched Little Red harass Dyson over peanuts. Red squirrels can be very aggressive. I was just screaming at that squirrel who was obviously stashing the peanuts in the wood pile while the others wanted to eat.

Many of you have written in to see what has happened with WBSE30 presumed to have died. Well, she is alive!

There is some nest news and let’s go and see what happened on Friday and early Saturday morning.

Glaslyn: OH2 has not yet fledged – at least not at the time I am writing but it is going to be soon. 0H1 has fledged – both are males.

It was a nasty day at Glaslyn and Saturday morning is even wetter. Happy that 0H2 decided to stay on the nest.

Dyfi: Home to Idris and Telyn. Everyone is soaking wet Saturday morning.

Llyn Clywedog: Every time I think of this nest, I tear up. Dylan and Seren had two beautiful healthy osplets. When I first saw the fish on the nest just there, no one about, my heart sank a bit. thankfully, our fledgling arrived to claim it.

Alyth: The weather is much better and there are three fledglings waiting for fish deliveries!

The last chick did not leave this nest until mid-September and It is confirmed that Dad remained there feeding it all the time. What a fantastic nest.

Loch of the Lowes: Blue NC0 has not been seen for a week. She has not started migration – it is just too early. There have been intruders all season at this nest. I do not believe she would leave two fledglings for this long. Something has sadly happened to her although I hope that she lands on the nest and makes a fool out of me. That would be brilliant and it would be welcoming. Laddie is trying to keep intruders away and be both Mum and Dad. The fledglings are both hungry——and I do mean hungry. Just like they were at Achieva or at Forsythe, currently. He is doing the best he can in circumstances he cannot control.

Blue NC0 and Laddie LM12.

Laddie delivering a fish and the male PF5 got it – he is so hungry having been pushed about by the sister PF4…Two fish so far today – I cannot completely confirm who got the second but I hope that each fledgling got a meal.

Poole Harbour: Food security is paramount for a civil nest. Just look at Poole Harbour!

It is now confirmed that Blue 5H4 did a two-part fledge at 17:13:13 on 21 July. Returned safely. All waiting for their breakfast fish with CJ7 looking on from the perch.

Fortis Exshaw had such a huge fish that I had to post it earlier than H’s report. This nest should simply put a smile on our faces – it and Little Mini and even the Third hatch at Boulder. They are survivors.

‘H’ writes: “Things seemed to have settled for this nest since Mr. O came along eight days ago to help Louise after the disappearance of her long-time mate, Jasper.  Mr. O landed on the nest at 1205 to provide deterrence against an intruder, while Louise was out fishing.  Louise brought four large fish to the nest, and Mr. O brought a few sticks throughout the day.  At 1818 Louise assisted Mr. O with his stick placement.  At least one of the chicks seems to be learning from his stepdad, and has been practicing moving sticks around.”

Forsythe: “Fishing must still be difficult for Oscar and Opal.  There were only three fish delivered to the nest on 7/21, one by Opal, two by Oscar, and the fish were not very large.  Owen, the oldest of the two fledglings, managed to acquire all three of the fish, with nothing left over for Ollie.  Ollie last ate a small piece of fish at 0935 on 7/20.  There has been an increase in aggression on the nest.”

Kent Island – “All is well for Audrey, Tom, and their 40 day old offspring.  Some have been referring to the little one as ‘Junior’.  Junior is simply cute as a button!”

Boathouse – “Life is good on Muscongus Bay for 42 day old Skipper.  Skipper has been learning from his dad, and he is becoming quite adept at rearranging sticks.”

Dahlgren – “The fledglings D11 and D12 seem to be enjoying exploring their new world.  They  both return to the nest for meals, and to sleep.  I am still amazed how peaceful this nest was all season, despite the siblings hatching four days apart.”

Thanks so much, ‘H’.

Tatarstan RU: Eastern Imperial Eagle nest of Altyn and Altnay. G osh those two little eaglets are growing and they are sporting some green bling!

Lesser Spotted Eagle nest of Anna and Andris in Zemgale, Latvia: What a gorgeous baby!

Karl II and Kaia Black Stork Nest, Karula National Forest, Estonia: Three gorgeous storklets waiting for fish in the morning sunlight. Thank you Urmas for ensuring this family has food in a year of drought and few fish or frogs.

News for Waba and Bonus, the two surviving fledglings from Karl and Kaia’s nest of 2022 (Bonus was a foster from the nest of Jan and Jannika):

Dorset Hobby Falcons: One is Self-feeding! That nest is getting smaller as these two fluff balls grow bigger and bigger.

There is growing concern over the kills by goshawks of ospreys. I am reposting a FB post so that you can see this fantastic image of an Osprey’s talons. Notice the curve and the reason for this – it is not for fighting. Ospreys cannot defend themselves with their talons like eagles and hawks can.

Puts a smile on your face. There are many kind people willing to drop everything and help our ospreys.

Sadly the osplets were lost. But like so many of you who saw this earlier and wrote to me – if it was such an iconic nest, why were these chicks not saved like the ones in Nova Scotia? Did the fire burn so quickly? Did no one not see the smoke and get help? Can you imagine those adult ospreys flying above the nest seeing their chicks burned alive? Will the power company put up a new safe platform on a pole nearby like in Nova Scotia?

I have been asked to spread the word about a beautiful white parrot that needs to be located. It belonged to an elderly woman who was ill and could no longer care for her beloved pet. She entrusted the bird to A Tropical Concept Exotic Bird Rescue, who then found an adoptive home. The individual who took the parrot was a ‘flipper’ – get the bird and resell. A Tropical Concept Exotic Bird Rescue wants to find Bella, the white Parrot. She is unusual in that the parrot will say, ‘Bella, Bella, Bella’. If you or someone you know might have seen or had contact with this parrot, there is a $3000 USD reward. It is believed the bird could be in Arizona but, as I know, birds are flown daily so she could be anywhere. They just want to know that she is well cared for. No questions asked. Here is the contact: https://www.facebook.com/atcbirdrescue

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog this morning: ‘A, Geemeff, H, J’, Wikipedia, the Spruce, PSEG, Linda McElroy and Raptors of the World, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Ospreys, CarnyXWild, Alyth, LOTL, Jannet King and Love for the Pool Harbour Ospreys, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Fortis Exshaw, Lisa Lavargna and Ospreys Only, Cherly Scott Trueblood and Birds of Prey, Forsythe, Kent Island, Dahlgren, Boathouse Ospreys, Tatarstan RU Eagle Cam, LDF, Eagle Club of Estonia, Looduskalender Forum, Dorset Hobby Falcons, and Sunnie Day.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann for all the updates and beautiful pictures and links !
    The pics from your garden are so cute! Love the little Starling!💕 thank you for the parts of a bird too! So glad to know that WBSE30 has survived and is alive! Awesome!❤️. Glad for the rescues and sad for the fire. 🥲
    All the nests look good and the ones ready to fledge are all so pretty! Here and the overseas ones! Mini could go anytime but I’m in no hurry. I feel like she will fledge when she is ready. ❤️
    Thank you Mary Ann and enjoy your Saturday! See you here soon!

  2. Sabine says:

    Oh, it’s such a relief to know that WBSE30 is alive! Thank you! And thank you for all the other captivating information. And for following our Lesser Spotted Eagle Nest – that eaglet is beyond gorgeous! Keeping my fingers crossed for all the osprey families struggling! Especially for Loche of the Lowes nest – hoping for a miracle and, if not to be, for dad to give his all to his offsprings’ survival. And that burning nest – that is stuff nightmares are made of…those poor parents 😢

    1. It is my pleasure. I wish I had more time to follow all of them more intensely but I have a fondness for your nests and that of Karl II!

  3. Mario says:

    We have lift off. Mini goes out of camera view around 2:32 pm Patchogue time, comes back down after about 5 seconds.

    1. Oh, Mario. I missed it…I will go and look now…when I went she was there and I did not rewind. Well done Mini!!!!! Now we know she can fly – and so does she!

    2. Ah, it looks like it was a super high hover not a flight…but we are almost there.

  4. Alison says:

    I am SO thrilled to hear that SE30 is alive. Mary Ann, you know how amazing this timing is, as I had only that day or the day before commented to you in this context that feathers beneath a tree could only have a sinister meaning. So I could not be happier to be wrong, although she has obviously been injured in some manner.

    Also bringing me great joy is the news that Bonus continues to do well. What a story that is. (Hint.)

    I continue to wonder whether there are more three- and four-egg clutches being laid by this year’s ospreys or whether it just seems that way because of all the streaming cams. Do the figures suggest there are a higher percentage of larger clutches this season and if so, what might the reason for that be?

    1. Good Morning Alison! I wondered if you were so caught up in the cricket that we had lost you for a bit! It is glorious news that SE30 is alive and I hope that whatever injury she might have had she is fine…it is pip watch for the two new eggs. I will let you know about the numbers but it appears that there is a large number of nests with four eggs many that did not hatch this year. I will find the stats and post later this week.

    2. Hi Alison, I am gathering up the information but so far we have 297 osprey eggs that we have watched from hatch. Out of those 30 DNH (10.10%), 63 died (23.6%), and 204 lived. I am checking for the precise number of nests with 4 eggs – but there were quite a number and most DNH.

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