Three for Diamond and Xavier…Friday in Bird World

8 September 2023

Gosh, another week has flown by. Honestly, I do not notice unless I have an appointment. All of the days blur together, and that is perfectly fine. It was nice to put up the watch and not have the calendar overflowing with appointments once I retired. As one former student says, ‘My days are busier and fuller,’ but my choice is what they are busy or full with. Garden animals, birds, and kittens…

When my grandmother could no longer make the elaborate patterned quilts of her youth -because her arthritis in her fingers was so bad in her 90s- she started making strip quilts. [The woman could not sit still for long. S he was gardening, raising chickens, doing embroidery or quilting til the day she died. She was an incredible role model.] That is what she called them – long strips of material pieced together. Sometimes, she would tie the layers together with bright embroidery thread that ‘tickled’ my children. They became known as ‘tickles’. Calico was sleeping on one of those today – a tired Mamma!

To see this little kitten follow its Mamma or to peek around the corner and see them sleeping together still brings tears to my eyes. Honestly, I did not think this would happen.

Both Calico and her daughter have a black tear on their left tear duct.

The sunlight is so crazy often the pair are bleached out in the images and no adjusting will help! Calico spends a lot of time washing her little one. There are so many kittens in the lost kitten postings and Hope is so healthy compared to them. S he has no eye problems, her fur is in incredible condition and she is ‘fat’.

Missey and Lewis are doing brilliantly. Today Calico wanted out of the conservatory, and when she was in the main part of the house, Lewis was friendly! I almost fell over. In fact, Lewis and Missey are back to their old selves – confident that there is lots of food and love – enough to go around to four. It reminds me of Ospreys and little eaglets in the nestHoping to have the kitten integrated by the end of the weekend as Mamma goes in for her surgery on Tuesday.

I was away for part of the day, and when I got home, the first nest I checked was Mini, and there she was. Mini arrived at 18:47. The left leg is still held – and may always be – out at an odd angle. It does not look any worse in my humble and non-wildlife rehabber/vet/vet technician-trained eye. Her crop was not as full as it often is, but it was still a gift to see her, and I hope she gets an evening fish or one first thing in the morning.

Mini was on the nest in the evening. It was good to see her resting her leg.

At 22:59 she raised herself up – it made me ache a bit to see her with that left leg still causing issues but, she did quite a normal looking ps. Thick and well projected over the edge. She is eating. Who is getting the fish is unknown.

At Alyth, Harry has been busy feeding Chirpy some really nice Flounder and other fish every single day, sometimes several times a day. Today Harry arrived with a fish and no Chirpy. Has Chirpy migrated? We wait to see but it certainly looks like it. That third hatch never wanted to miss a meal!

Swoop is still delivering to Crackle at Dunrovin.

‘H’ tells us what is going on with Molly and Dorsett – they are still home!


Kent Island, 9/7 – For the second straight day, we did not see the fledgling, Molly.  Some believe that Molly may be exploring a wider area, perhaps catching her own fish, and that we may see her again.  In the meantime, Tom was seen dining on a nearby dock, and we saw either Tom or Audrey perched in a tree.  The most pleasant surprise was when Audrey arrived at the nest around 9 pm, and spent the night on the nest.  It has been a very long time since she did that.

Barnegat Light, 9/7 – There were at least two fish brought to the nest by Duke for Dorsett.  Dorsett was a little conflicted as to where to eat her breakfish at 0645.  She first took the fish to the 22nd street pole and ate a bit, then she flew to the 24th street pole and ate some more, and then she changed her mind once again … back to the 22nd street pole with the fish, lol.

Tweed Valley’s Poul is now in central Algeria. Ah, he didn’t stay in Morocco like Glen. Curious path. We wait to see where he goes next.

Xavier and Diamond were right on schedule with their third egg on Thursday. I am going to say something that will be wildly unpopular and then I will forever hold my peace – I actually hope that only one egg hatches. Diamond does better with a single chick that grows to be big and strong like Izzi than she does when there are two. I can’t even begin to imagine three ——and I adore Diamond. Just my own personal observation which, in the world of nature, doesn’t mean a heck of a lot!

SE 31 and 32 are growing like crazy! 31 has become an expert self-feeder.

‘A’ reports: “SE31 is really getting serious about self-feeding, which is so funny, because we thought SE32 would master this skill first and of course during that week or so when he was being intimidated, he did make some early attempts but did not have the weight to hold down prey. Now, it is SE31 who is waiting for food while SE32 gets fed, and she is getting impatient enough to start self-feeding while she waits. This eel is perfect for the purpose, long enough for Lady to feed SE32 from one end while SE31 self-feeds from the other. She starts off having some problems opening the eel but soon works it out and is doing a great job of using her right foot to hold down the food. The eels can be difficult, and Lady sometimes has to work really hard to separate the flesh from the skin, so I am really impressed by SE31’s effort on this one. It has only been opened at one end, the end from which Lady is feeding SE32, so SE31 is doing great work. Check her out from around 15:40! Quite the professional. Well done SE31! SE31 is much more balanced on her feet than SE32 and is practising her walking and her wingercising with vigour. She is really starting to look more like a juvenile than a nestling, with her beautiful feathers growing in by the day. Two absolutely exquisite sea eaglets. How lovely it is to see them getting along so nicely again. This nest really does have something special, as according to my reading, many authors consider this an obligate siblicide species. Fledging two happy eaglets who get along well season after season is quite an achievement if that is the case, and one can only assume it has something to do with the parenting on the nest. It is not because we have single-gender clutches here (especially two males). As far as I can recall, the last three seasons have seen a female first hatch with a younger brother. So unless there’s something genetic that makes the offspring of this couple particularly laid-back, it seems to be more nurture than nature as it were.”

There should be another egg arrival at Port Lincoln.

At Collins Street, Dad brought in a Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike for Mum. Wow. Way to go Dad!

These Shrikes range in size from 32-34 cm and mostly feed on insects, seeds, and some fruits. They are stunning birds in terms of their plumage. The body is a soft pearl pale gray often paler on the belly. Their face has a very distinctive ebony black mask and throat. If you look carefully there may be some white edges at the wing and feather tips. The eye is black blending in with the mask while the sharp bill is a deep charcoal. The bird is really a study in greys -. Gorgeous. They live in wooded areas as well as urban habitats and farmland in a large area that reaches from Indonesia to Australia.

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike” by jeans_Photos is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

So are there two or three? We wait for the reveal at Collins Street.

At the Royal Albatross Colony, Manaaki is losing all of that fluffy baby down and starting to look like a juvenile who will soon embark on a journey so long and for so many years that it is hard for this human to fathom it.

Oh, wow. Good news from SWFlorida coming from ‘A’: “We have lovely news from SWFL, with M15 and his new lady love  having been observed bonding. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHlwSU3y4uA&list=TLPQMDgwOTIwMjPQFEwHlsRyRQ&index=3 Does this not gladden your heart? What a loss it would be if the best eagle dad of all time did not get the chance to be a dad again.”

Checking on Karl II and his family:

Kaia is in the Ukraine near some fish ponds. Nice.

Waba is also in the Ukraine.

Bonus is alive, but the transmitter is only sending out an alive signal not a location.

Kalvi is in Bulgaria.

There has been no data available for Karl II, the patriarch of the clan. I have not but am hoping to find an update somewhere for today.

Pharmaceuticals kill birds that forage. India, one of the largest manufacturers of pharmaceuticals for humans and non-humans, is banning two veterinary drugs that have proven to kill vultures – Ketoprofen and Aceclofenac- can no longer be manufactured, sold and distributed throughout India. Are these being used in your country?

BirdLife International has launched a Seabird Conservation Handbook for West Africa. Have a look at what is being done in the latest press release.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care of yourself. Hoping to see you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, comments, videos, posts, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, H’, PSEG, Sue Wallbanks and Friends of Loch Arkaig Osprey Cam, Kent Island, Wildlife Conserve of NJ, Tweed Valley Osprey Project, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Sydney Sea Eagles, Deborah Victoriana and Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, PLO, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, NZ DOC, Maria Marika, Looduskalender Forum, and BirdLife International.

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