A fledge and a first fish meal…Wednesday in Bird World

18 October 2023

Good Morning Everyone!

I hope this finds you well. Have you had a good peek at that wee fluff ball at Port Lincoln. Two big events – a hatch and fledge. Smiling.

Tuesday was a bright light day. The leaves were the most magnificent range of magenta, brick red, orange, and incredible, joyful yellows I have seen this season. Walking to the little French bakery this morning for pain du chocolate, there was a nip in the air that made me think – if I didn’t know better – that snow could be coming. It isn’t, but gosh it is a reminder to find the winter boots, toques, mitts, and coats and make sure they are ready! A couple of years ago, I gave in and got outerwear rated at -40 C. It made a difference when heading out to check on winter birds or go for that daily walk.

Two of the girls were watching the bird videos – Missey and Hope. They are becoming playmates. Poor Calico. She is much too concerned about the pecking order to have fun! Gosh – she is missing out. This should be sorted out soon. Missey is just such a happy cat, laid back and relaxed. She can’t be bothered with Calico’s hissiness.

It was hard to tell but it appeared they preferred the squirrels to the birds!

Making the News. A ringed Ross’s Goose made its way from Canada to Norway. The Ross’s Goose is smaller but similar in plumage to a Snow Goose. Its neck is shorter, and it has a short bill. The body plumage is white with black wing tips. They benefit from the warming of their normal Arctic breeding grounds where snow is melting or non-existent, and there is increased plant growth. They are also now cross-breeding (hybridising) with the Snow Goose. They are known to only breed in Canada in the rich grassy areas of the Arctic Tundra. The nests are built on the ground using available plant material such as Birch, Willows, various Mosses, and the soft down from the female’s breast. They have one brood per year, laying 2-6 eggs. The females incubate the eggs while the males act as security guards. The only time the female will leave the eggs is to feed. Then, she will cover them with the soft down. Does this remind you of Daisy the Duck at the WBSE nest in Sydney? Gosh, she had a beautiful nest lined with that gorgeous down. The incubation period is 19-25 days.

Oh, what we have been waiting for – a wee bobble head to watch eating fish and growing and growing and then fledging. It happened at Port Lincoln on the 17th. By all accounts, everyone at PLO says this is the second egg. So, is it possible that were might have two or only one little chick this year? Believe me. I am thrilled.

Talk about melting one’s heart. I love hawks and falcons…I really do, baby storks, breathing things with feathers but there is nothing that touches me more than a day old osplet opening its beak for its first bite of fish.

Apparently, it has a name – Giliath. And before I could blink, the little one had already had 4 feedings!

You can see the white ‘egg tooth’ at the end of the top beak used to pound out of that hard shell like a pick axe. There are those black eye bands that will help this little one fish in the future, stopping the glare from the sun and the water….the softest light grey down, little wings, the hint of the ebony stripe that will run down its back and only a mention of where the tail will be. It is a ‘fat’ little thing and looks mighty healthy and strong. Don’t you want to just reach out and stroke it?

Dad2 sees his first baby!

Our new Dad.

At Orange, the chicks are patiently waiting while they know they are simply ‘starving to death’….gosh, these two are so cute. The girls and I have been reading Helen MacDonald’s H is for Hawk. If you haven’t read it, please do – MacDonald is an amazing researcher and writer who brings her own biography into her love of hawks and eventually to her becoming a falconer.

When we finish with H is for Hawk – it is such a good read it will not take long – we are going to return to another book about falcons that is another enlightening read. The book is about a rescued falcon, healed, and released by Ffion Rees. It is Queen of the Sky and the text and illustrations are by Welsh artist, Jackie Morris. They are lovely.

‘Peregrines are simply mesmerising; their streamlined shape; their sombre colours redolent of the uniform of some secret, crack military unit; their sublimely skilful flight, on the razor’s edge between control and fierce abandon. Seeing a peregrine feels not only viscerally pleasurable but important, significant. Meaningful’. (Quote by N Davies in Morris, 4)

They don’t look like the fastest thing on the planet – yet.

Liznm gives us a giggle -.

And another cute video by SK Hideaways.

Little Barru decided that he was going to self-feed on some of those feathers in the nest. I wonder what Di thought when she turned and saw him?

In 1936, Captain Gilbert Blaine said of the Peregrines, ‘Of all living creatures she is the most perfect embodiment of power, speed and grace’. They do not look like it now but just wait…the transformation that Marri and Barry will make before the middle of November is going to be extraordinary.

Sometimes it is hard to find one or the other of the sea eaglets on the natal tree. They are climbing all over the branches.

It is official. SE 31 fledged – 14:33:13. 

The official video of this huge milestone in the life of this beautiful sea eaglet.

To the relief of all, 31 was back in the nest sleeping with 32!!!!!!!!!!

They really are a lovely couple – M15 and his new mate, F23. I love watching the posts and the chat and the discussions over the nest building and how it is different without Harriet’s supervision. It is clear from his current efforts that M15 likes rails!!!!!!! But don’t you just love the look in his eye when he looks at her? After last year, it appears he got himself a good one but…don’t let me get too far ahead. Let’s see what kind of Mamma she will make. Fierce, I think.

A fish gift for the new female.

Not an eagle at Captiva!

Trudi Kron caught Mr North and Mrs DNF working on their nest in Iowa.

Jackie and Shadow work in unison on their nest! And look at that time stamp. Raptors are so predictable. Ospreys fly from their summer nest to their winter perch – sometimes more than 4000 miles – landing precisely. Jackie and Shadow arrive at the nest after 1800 for the past several weeks.

An announcement from Audubon you might be interested in…

Week’s migration count at Hawk Mountain.

Migration. Black Storks. Karl II’s family. Kalvi is reporting from Bulgaria. Waba was in Israel (not comfortable because of the current state of life there) and is not reporting. Karl II and Kaia not reporting. My worry beads are out.

Oh, thank you so much for being with me today. Take care of yourselves. We want to see you here with us in Bird World soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, articles, videos, photographs, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog this morning: ‘A, H’, Bird Guides, PLO, Helen MacDonald, Jackie Morris, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Liznm, SK Hideaways, Sea Eagles, Rebekah Dawn, Sharon Pollock, Lady Hawk, Sassa Bird, Trudi Kron, FOBBV, Orion Magazine, Hawk Mountain, and Looduskalender.


  1. Sassa Bird says:

    Hi, Mary Ann! Beautiful photos of your cat companions enjoying nature. I’m so happy that Missey’s able to move on since it’s known to be hard for pets when loosing one of their buddies. Hope and Calico are great distractions. It’s funny how Calico tries to establish the dominant position when Missey’s not even asking for it. She really looks like a very satisfied and laid-back cat lady. She reminds me of my beloved cat Felix from my childhood. Sadly, one day he disappeared outside without a trace, but I still think of him from time to time. It was a hard thing to overcome at that age. Missey looks so much like him. I agree with you – it would be even preferrable if Port Lincoln Mum and Dad has one very strong chick. The previous cases of siblicide at this nest makes us all wary. I’m so overjoyed for M15. It looks like he has found a truly good one bearing some traits of Harriet. She will definitely keep him on his toes 😜 Can’t wait for them to create some beautiful offspring. It looks like WBSEs were struck by an owl early in the morning. The owl struck SE31 once and Lady twice, but thankfully everyone’s ok. Well, there’s always something – in the absence of curras some owl is acting up…Hopefully, that’s an isolated incident 🤞 Thank you for all the other info! I love your book suggestions – I always make screenshots and save them and hope I can read all these gems someday.

    1. Those little Boobook owls have nests near to the WBSE. They caused Lady to get an injured eye if I recall but what a nuisance they are. I am glad the Currawong are not as aggressive (so far) this year. Would love to see these two beat the odds and have Lady and Dad move them down to the river and train them to fish and hunt. What joy that would be! — My son’s cat went into the forest this summer. she was 20 and had not been doing well. He said just this morning that she saved him the trauma of dying in his eyes..she was his ‘daughter’ so to speak. it is so difficult to lose them. I am grateful for Hope helping Missey. Hope is definitely a gift. Calico on the other hand is definitely the boss – and like you say Missey isn’t even wanting that position – so it is odd.

  2. Sassa Bird says:

    Oh, now I see that Port Lincoln family has welcomed another chick. I hope he/she gets strong very fast. Keeping my fingers crossed for them!♥️

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