2 December 2023
I had a couple of conversations with an individual from the Bay Area in California on Friday. Our weather in Winnipeg is -1, with a low of -7 C. It is warm compared to when I moved to the Canadian Prairies – or that is my memory. Having far too many -30 or -35 C days was not unusual then. To stay warm, we dress for the cold, and our houses usually have double (double glazing) and triple-pane windows (triple glazing) with good insulation. I was asked what is the average temperature in December and I had to go and check. It is -8 for a high and -15 C for a low currently.
Dyson was in the table feeder eating yesterday. Oh, how I love that squirrel. I often miss her. She was really enjoying the solid nut block. And that nice thick fur for winter. Fantastic.
Little Red was back in the lilacs foraging on the ground along with eons of Sparrows. The European Starlings are here and I heard the Pileated Woodpecker but did not see it. What amazes me are the Chickadees that flit back and forth from a spruce tree across the road to the feeders in the coldest of weather. Each girl loves to watch them from the conservatory. Hope also jumps up and down trying to catch the birds on her bird TV programmes. It is so funny. She is a clone of Mamma.
When Calico came into our lives, I dismantled my old office for her. This meant that about three thousand books (yes, academics are book collectors) got put on temporary bookcases. Lately I have been wondering why the glass of the Japanese prints was so dirty and why the frames were always crooked in the morning. Now, I have my answer. Hope likes to walk and leap at them during the late night partying. I will be so glad to have those books back in their right spot.
Hope. Everything starts to happen around 2130 at night!
Missey continues to work on the twinkle tree. It is looking a little bedraggled with the branches pulled this way and that, too.
The girls are great. They have been doing their usual thing – Hope wants to watch the bird videos but sometimes excepts an old BritBox mystery. Calico eats and sleeps waking up around 2130 to wrestle with Hope and run over the house. Missey loves to play with Hope and both have once again, been around the twinkle tree.
I sound like a broken record, but every time I scratch Calico under her chin and she begins to purr or rolls over on her back for more, I melt. Cannot imagine her out in the cold.
Hope is very long. You can just see that little scab that is bothering me at the site of her incision. Talk about being a worried human Mamma!
I caught Missey as she came leaping to the top of a chair to get away form Hope.
The girls do not know it, but we are on the countdown to the little brother’s arrival. Like the eggs at Superbeaks, it is less than a week away. Will his name be Duncan after so many people, including my dad? Or Duncan Lewis, whose empathy saved the chimps? There are many more environmentalists. Or will it wind up being Hugo? All I know is that he must love people and want to snuggle! And not let these three older sisters intimidate him. He should be OK on that front. He was one of 7 kittens, all female, but he was born to a very tiny little kitten named Eva, young like Calico. I wish I could take her, too, but four is the maximum along with the outdoor kitties.
I am happy to say that ‘A’ is back with us. She kept good eyes on the Australian nests for me today while I spoke with folks in California about a podcast interview. I’ll let you know more about that at a later date. It is so nice to have ‘A’ back and to hear that things are going well in Melbourne.
‘A’ brings us really good news from Sydney and the Parramatta River: “December 1: both adults were at River Roost early, on separate branches, grooming then duetting. Juvenile was behind in the mangroves, out of sight but heard. The adults then moved together, duetting, with juvenile still noisy too. Later around 11am, parent delivered a fish at RR, eaten by juvenile. There was some disturbance over the wetlands with helicopter circling for mosquito control. Later in the afternoon around 5pm our juvenile was seen flying around & behind Mangrove Island Wonderful to see her flying so strongly and coping with a few chasers.
As I keep saying, this must be a joy to Lady and Dad as well – the very first time they have had the chance to do this with one of their eaglets. I am incredibly sad, and to be honest a little surprised, that only one of our juveniles appears to have made it, but considering the sad history of this nest, this is truly an achievement to celebrate.”
‘A’ reflects on Port Lincoln – its official report and her thoughts: “Breakfast is currently underway at Port Lincoln (10:30am local time) – the fish fairies arrived early this morning. Fran says mum picks the boat up from a mile away and goes to her ‘fish fairy perch’ and escorts them in. I wonder whether the osplets will be so familiar with the fish fairies that they see them as sources of food and are more likely to approach them than fludge! That would be interesting. But of course they won’t risk that and will cease the fish deliveries after they band the osplets.I remain extremely worried about what happens then. Two fully feathered osplets, not quite ready to fledge, on a nest where the parents bring in perhaps one fish a day, two at most. Imagine the incredible tragedy of losing them at that stage. We have about a week, 10 days at most probably, before we find out. I am apprehensive in the extreme.”
This was a really early delivery. Will we hope that Mum or Dad go out fishing later? Looks as if nothing is left on the nest for a bedtime snack.
Both osplets are working on their self-feeding, two different styles. Giliath stands up and #2 likes to eat duckling style.
Ervie has found a very special place to go fishing…he has progressed from those early puff fish to abalone! Do you wonder if either of the osplets from this season will fish for puffers? And don’t you just miss seeing Ervie on that nest. If I close my eyes, I can still see him flying in with a puffer stuck to his talons – a talon missing – and him munching away. What a wonderful osprey he is!
At Orange, ‘A’ remarks: “The sole surviving juvenile at Orange is doing well this morning. It has been spotted chasing its parents and on the tower roof. Cilla has taken a video – I will send it as soon as it is uploaded to the info section below the live stream. The weather has cleared up in Orange today and it looks like a lovely day. “
The biggest news with the Bald Eagles is what is going on at NorthEast Florida. V3 was a little late to come to the nest. In flew, A1 and him and Gabby got a little friendly. Will this turn out to be a threesome like the Trio on the Minneapolis Flyway? Does Gabby mate with A1 and has his eaglets raised by V3? Is Gabby not fertile yet? Will V3 get the boot? It really is ‘As the Nest Turns’ and I thought things had quieted down this year.
Wow. What an expression. It reminds me of individuals who ride bucking horses in the American and Canadian rodeos. You can tell A1 from V3 if you can get a chance to look at their talons. A1 has quite a number of black lesions just like one of the females after M15 last year.
V3 flies in a few minutes later to his branch and Gabby doesn’t say a word. “Oh, it has been a very quiet morning, dear.”
Bella and the new young male are still together.
Finally some Osprey action at Captiva!
A juvenile at the Osprey House nest enjoying its fish.
Missed the California Condor Rookie Release? Here you go!
News coming from Kahui and Hob Osterlund and the Laysan Albatross. Thanks, Holly!
When I continue to talk about how much politics is mixed up with the health of raptors in the grouse moor estates, here is a good read for those who do not understand why this issue is not going away. Why it is important to get a sound law and why it is important to make sure that unbiased individuals enforce it. Unbelievable.
Last, please do not purchase any bird seed this season in the mesh holders. You can help stop their use by refusing to purchasing and telling the shop owners to stop buying them for sale. You can also tell them why. Our nature centre had these monstrous things last year! At the same time, it is just as dangerous to purchase fruit and veg in these bags. They go to the landfill and it is there that all manner of birds get tangled in them. You must cut them up finely.
Thank you so much for being with me this morning as we wait…to see what will happen at the NEFlorida, for the eggs to hatch at Superbeaks and then elsewhere. Take care. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, comments, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog this morning: ‘A’, Sydney Sea Eagles, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Cilla Kinross, NEFL-AEF Deb Stecyk, HeidiMc Osprey House, Holly Parsons, Ventana Wildlife, Raptor Persecution UK, and Robin Sitka.