13 November 2023
Good Morning Everyone,
Oh, oh….Sunday was so warm. It went up to +6 C. The sky was blue. There was a little bit of wind, and it was a perfect day for a long walk at the nature centre. There were 2 Bald Eagles, a Northern Shrike, 2 Red-headed Woodpeckers, 2 Downy Woodpeckers, many Black-capped Chickadees and Dark-eyed Juncos, about 26 Hooded Mergansers, a single Cormorant, a host of gulls, a pair of ducks and squirrels running everywhere. Everyone was happy and smiling and greeting their fellow birders. Such a wonderful reprieve!
Here are a few images to share with you. The sun was about 3/4 of the way towards setting, and the light was so bright. I worked on some of the images, but still, they continue to look as if they were in silhouette. Apologies.
One of the nicest parts of my walk was sitting on a bench, closing my eyes, and listening to the sound of the geese honking as they flew in. Oh, how I miss that sound when they are all gone. The silence is simply too much.
A lone Cormorant.
Part of the Hooded-Merganser families that have been at the centre since the babies hatched in the early summer.
Nearer to the feeders, the squirrels were busy trying to pull the peanuts and other seeds out from the wire mesh.
S/he got one!
Hairy or Downy? I think it is a female Downy. Remember if you purchase these type of suet feeders to get the ones with the wooden triangle at the bottom. It helps the woodpecker to keep their tail straight and they can feed much more efficiently. They are a little pricer but I promise you they enjoy them that much more.
A Junco hoping to get some seed that one of the birds or squirrels knocks out of the feeders.
It was simply stunning. The light made everything so beautiful. The benches, the empty nests, the lake…even the ice!
The hide is where one of the feeding stations is located. It is perfect for watching the squirrels and little songbirds without scaring them. The wire mesh is to protect the newly planted trees from the deer, while the plastic sleeve around the trunk is to keep the rabbits from destroying the trees.
Before I went for my walk, the girls helped me clean the house. They are too funny. Hope has now managed to take over two of Missey’s favourite spots – the top of the wicker basket looking out to the garden and, of course, the sacred basket with Missey’s baby blanket.
Missey is waiting to see how long it will take Hope to find this other basket in the conservatory! Of course, the good thing is – Hope cannot be in three places at once so there will be a place for Missey (there are many others but Missey is particularly fond of wicker and baskets).
Calico has been getting many brushes during the day and I am rubbing her legs and back. Poor thing. I remember how thin she was when Hope (and any siblings) were newly born. Calico ate and ate…she would rush to finish to get back to her kittens. I worry that her young body paid for that…
They certainly keep me sane.
I missed the photo op, but little Hope was very curious today when ‘the boyfriend’ was eating. His missing fur on the tail and back are coming back in, and he sleeps regularly in the shelter. Geemeff suggested that he might be a good candidate for the male cat in the house…we will see. He was looking in the garden door today!!!!!!!!!!!! You might recall that Calico did that as well when she began to fully trust me.
I want to imagine that all of you are checking on three different nests – you are watching while holding your breath for Marri and Barru to fledge, worried to death about M15 and F23 and the GHOs, and watching those darling babies at PLO and praying for fish deliveries. Certainly that is where my focus has been while also waiting for news of the sea eaglets.
First, thank you to ‘M’, who wrote to remind me that M15 and Harriet had another nest on the Pritchett Property. I had forgotten. This is marvellous news. The GHOs concern me. We have witnessed them taking over eagles’ nests on the streaming cams. The first one that comes to mind is the young eagle couple on Farmer Derek’s property in Kansas.
The GHOs hit F23 three times Saturday evening. M15 came to protect her, and they were on the branch together in the morning. M15 delivered a nice fish in the nest for his new lady, and fingers and talons crossed, things go smoothly.
Lady Hawk put the attacks together in a single short video.
At Port Lincoln, Dad came through with a morning fish for Mum and the kids—those precious babies. Yesterday, one of them fed the other a morsel. It melted my heart. My bet is on these two being males. Gentle little males that will go wild once they fledge fighting for fish! Just like Ervie did with his siblings but, until then, perfect little gentlemen.
One large supplementary fish came on the nest, and my goodness, I am not good at identifying fish, but it sure looks like a shark.
Mom’s eyes look like they will pop out.
The look on Giliath’s face tells it all!!!!!!!!!!
#2 likes the shade of Mamma…this fish will last a long time. Maybe #2 will begin pecking at the tail, too. How wonderful. Thank you, Fish Fairies.
They cleaned up the fish. Giliath might have been in a perfect position, but #2 got lots of fish. Both left the feeding with bulging crops – and happily, Mum could also get a good meal. Let us hope Dad brings another nice fish to the nest for his family later in the day. Otherwise, it will be a long time until the fish arrive tomorrow. Dad came and took the fishtail at 13:53, but Mum seemed to have quite a few scraps in the nest, and the chicks were already thinking it might be good to eat them.
You can see #2’s crop in the image below. Giliath’s head is behind Mum’s right wing.
Ah, and I bet you have noticed…we don’t have reptiles anymore. Look at the beautiful feathers and that deep thermal down that will help our ospreys regulate their temperature. Look at the size of the wings and those cute tails. Growing up!
‘A’ comments on those feedings at PLO: “Every year, there comes a moment when I genuinely wonder whether a crop has ever literally burst. Surely a crop the size of Giliath’s or Little Bob’s must be extremely uncomfortable. I wonder whether they need to leave the food there for a period of time for primary digestion before crop dropping it into their stomachs and whether it is uncomfortable or painful to swallow too much too soon. They don’t seem to do it all that often, though we do see smaller hatches doing it if they’ve waited a long time and suddenly get some fish or occasionally when they are trying to fit more in during a particularly lengthy feeding to which they return several times. (Little Bob has done it once or twice when mum has been particularly insistent during one of her hour-plus feedings. Some of these fairy fish are gigantic, thank goodness.) But this evening (it is 18:20 in Port Lincoln) everyone is full. Mum has eaten heaps. Dad has taken the fish away, eaten, and brought back leftovers. He’s a good dad. He tries. Sometimes, it’s very gusty and the waves are extremely choppy. I imagine it could be very difficult fishing there at those times, which occur most days – some days are just particularly bad. “
Several other news items from Port Lincoln. It was Calypso’s mate (he is the 2019 hatch at Port Lincoln) that was found hanging upside down on a pole. The female flew off but has not been seen. People are watching out for her. Calypso was at the nest looking and calling for her.
Did Ervie go to help search for his brother’s mate? –Sadly, Fran Solly has now posted that Calypso’s mate has been found dead. This is so sad. So many Osprey’s lost, so few because they are so endangered in South Australia. Now for Calypso to find another female. Condolences to all.
Love the Port Lincoln Ospreys? Friends of Osprey Sth Australia have calendars and I understand that it is full of Fran Solly’s amazing photographs – even Ervie!
The money from all of the fundraising projects goes directly to put up the platforms, the trackers, etc. Here is a copy of the August 2023 newsletter telling you what was accomplished up to that date.
I am over the moon that Fran, Bazz, and Janet fought to intervene at the nest this year with supplementary feedings, just like in NZ with the Royal Albatross Chicks. I look forward to their research findings and want to help in any way I can so that they know their compassion for this family is appreciated…that is why I am posting the information about the calendar.
Partney and Marrum lost their only osplet to predation by a raptor (presumed) on Tumby Island. The Crows then took over the nest and the nest is now reclaimed by a pair of ospreys. It is not confirmed if it is Partner and Marrum.
More problems with Crows could have been the cause of the death of the osplet on the Sunshine Coast. So sad.
We have all been biting our fingernails watching Marri and Barru. Barru had a close call slipping out of the scrape, but thankfully, he recovered! It is 2130 on the Canadian Prairies Sunday evening, and neither has fledged, but they sure could while I am sleeping. These two are ready. Their interest is in the outside world. Diamond and Xavier are doing a good job keeping them focused on their flying – doing aerial displays and carrying prey. Everything the adults do is a lesson imprinted on the minds of Marri and Barru to take with them into their futures.
Still there…it is past midnight in Canada…
The Osprey Cam on Captiva will go live today!
The cameras at the West End are now live, too, and you can see both the old and new nests of Thunder and Akecheta! Amazing, Dr Sharpe. Thank you.
The cameras are back at Lock Arkaig and there are more visitors to Louis and Dorcha’s nest!
Was it Smitty?
‘H’ reports that “‘F’ eagle is back at Notre Dame Eagles, per post by Phillipe Josse 11/12, both she and Dad were in the nest briefly on 11/12.” Wonderful news for Little Bit ND17’s Dad!
Deb Stecyk gives us an update of some of the Bald Eagle nests in Canada and the impact of the wildfires this past summer.
Good news coming out of the Kakapo Recovery on one of the Kakapo that had to go for treatment to Dunedin.
‘A’ sent this to me and I missed it so did not include it with the Sunday newsletter. Hopefully there will be some sightings of the eaglets.”Finally, the report for 11 November from WBSE: November 11: Prey delivery last evening at 6:30 to Mangrove Island, not sure if juvenile was about. This morning at 7:45, an adult, I think Dad, was on mangroves where seen yesterday. Hard to see if a juvenile is there in the shadows. Lots of river traffic, with scullers going close and loud microphones yelling training orders. Rivercats passing, dozens of watercraft – Dad ignores them it seems. At 8:01, I heard a juvenile squawk and a currawong – close to an adult. Lots of rubbish under the mangroves, and I heard another threat. Hearing a Koel – is it yelling at the juvenile as well? Pied Oystercatcher flying past. Striated Heron. Great Egret with breeding plumage. Mangrove Gerygone behind me. Later, around midday, the ground team reported adults on Mangrove Island and circling over the area, but no juvenile or feeding was seen.”
And then the report for yesterday from WBSE, thanks ‘A’: “November 13: Early in the morning, I saw one of the adults down in the mangroves, then the other as well. One soared so high overhead, I could no longer see it. The adults were hard to spot on the river, not always in their familiar roosts, and seemed to be moving further into the mangroves. Later, at last, we saw one of the juveniles on a branch in the mangroves – so hard to spot in the shadows, with its brown colouring (see the picture). It stayed still there for over 2 hours while we were watching, with not a sound. One of the adults was moving in and out, but we saw no prey delivered. Again the mullet are jumping. We saw the male Osprey over the Nature Reserve wetlands, flushing out about a dozen lapwings. No more news during the afternoon. As there is an “empty nest” now, or mostly, we rely on ground observers to report any action on the river.”
Oh, I wished I lived closer to Vancouver! If you do, then here is a real opportunity.
HPAI or Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza or Bird Flu is claiming so many of the sea and shore birds.
Thank you so very much for being with me today. Take care of yourself. We hope to have you with us again really soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, comments, videos, photographs, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, Geemeff, H, M’, SW Florida Eagle Cam, Lady Hawk, PLO, Friends of Ospreys Sth Australia, Anita Corran, Eric Kotz, Wildlife at Osprey House, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Window to Wildlife, Jan Gallivan, Geemeff, Deb Stecyk, Kakapo Recovery, Hancock Wildlife Foundation, and Bird Guides.