10 September 2023
Saturday was the most gorgeous fall day. It was about 16 degrees C with a beautiful blue sky and some soft puffy white clouds as I travelled north from the City. You could see the geese overhead flying in their standard ‘V’ formation swirling around the fields that have been recently harvested – wheat and flax, mainly. There is something so magical about the rhythm of their lives. They come in late March or April and being heading to their winter homes in September-October. At one of the local nature centres, they fly in by the thousands at dusk (on a good day). Their black silhouettes filling the horizon as the sun begins to slowly set in the West.
One of the best places to see the geese in the afternoon is at Oak Hammock Marsh.
A lone American White Pelican and a Trumpeter Swan with all the geese landing at a small pond by the road.
On the way home there was a beautiful Red-tail Hawk hunting in one of the fields. What a magnificent raptor. No photo…just watched it for a bit and left quietly — we must always remind ourselves that their lives are overtly challenging and any opportunity for a meal should be respected and we should ‘disappear’.
Oak Hammock Marsh is run by Ducks Unlimited and the Province of Manitoba and is an extensive wetland. Being there reminded me that ‘R’ had sent me an article several weeks ago and our discussion about how we need cooperation to protect the birds. What he sent me was about the Excise Tax in NJ – how that comes from the sale of hunting equipment, firearms, permits, etc. goes to help with the conservation of the birds, such as our beloved Ospreys, in the state of New Jersey. We talked about how this could be a blueprint for the future if we want our birds to thrive – and as much as I hate killing of anything, it makes sense. Ducks Unlimited is working across Canada with various groups including some in the province of Alberta to purchase huge tracts of land to protect and restore for wildlife. It is something to think about. In NJ it is called the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. Does your state or province promote such a scheme? If not, it might be worth a good conversation!
All of the kittens behaved themselves. Missey and Lewis continue to be in the main house and Calico and Hope in the conservatory annex. Hope has been enjoying her new rich foods a little too much or it is that plus the stress of coming inside…but the poor little darling is now on kaolin probiotic granules for running poop shots. Hoping she is over this very quickly…she was fine when she arrived! A few images from today…Hope insists on doing everything that Mamma does. She resisted her own little dish of organic chicken and sauce to try and eat with Calico, was on the cat tree and it seems that Calico is an excellent pillow.
Giggles all around today – the cats are eating well and their rooms are disinfected and cleaned twice a day – everything. Gosh, the laundry in making those tents…Calico is off for her surgery on Tuesday and Hope will be, by then, surely she will, friendly!
Thank you Jeff Kear – I had not heard about Alyth putting in battery storage units right under the nose of Harry’s Osprey Nest! Does the need to constrict the use of fossil fuels mean that we should not consider the environmental impact and the location? Was any study done? It is not clear when it comes to the ospreys or other wildlife.
‘A’ reports on what is happening ‘down under’ – that is where most of the action is currently!
Sydney Sea Eagles: “Dad brought in a very nice fish at 08:33:22 this morning and Lady was quickly shimmying down the perch branch to take control of it. Lady and Dad have a little chat and seem excited by the fish but the eaglets (especially SE32) are more interested in what’s going on in the tree around them this morning. SE31 is first to the table, while SE32 is looking up and around at everything in his expanding world. The view is somehow different from up on his feet perhaps! At 08:39 he finally moves up to the table and his sister courteously moves aside so her brother can have some breakfast! This is so civil, it’s ridiculous. Someone remind these kids they are apex predators! Just before 08:40 Dad flies in with a stick (the parents have been busy building another level of cot railing over the past five or six days, as the two get up onto their feet and start moving around the nest a lot more – now SE32 has joined his sister up off his tarsi). Dad is very engaged in his stick placement and spends considerable time perfecting the front of the nest. So cute. Lady continues feeding SE32, though SE31 is momentarily fascinated by Dad’s manoeuvrings.”
Royal Albatross: “In New Zealand, Manaaki is on his nest and there is very little wind today, so I am not anticipating a fledge this morning. The wind may pick up during the afternoon. We will see.”
This video is from the NZ DOC. It shows our young prime hovering nicely! This was three days ago.
Melbourne Peregrine Falcons: “At Collins Street, F22 takes a break shortly after 9am (that time stamp is SO hard to read) and little M22 is soon in to take over incubation. He settles down in his customary jerky manner and then finds he has a spare egg he has failed to cover. So he has to start his enfluffling all over again. Such a sweetie. I love these falcon dads.”
Port Lincoln: “No third egg at Port Lincoln and I certainly hope there won’t be, given the gap between the first two eggs is 74 hours. A third egg could therefore be as far away as Tuesday. I do hope there isn’t another one. I’m not looking forward to the huge gap between the first two. A third hatch would be so nerve-wracking. We really don’t need that sort of stress.”
There are still only 2 eggs at Port Lincoln.
I certainly agree with ‘A’. A third hatch at Port Lincoln does not need that kind of stress! But then again, we have a new Dad and a new season and anything is possible.
Let us go and check on Diamond and Xavier – Xavier flew in with a nice prey for Diamond’s breakfast, and he then worked hard rolling the three big eggs and trying to fit them under him. He was successful, but gosh, it is a good thing there are not four of them.
‘A’ writes about the intruder that has been bothering Xavier and Diamond: “That intruder is still worrying at Orange, although Diamond and Xavier have things sorted. This morning, the intruder was spotted. Diamond called Xavier to come and mind the eggs. He arrived and took over incubation. Diamond dealt with the intruder (visible from tower cam) and returned to the nest box. All is well. I am SO glad they have this routine. Diamond is twice Xavier’s size and makes short work of an intruder. Any injury to Xavier at this point would be a disaster for the clutch. They know this. We are grateful. But I do wish this intruder would move on. I do keep wondering whether it is Izzi, as the males do tend to move no more than 50 km from their natal nest, from what I have read, whereas the female fledglings spread much further away. It is so funny that Indigo, too, proved impossible to persuade it was time to leave home, so that Diamond and Xavier had to physically bar him entry to the scrape! At least they got rid of him before the eggs were laid, which was only just the case the year Izzi was there. He was persistent in the extreme. I think it was early August before they gently told him “grow up and find your own territory, son!” and moved him on.”
So do we think that this might be Izzi? That would be interesting. (Note that raptors normally engage other raptors of the same gender).
‘H’ sent me a quote today from one of David Gessner’s books on Ospreys. It is so appropriate and she believes it is form the Return of the Osprey but neither of us had the time to dig through the book to find the right page:
“To love the Osprey is to be constantly open to loss.”
Mini was not seen at the Patchogue nest after she flew off in the early morning. It is now 2100 nest time, and she has not flown in. Mini, you taught us to persevere, not give up hope, be smart, and figure things out. Safe travels – good winds, a full crop, a good life.
‘H’ brings us up to date on the last two nests she has observed for me. She officially monitored ten nests, but it was always more than that. Over the course of osprey season, the number of eggs grew to over 350 that were monitored. I am very grateful for her help and keen eye and instincts – thank you, ‘H’. You came to Ospreys, naturally.
Kent Island – It seems that Molly may have already started on her journey. September 9th was the fourth full day without a sighting of our precious Molly. Both Tom and Audrey were seen in ‘Joe’s tree’ during the day. At 1800 Audrey came to the nest for a while to dry off after her bath. And, Audrey flew to the nest at 2300 to spend her third straight night on the nest.
Barnegat Light – There were intermittent periods of live stream buffering throughout the day. We did not observe Duke delivering a fish to Dorsett at the nest, but Dorsett was seen a few times at the nest and on Duke’s perch.
Louise and Banff are no longer at the Fortis Exshaw Nest. As the sun sets Saturday evening near Canmore, Alberta, not far away from Lake Louise, they have had snow on the 6th! By vehicle, it is 5 hours through the mountains, according to Google. The girls will happen to be sunning themselves in the south.
The two surviving chicks at Osprey House in Brisbane, Australia are doing well.
There is extremely sad news coming out of Big Bear Valley today – confirming losses from several years ago.
I am attaching the article.
How has the earthquake in Morocco impacted Ospreys migrating from Europe and the UK? Certainly transmissions might be garbled but what about the environment where they are fishing, living, or flying through?
A lovely Red-tail Hawk – juvenile – visited the WRDC nest of Rose and Ron yesterday. ‘H’ was the first to alert me and Pat Burke has posted an image.
That’s a wrap for Sunday, September 10. Thank you for being with us. Please take care. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for the notes, comments, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog this morning: ‘A, H, Jeff Kear’, Alyth, Sydney Sea Eagles, NZ DOC, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, PLO, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Kent Island, Wildlife Conserve F of NJ, PSEG, Snow Seekers, Osprey House, Tonya Irwin and Raptors of the World, Pat Burke and Eagle Nest Watchers, Bloom Biological, and The Guardian.