8 July 2023
Good Morning Everyone,
Gosh, it is Friday and right now it is a few minutes before Saturday. The day flew by! Too many things to do and not enough hours in the day. I imagine all of you know that feeling. On Wednesday I was given a large basket of freshly picked strawberries and today – finally – they were made into David Leibowitz’s Parisian Strawberry Jam. There is no pectin although you can grate apples with the berries – they thicken it like pectin. I wanted that lovely slightly runny jam that isn’t too sweet that can go on scones, ice cream, or puddings. Tomorrow will be scone making! Need I say that Lewis and Missey both love scones. Bless their hearts. We are also getting ready for kitty birthdays. Missey will be a year the middle of July and Lewis a year the middle of August…wonder what special meal they will want?
Missey always poses.
Dyson is looking very healthy. She is at the feeders several times a day and often suns herself on the deck.
The babies are doing well. This one stayed long enough for me to focus the camera!
My neighbour informed me that there was an ‘explosion’ of Blue Jays this year – yes, there was! Six babies. There are also a similar number of baby Crows. Two Crow families came to get peanuts, cheesy dogs, and eggs again this evening.
Several years ago I did extensive research on the cost to the environment of the mega-dams that were constructed in the north of my province beginning in 1969. I learned that the lakes, the water, and the land remain toxic from the mercury dredged up by the construction of the Churchill-Nelson project by Manitoba Hydro. Then I began to think about Hope at the Newfoundland Power Osprey nest. Newfoundland Power has also built mega dams. Is it possible that Hope suffers from neurological damage caused by methyl mercury toxicity in the water and fish? Surely we can all agree that the behaviour of this female Osprey is not seen often.
This is a short portion of a book chapter about ceramics that includes mention of my research in Manitoba:
In Manitoba, a Crown-owned public utility produces hydropower for domestic consumption and export. This hydroelectric energy originates with the waters of northern Manitoba. It is then carried south to markets beyond provincial boundaries via a vast and intricate transmission network. In the 1960s, the provincial and federal governments built generating stations, powerhouse structures, control dams, and transmission lines on the Churchill and Nelson Rivers and their diversions to produce the electricity we use and sell. But what was the cost to the people who had lived on the land for generations?
The damming of the rivers in Treaty 5 Territory caused flooding on an unparalleled scale to the homes, the traditional hunting grounds, and the burial sites of Indigenous people. Extensive documentation details the social ramifications of these actions. Ramona Neckoway, a member of the Nisichawayasihk Cree nation impacted by the mega-dam states:
Manitoba Hydro’s vast and impressive network, including the labyrinth of transmission lines, affected and continue to impact entire generations of indigenous peoples in Manitoba. My grandparents’ generation, my parents’ generation, my generation, my children’s generation and their children’s generation, have borne witness to and experienced a kind of cultural genocide resulting from Hydro’s generation in Manitoba; these experience to varying degrees and severity are akin, in some ways, to the residential school era that devastated many Aboriginal communities, children, parents and grandparents.
The impact of these mega-dam projects is not limited to the province of Manitoba. In November 2019, people from around the world met in Winnipeg, Manitoba, for a conference organised by the Wa Ni Tan, a group trying to stop the building of mega-dams worldwide. People came from as far away as Brazil and Panama to mobilise against these hydroelectric projects’ social and environmental damage. Underlying their concern were the pronounced changes to their communities since the construction of the dams. These include “significant social disorder, the abuse of drugs and alcohol, racial discrimination and the destruction of ancestral hunting, trapping, fishing, and gathering practices. “ The people used to drink the water from the river eat the fish they caught or the game they killed. Today, all of the animals, the fish, and the people have been poisoned by methyl mercury developed in the reservoirs upstream. The result of the mercury poisoning is that many indigenous people living near the mega-dams have had to abandon their fisheries and their traditional diets resulting in an elevated increase of diabetes amongst the population.
Sadly, despite all of the harm done to the land, the people, nature, and all living creatures, it is also known that these hydro dams are incredibly inefficient. The effectiveness even of the newest turbines is only around 60%, meaning that 40% of the primary energy is wasted.Can Ceramics Ever be a Sustainable Cultural Practice? University of Nantes, 2021.
I intend to research the situation at the Snow Lane nest further. Their nest is far from the Muskrat Falls plant discussed in the article below. I also hope to hear from wildlife specialists in the area I have written to in order to establish if my theory has any weight.
Everyone commented on how tranquil the nest of CJ7 and Blue 022 was at Poole Harbour this season. Well, guess what? They ringed the three osplets on Friday and believe the first two hatches are males and the third is a female. That is a great solution to the beaking that often comes when the female is the first hatch and the wee lad is the third. Well done, CJ7 and 022!
Gosh, I remember when I thought CJ7 might never find a mate and then that you man flew to the perch of her nest two years ago. They made history and continue to do so. So happy for this family.
The two surviving chicks were ringed at Llyn Brenig today as well – two girls. The first hatch is Blue 7B5 weighing 1775 grams, and the second is 7B6 weighing 1730 grams. Aren’t they gorgeous?
Just a quick run through some of the nests:
Alyth: The chicks are loud and getting bigger by the day.
Aran and Elen and their two sons are doing really well at Glaslyn. Elen proved to be a superb mother in her first year raising chicks! Great choice, Aran.
Idris delivered a double-header for the kids at the Dyfi nest that he shares with his mate, Telyn.
The Only Bob of Louis and Dorcha at Loch Arkaig is massive and it has these incredible ‘snake eyes’. Reminds me of Iris and Mrs G sometimes. The ringing should take place shortly and my bet is on a female! Or one of those males that simply breaks all records like Only Bob did at Clywedog a couple of years ago.
The ring number is LY7 but no release of gender yet.
Geemeff writes that the cam is down and the chick is being ringed! Here is some of its big wing flapping early on Saturday. Look at those wings!
There is an expected fledge today coming out of Loch of the Lowes. PF4 is really getting some height to that hovering!
The Only Bob at the Cowlitz PUD appears to be doing well.
Equally everything appears fine at Collins Marsh.
Everyone is preening at Oyster Bay. The nest is good.
The trio at the Pitkin County Open Trails Osprey Nest in Colorado are doing well. Mum was busy shading them from the heat on Friday.
The MNSA Jay Koolpix ospreys in Oceanside, NY are doing great, too.
Things appear to be going smoothly at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum nest. There is a bit more nesting material and a few more sticks and the wee one is able to eat larger pieces of fish that Mum is feeding. Feeling hopeful.
This new Mum is learning and if the winds would cooperate and not take off all their efforts in getting material to the nest, this could become a very comfy place to brood this chick.
A quick check on the two remaining osplets at the Bridges Golf Osprey platform seem to indicate that this nest is doing alright. Fingers crossed for this family.
Is there is a potential problem brewing at nest #4 in Finland? The first hatch is not allowing the third hatch up to get fish. The third hatch is looking very thin. It has been raining but ‘T’ confirms that the third hatch got some fish. Hoping that this is just a one off.
There is also a potential problem unfolding at the FortisExshaw nest near Canmore, Alberta. Jasper has not been seen for nearly 24 hours. ‘H’ reported Big beaking Little and keeping it from eating. This is the last fish that Jasper delivered around 0930 on Friday. ‘H’ reports that
Feeding 0559 to 0608 – Louise blocked the view again, lol. I think Little may have been fed a couple of bites, but at 0601, Little tried to ‘exit stage left’, and s/he ran out of real estate in the nest cup. I believe Little had most likely been bonked. 0924 to 0958 – Ah, a different set-up. . Mom in the centre, Middle and Little on one side, Big on the other side. Louise fed to her right, exclusively feeding Middle and Little. Big kept peeking around the corner “hey, what about me?” Eventually, Big figured it out and moved to the right side of Mom. The two big kids squeezed Little against the cup wall and at 0934 Little backed out, and moved away. At 0942 Little tried to return to the feeding, but was beaked by Big. Big quit the feeding at 0951, and Middle quit shortly thereafter. At that point Little received a long private feeding. Little ate at least 81 bites.There were no other fish deliveries on 7/7.”
‘H’s other reports. Thank you:
Severna Park – “Chick #1 may be a large gal, and has yet to fledge at 60 days old. I wonder if the slightly smaller chick #2 (59 days old) will fledge first.
Kent Island – Tom is such a great provider. He delivered at least 5 big fish for his family, there may have been an early delivery that I missed, but the lighting was such that it was very difficult to view the nest in the morning. Tom and Audrey’s chick is 26 days old.
Forsythe – Well, thank heavens, Opal must have shown Oscar where she catches those huge fish! Opal brought in a big one, and Oscar delivered four very large fish. The kids are 47 and 46 days old.
Barnegat Light – Other than Daisy being dive bombed by the Red-winged Blackbird, life is good on the bay for Duke, Daisy, and their 38 day old youngster.
Boathouse – Dory and Skiff continue to dote over their cherished offspring. Little Skipper is 28 days old.
Dahlgren – At 51 and 47 days old, Harriet and Jack’s kids are growing up fast. They were both taking advantage of a breezy day and working those wings. And, one of them managed to get quite a bit of lift!
Osoyoos – Soo and Olsen’s 11 and 12 day old kids are simply thriving!
Patuxent Nest 1 – ‘Foster’ decided to take a quick spin around the marsh for her second flight from the nest. She landed on the nearby perch, just as pretty as you please!
Until the magistrates impose proper fines and penalties, the estates will continue to get away with murder.
The Hobby Falcons are busy feeding their chicks! This family is seriously adorable. Highly recommend you check out the streaming cam on YouTube: Dorset Hobby Falcons.
Before I get on my soap box about people shooting Red Listed birds, there is sad news coming out of Kielder Forest this morning. A chick has been predated. This is nest 5A home to Mr and Mrs UV.
UK Raptor Persecution has released the following information about the recent confirmed shooting of at least two red kites (with a third one suspected) near Westerdale in the North York Moors National Park (see here). The North York Moors Park Authority has issued the following statement:
I am absolutely outraged, along with you in the UK and elsewhere, that the legal system is punishing those responsible in a manner that is fitting and proper…meaning high fines, loss of licenses, custodial sentences. Is that what it takes to stop people having fun shooting birds? The real other enemy is that it is the ultra-wealthy who are doing the shooting. They have ‘friends in high places’. Indeed, some of them are the ‘friends in a high place.’
Murphy’s Eaglet was released today. Here are some images and the press release from World Bird Sanctuary.
Plastic. BirdLife International research is showing the extent to which this deplorable material that we cannot seem to get out of our daily lives is destroying the oceans and harming wildlife. The project has identified the most vulnerable sites and maybe there is something we can do to help.
Always gives us a smile – Annie and Lou – who are enjoying their time without the constant challenge of caring for eyases.
Last but never least, Little Mini. Mini had a nice breakfast this morning and it appears that the larger of the two are more interested in being on the perch!
Thank you so much for being with me today. Have a lovely Saturday! See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, Geemeff, H, T’, Google Maps, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Llyn Brenig Ospreys, Alyth Ospreys, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, Dyfi Osprey Project, Friends of Loch Arkaig and The Woodland Trust, Geemeff and Friends of Loch Arkaig and The Woodland Trust, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and Scottish Wildlife Trust, Cowlitz PUD, Collins Marsh, PSEG, Pitkin County Open Trails, MNSA Jay Koolpix Osprey Cam, MN Landscape Arboretum, Bridges Golf Club Ospreys, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Jackie Morris and Friends of Dyfi osprey Project, Dorset Hobby Falcons, Fortis Exshaw, Severna Park, Kent Island Ospreys, Forsythe Ospreys, Conserve Wildlife of NJ, Dahlgren Ospreys, Boathouse Ospreys, Osoyoos, Patuxent River Park 1, Kielder Forest, UK Raptor Persecution, World Bird Sanctuary, BirdLife International and SK Hideaways and Cal Falcons, and PSEG.