Bald Eagle nest coned, other nests destroyed…and more news on Wednesday in Bird World

14 September 2022

Good Morning Everyone! I hope that you had a fabulous beginning of the week. Here we are at the middle. My calendar tells me that thing are going to begin happening in Bird World soon. First up will be the Port Lincoln Ospreys who should have a hatch in 4 days. Then it should be the Melbourne Peregrine Falcons on the 27th quickly followed by Xavier and Diamond. By the time those nests have feathered osplets and eyases, we will be fledge watching for SE29 and 30. It is going to be wonderful!

Tuesday was a big ‘T’ day but that doesn’t stand for Tundra Swan but, ’tiler’. It was fantastic to see the floor tiles in the sunroom being grouted today with the news that tomorrow I can move back in and watch my beloved garden birds. Oh, how I have missed seeing them from that perspective. A new book arrived in the post, too. Having purchased Crosley’s Guide to Waterfowl – well, logically, it seemed to me that the volume would cover Shore birds but, no. Definitely not. The new book is The Shorebird Guide by O’Brien, Crossley, and Karlson and it is wonderful. Most appreciated are the excellent images of the plumage during the seasons. It still is missing the inclusion of the females in great numbers just like all of the other bird guides who continue to focus on the more colourful plumage of the males. Yes, I am growling. LOL. Quiet and monochromatic can be viewed as ‘classic’ beauty. It certainly is with many of the female Sparrows.

Just like the ducks, my mind has been taken over by the Greater and Lesser Yellow Legs and Willets at one of our local ponds. If I close my eyes I am transported to the marsh where the shore birds are tapping away at the mud with those long long bills. Incredible. If you stay quiet and don’t move, they will completely ignore you, going on with their deep quick probing for food. They are really quite lovely. Learning to identify them is going to take some time.

The Greater Yellow Legs from the other day.

The plumage on the Mallard is really lovely.

It is overcast and cold at 13 degrees C this morning. The Crows have been for their morning hotdogs, the sparrows are wanting a bath, the Blue Jay has been flitting in and out (only one), and the cat has already been chased once. Meanwhile Little Red has been running back and forth on top of the new fence which now meets up with that of the neighbour so he never has to get on the ground to get to his new home. Yes! Little Red has found a place to live since his penthouse was torn down. So thankful. The torrential rains this year and saturated ground meant that all of the trees literally tripled in size. He found a hole in the big tree and if I look carefully, I can see him going in and out. So relieved after feeling so quilty about the shed. With my chair back in the sunroom this morning, I can watch over them and hopefully get some good images of Dyson who is looking ever so healthy and fluffy these days. Gosh, that squirrel is quick. I wonder if the Crows frighten her?

In the Mailbox:

‘A’ writes that I have awakened a love of ducks for her. That is fantastic. They are often very unappreciated, like the geese, in my City but, there is nothing so peaceful as sitting on a clean bit of lawn or blanket and watching them go about their daily paddling and preening. This is wonderful news. Thank you for letting me know! In honour of this, I have used one of our favourite ducks for ‘From the Archive’ today.

Making News:

There is growing disillusion within the environmental and raptor groups in British Columbia, Canada at the decision by the Department of Forests and the University of British Columbia to cone a long standing Bald Eagle nest on the campus of the University. Their are ongoing campaigns to stop the coning which is due to take place today, the 14th of September.

https://www.ubcproperties.com/news/eagles-nest-and-wesbrook-place-development/

Also in British Columbia, this time in Surrey, the David Hancock Wildlife Foundation is attempting to stop the cutting down of a Bald Eagle nest on the property of a Costo in that city–or get the owner to agree put up a platform nest for the eagles.

British Columbia is home to more Bald Eagles than any other area in North America. Because of this their conservation status and threat is very low – often cited as an excuse to cone the trees or cut down the nests — some 140 Bald Eagle nests were destroyed at the Site C Dam project by the province this year. Of course, what is the real count? With Avian flu still with us and in Manitoba nests and eggs destroyed by flooding with few goslings, perhaps we should be re-thinking our approach to preserve. Declines can begin to happen and spiral.

If you are in Southern Manitoba, Wildlife Haven is having its annual Open House on 23-24 September. Tickets can be pre-purchased and space is limited. It was gorgeous weather last year and the event was sold out. I can’t think of a better way to spend a few hours on a fall afternoon than getting to meet the ambassadors, tour the new flight training buildings, and check out the great vet facilities. These are the people giving our wildlife a second chance.

Do you live in New York? do you love Bald Eagles? Here is a fundraiser event you might not want to miss.

Would you like to be an Albatross detective and help get a true worldwide count of these sea birds? Here is the information.

https://phys.org/news/2022-09-albatrosses-space-wildlife.html?fbclid=IwAR2f-pbgS3RwmaNjlKRkHTidHqeg3x3ugsiu2u1TRGNoXRCHw3Z4ljbt78I

Nest News:

The Bald Eagles have been returning. Yesterday it was Gabby returning to the Northeast Florida nest to Samson.

NEFlorida Eagle Nest

Samson and Gabby love to ‘kiss’ just like Alden and Annie.

Anna and Louis are back at the Kisatchie National Forest and now Mr President and Lotus are at the National Arboretum Nest in Washington, DC.

National Arboretum Nest

They are really coming home. If you see a return, send me a note!

Thunder and Akecheta were caught sitting together on the cliffs of the Channel Islands yesterday. Oh, goodness. What an incredible year we had with Ahota, Star, and Kana’kini.

Thunder flew into the West End nest with a super fish yesterday, too… Ah, it would have been grand if one of the kids swept in and took it! Everyone misses those three amigos.

Andor was at the Fraser Point nest. I haven’t seen any new updates on Victor. We can all presume that he is doing lots of flying and strengthening those wings!

The nest that our dear Little Bit ND17 grew up on had dwindled down to only a bit of mud and straw at the joint of the branches. Everyone has been concerned that the adult eagles would not return and rebuild – knowing that if they didn’t St Patrick’s County Park in South Bend, Indiana, would not be moving the camera. Well, guess what? Dad has been caught returning to the nest! This should be a ray of sunshine for everyone. It will take work but each of us has marvelled at how quickly the raptors can whip a nest into shape. No, it will not be huge like a decade old nest but it will be a new beginning.

In the image below you can see what little is left.

It appears that Idris is finally alone to enjoy his fish and that Padarn has left the territory for her migration.

At Glaslyn, however, Aran is still bringing fish for Blue 497. It won’t be long, Aran!

497 is an incredibly beautiful osprey.

To my knowledge, Blue 497 is the only fledgling left on an Osprey streaming cam in the UK to migrate.

Did I mention mantling (when a raptor spreads its wings over its prey to conceal and protect) was one of the development stages coming quickly for the Sea Eaglets in Sydney? Well, guess which of the two was the first to demonstrate this stage of growth?

If you said SE30 you would be absolutely correct! Both eaglets held the prey down with their talons and pulled. Eventually they were fed but this is very good training. So proud of 30! Go baby. Don’t you just love the look on 29’s face? (squint)

The sea eaglets have been well fed and have been sporting crops on and off for a few days now.

Watching incubation and expecting a hatch in less than a week can be nerve wrecking.

The beautiful Mum at Port Lincoln. It is the 15th. Oh, so soon we will be having little osplets –. Cannot wait.

For Melbourne, mark your calendars for the 27th of September.

Xavier and Diamond will follow after Melbourne!

Migration News:

Into Hawks? Aren’t we all? Here is a new tool to follow the counts.

https://www.hawkcount.org/index.php?fbclid=IwAR3LRTBRBWRYUa0Fg8KoXz4OqH4Fz1t8COL4lIMb4qXRVz1F3LuxIyMcNAE

Some good news on one of the Tweed Osprey fledglings, Glen. (Sadly it appears that Kirk who had gone West and was in Ireland continued west over the Atlantic and is probably lost).

From Karl II’s family, the Estonian Black Storks from the Karula National Forest nest.

Bonus is really flying and remains in the same area he has been for several days now-the Prypjat River. He is safe. Relief as always.

Waba is at the Hrabarka River in Ukraine.

I see no transmission for Kaia or Karl II.

Audubon scientists are using data from hawk Mountain to monitor the places that raptors migrate.

https://www.hawkmountain.org/news/science/audubon-scientists-use-hawk-mountain-data-to-develop-a-new-method-for-mapping-bird-migrations

Here is the current data for Hawk Mountain in terms of this autumn’s migration.

https://www.hawkmountain.org/conservation-science/hawk-count

From the Archive:

I am not a cartoon character but, for many raptor watchers in Australia (and elsewhere), I am the most famous duck in the world. Do you remember me? What is my name? What kind of a duck am I? Whose nest did I lease? And do you remember what happened?

Thank you so much for joining me today and for your lovely notes. It is actually relatively quiet in Bird World but soon…so soon, there will be action in Australia – at Port Lincoln and Melbourne. Meanwhile, we can all enjoy the antics of the little Sea Eagles who are jumping, flapping, and learning to mantle and eat their own prey. Take care of yourselves. I look forward to seeing you again soon.

Thank you to the following for their tweets, their posts, videos, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Wildlife Haven, Bald Eagles of Centreport, Albatross Space, Channel Islands Eagle Lovers, Notre Dame Eagles, NEFL-AEF, NADC-AEF, Dyfi Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Conservation Without Borders, and Looduskalender.


From the Archive: Daisy is a Pacific Black Duck. She first appeared on the nest of the Sydney Sea Eagles in December of 2020. She attempted three clutches of eggs – all predated by the Crows, sadly. The last clutch in 2021 almost made it to hatch. We were all cheering! Daisy stole our hearts and taught us many lessons about the challenges the female ducks face in being both incubator and security guard. The couple came this year to check on the nest. Oh, it was delightful to see Daisy and her mate but, equally, there was relief that she decided to lay her eggs elsewhere in the forest. Did you know that less than 15% of all duck eggs laid make it to hatch?

Daisy the Duck returns to WBSE Nest

Around 05:40 on the 15th of January, Daisy the Pacific Black Duck flew alone to the big Ironbark Nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest. It has been precisely two weeks since her previous visit. The nest is no stranger to Daisy who has laid two clutches of eggs here only to have them taken and eaten by Ravens.

There is her head behind the branch. She has just landed.

Daisy will spend a total of 9 minutes on the nest listening and looking.

She checks out all directions.

She listens again. I adore Daisy and I want her to be safe and have her ducklings in a nest where there is some possibility of success. This nest is doomed.

It is unfortunate that neither the Ravens nor the White-bellied Sea Eagles were present. That might have stopped Daisy from considering this site for her next clutch.

It is good to see you are alive and well, Daisy, but please find another spot for your precious eggs!

Under normal circumstances the WBSE would be checking on the nest frequently during this time of the year. Their attendance has been mired by the Pied Currawong and I have hoped that someone insightful might put up an artificial nest for the WBSE down by the Parramatta River Roost similar to the one built for Ron and Rita by the WRDC in Miami.

We wait.

Thank you for joining me on this quick posting about our favourite duck, Daisy!

Thank you to the Sea Eagle@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

The Daisy Chronicles: Daisy and her mate return to the nest

Yesterday was a huge challenge for our little duck, Daisy. She flew off her eggs once the showers had slowed down at 06:10:20. When she left she never dreamed that when she returned at 07:50:02 that she would find her down scattered all over the nest along with broken egg shells. She removed one large piece of shell with embryo at 07:51 off the nest returning some six minutes later. Daisy was nothing short of bewildered but she was also frightened. Several times she literally froze. The telling sign was the fact that, at one time, standing near the rim of the nest when she was pacing, she soiled the nest. Birds are very clean and it is only the little ones that do this — Daisy was scared.

Daisy returned with her mate to try and find her eggs twelve hours later. My friend ‘P’ sent me a screen capture this morning. I am very grateful as I would not have known. She has placed a red circle on the male.

Daisy’s actions on the nest were very touching. I don’t want us to forget the goodness of Daisy and the hope that she had and that she gave to all of us.

I decided to capture Daisy’s actions with her mate at the nest to share with you. Daisy and her mate return to the nest at sunset, after the dangerous predators are roosting. She paces and quacks looking for her eggs for nearly ten minutes before quacking and flying off with her mate.

In the first video Daisy arrives with her mate. The male always stays on the branch or behind. He never goes to the nest. The last video, 6, shows Daisy flying off. In between, 2-5, Daisy searches for her eggs quacking or looks out from the rim of the nest ’empty’.

Daisy, like all other animals (including human animals), has emotions. She is confused and grief stricken. She is suffering. This was her family that was taken and she doesn’t even know what happened. Imagine for a moment that was you. The word that I am searching for is sentinence. Sentinence is the ability to experience feelings and sensations. Let us not think for a moment that a whale has more sentinence than our little duck. One is not greater than the other. It is for this reason that we need to take better care of all of the birds and animals on our planet – and our planet itself. I rejoice in knowing that everyone who is reading this blog is doing the absolute best that they can and striving to do more each day.

I don’t know how to make the situation for Daisy better. I would hope that those who live near the Sydney Olympic Forest and who have some influence might check to see that the duck boxes for laying and hatching eggs are the right configuration for Daisy. The question is: have ducks ever used those boxes? if not, why? After being certain I would place one or two or ten near to where Daisy could see them. While I know that we would all love to see our beautiful Daisy on the nest again – what a delight when she landed on the nest! – I believe that we all want Daisy to experience motherhood and a successful hatch and fledge. To do that, Daisy must try and find a safer place than the WBSE nest.

Daisy brought us much joy. For that I will always be grateful. And when I do not feel very brave, I hope to remember how she thwarted the Ravens twice by puffing up big and lunging. Take care Mr and Mrs Daisy.

Thank you for joining me. So many of you have written wondering about Daisy’s reaction. I hope that these videos give you an idea that Daisy is not different than we are – she is grieving. Please take care. Breathe.

Thank you to the Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Forest where I took my screen captures and video clips. I also want to thank ‘P’ for alerting me to Daisy’s evening return with her mate.

Oh, what a beautiful little Mum you would be, Daisy.

Daisy and the Unkindness

It has been a day of great heartbreak with Daisy losing her eggs to the Unkindness. Although she will never know the thousands of people who were quietly (or loudly) cheering her on. As ‘B’ in the UK says, ‘She was doing so good.’ She was. This morning Daisy did not like the rain hitting her bill and head. She would toss her head about trying to get the drops off. She had puffed her feathers so that they would cover the down on the nest so it would not get wet. Whether the showers contributed to Daisy deciding to leave late, we will never know. And will will never know if it was the end of the showers that prompted the Ravens to come to Daisy’s nest in the hope she would be away.

Last season some wondered if Daisy’s eggs were fertile. This year we could tell that they were. Some old timers reviewing Daisy’s incubation – she stayed on the eggs for most of the day before she finished laying the 8th egg – felt looking at the one egg that Daisy flew away with that hatch could have been 10-11 days away. It was not to be.

Daisy returned to her nest at 07:50:02 to find her nest and eggs destroyed. I simply cannot imagine how she must have felt seeing that precious down scattered all over the nest – and then to see some egg shells – and one large portion of an egg. It was immediately clear that there had been a duckling developing in that egg – it was not simply a yolk. Daisy gathered up that portion of an egg and flew off the nest with it at 07:51:10. Six minutes later at 07:57:19, Daisy returns to the nest.

On this return, Daisy surveyed the entire nest. She found some shells, she went to the rim of the nest where she normally flies off, and hesitates. It is 07:59:07. She goes back near the egg cup. Daisy gathers some of the down and looks for more shells. At 08:07:21 Daisy again walks over to the rim of the nest. She stands looking out for nearly a minute. At 08:08:19 she goes back to the nest cup. At 08:08:27 Daisy lays down on the nest cup. She begins tucking and rolling – it would have been easy to imagine that the Ravens might have missed some of the eggs due to our little duck’s behaviour.

Daisy continues to gather up down, tucking, and rolling what would have been eggs with her strong legs and webbed feet.

While Daisy was on the nest, there were periods where she froze just like she would do when the Ravens came on the nest. I have three separate incidents and there could have been more. One instance was 17 minutes long.

Daisy flew off the nest in the old Ironbark Tree for the last time at 09:10:45.

I wish I could look at the nest and pretend Daisy is just off foraging.

As I am reminded, the odds against Daisy hatching these ducklings was only 15%. This season was so different. Daisy was not playing tag with Dad, the White-Bellied Sea Eagle. Indeed, the Sea Eagles had visited and paid no mind they were so busy with the Pied Currawong attacking them. There was then this hope that developed especially since Daisy so valiantly defended her nest against the Ravens twice.

Daisy might begin laying eggs for her second clutch in 47 days. The laying of eggs and the incubation period really puts demands on the body of the hen. It takes some time for her to regain her health in order to begin the process over again. There are only two clutches per season.

It has been a difficult year for each of us. Your list will be different than mine but mine began first with the loss of Malin, then K2 Big Red and Arthur’s second hatch, then ‘Little 4’ of 367 Collins Street Falcons, and last but not the least of them, Yurruga at the Orange Falcon scrape. There were, of course, others – the Finnish Ospreys and their Mum, Milda’s two chicks…the list grows longer thinking about it.

Take some time to breathe. Daisy was a remarkable duck and we all began to believe that she would overcome the odds. I have asked a friend who is often down by the Discovery Centre to find Daisy and send us a picture if she would. It would give us each some closure to see Daisy in her element paddling around and eating.

Thank you to everyone that wrote to me. It is so touching that so many people care about this wonderful duck. It will take me some time to answer each of you but, I will. For now please take care of yourselves.

Thank you to the Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and video captures.

The Daisy Chronicles Day 21 – Tragedy Strikes our Daisy’s Nest while she is away

I wrote it clear so that if you did not want to you could stop reading. I am beyond sad.

Daisy left the nest at 06:10:20. The raindrops had been hitting her head and she would toss it about. Sunrise was half an hour earlier.

Daisy was very conscientious in covering her eggs. You could not see one of them and she had kept the down nice and dry by spreading her body over it.

Then the Ravens arrived. There were three of them. I am actually glad Daisy was not on the nest. They might have attacked her. They tore off the down consuming and breaking all of those precious eggs of hers.

I am so desperately sorry to bring you this very sad news today. Keep our little Daisy in your heart and send her your lofe. This is her second attempt to hatch eggs on this nest. I hope that she finds a safer place for her next clutch this year. I can find no evidence that she is aware of what happened to her eggs. Last season she was ‘stunned’ when she returned and she went on and off the nest in her grief for awhile.

Please take care.

Thank you to the Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.

The Daisy Chronicles, Day 20 The Raven Came

I had no more than posted my last blog thinking that the rest of the day would be quiet like the beginning. That changed with the arrival of a single Australian Raven at 18:08:21. You could hear it before you could see it. Daisy froze!

The cawing was singular so it was only one Corvid on the nest. In the distance there was, at one time, what sounded like another Raven. To my knowledge it never flew to join the other Raven in the branches of the Ironbark Tree.

Daisy keeps her bill under that one twig – not moving. I once saw Little Woodpecker cling to a suet holder for 45 minutes when Sharpie, the Sharp-shinned Hawk was sitting on a branch under it pretending to be a bird feeder. Little Woodpecker was terrified. You could tell it only from his eyes.

Daisy is quick. The Raven flies over to the branch. She turns quickly so that she can keep an eye on it.

At one point the Raven hid behind the big branch. you can see its tail on the right. Did it think Daisy would think it was gone? and move off her eggs?

Daisy lunges and the Raven moves to the other larger branch to the right.

Daisy knows the Raven is still in the tree. Every once in awhile it will make a very eerie sound.

Daisy watched and listened. She did not relax until 16:21. That was a total of 13 minutes.

Whew! I must remember not to take anything for granted. Our brave little duck is doing the absolute best that she can.

The weather forecast for Daisy is not good. There is a 40% chance of rain beginning shortly. It looks like there are chances of showers increasing to 70% probability after midnight. There could be a thunderstorm around 10:00 tomorrow morning. Sadly Daisy might not be able to stay dry. It looks like there could be showers on and off for the next week.

Thank you for joining me. We forget what a challenge laying the eggs, incubating them, and then finally the hatching is for Daisy. She is just doing so well that sometimes I need a good reminder that this is not easy. Send her all your good energy! I certainly am. She is very brave despite being frightened.

And if you want to know what this might look like should those eggs hatch, here is a cute little video of a female Mallard and her ducklings – from hatch to freedom. OK. The distance is very different but these fuzzy yellow ducks are so cute and look how their Mum knows when one of them is missing. It is amazing —– and they don’t have a 75 foot jump!

Thank you to the Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

The Daisy Chronicles, Day 20

Daisy flew off the nest – very early – at 02:56:25 for her early morning foraging trip. She did not return until 07:05:08. It was an anxious time waiting for her to fly back to the nest. Sunrise was at 05:38. As always, I worry about the Ravens. They are such intelligent birds. They know there are big delicious eggs in that nest and they want them. So far they have flown by or landed on the upper branches of the Ironbark Tree in the Sydney Olympic Forest checking to see if Daisy is there. The Ravens do have a routine – arriving between 08:30 and 10:00 – but, that is not to say they would not come early!

To my mind, Daisy has had an unusually quiet day after returning to the nest. She has moved leaves, shifted back and forth turning the precious eggs over, and she has slept.

The cam operator has checked a couple of times and the Sea Eagles are not at the River Roost – but, we should all remember that anything can change in an instant.

The camera operator has also given us some really nice close ups of our adorable duck!

It is now almost 16:00. All is well. It has been such a quiet day. Sometimes all you could hear was the hum of the camera and the traffic. It almost seemed like all the birds had left the forest! We will take it. Hopefully the remainder of Day 20 will be completely uneventful! She has one more foraging trip. I will report on that tomorrow.

Before I close, Judy Harrington has given an update just minutes ago on WBSE 27: December 22 latest report on SE27 – a Seasonal message. “SE27 is doing as well as can be inspected for the short time she has been in care. She is building up her confidence and her weight and when the weather clears will be moved into the larger flight aviary.” I think she meant ‘expected’ not inspected. It is wonderful to hear 27 is improving. I hope that when 27 leaves it has the confidence that Iniko has!

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is so nice to have so many people sending their love and positive energy to this darling little duck. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Forest.

The Daisy Chronicles, Day 19 late-20

It is after lunch in Sydney, Australia and Daisy is fast asleep incubating her eggs. The morning has been quiet.

Daisy has 8 eggs in her clutch that she has been hard incubating. Daisy laid egg 1 on 3 December nest time. The 8th egg was laid on 10 December. She began hard incubation on 10 December if not December 9. Today is 22 December – the summer solstice – for Daisy. Daisy has been incubating her eggs for 13 days. Hatch will be 3-6 of January in Australia should the eggs survive.

Daisy really had a quiet afternoon. I could see nothing happening. The cam operator checked several times to see if the WBSE were at the River Roost but they were not.

As I remind everyone, there is no reason to believe they would do anything to Daisy from their behaviour last year which was curiosity about the down and Dad going into territorial protection wanting to catch who was using his nest. He was mesmerized by the eggs and at one time everyone thought he might incubate them. It was like he went into some kind of a ‘trance’ — seeing eggs in that place immediately reminded him of Lady’s eggs. It was quite interesting behaviour. He finally broke one but he did not like the taste. I am hoping that he remembers that if he scares Daisy off the eggs again this year.

Throughout the afternoon, Daisy kept gathering up leaves that she could see. She would stretch her long neck and pick them out from under the twigs. You could hardly see her on the nest when the shadows crossed over where the egg cup is located.

Every once in awhile she would see a piece of a leaf and pull it towards her using her bill as a kind of shovel.

Daisy began to cover the eggs around 18:03.

Daisy flies off the nest at 18:03:18 for her evening meal content that her eggs are covered enough to keep predator’s eyes away from them.

It is almost precisely two hours before sunset. Daisy is taking a chance that the Ravens will not come this time of the evening! On the other hand, the Sea Eagles might and that would be a good thing if she were not on the nest. Remember Lady was chased by the Currawong and was so busy watching them so they would not hit her head that she landed on the nest, honked a few times and flew off – she didn’t even look at the nest bowl and see the down. Oh, Daisy is lucky.

Daisy returned at 20:25:39.

It was – what appears to be – a relatively quiet day and evening for Daisy.

I was surprised, however, when Daisy prepared to leave the nest at 02:56:25. I say surprised because of the visit by the Bushtail Possum in the wee hours of the morning before.

I was even more surprised when Daisy walked straight forward, instead of taking the right turn she normally takes, to fly off. It then occurred to me that Daisy might begin to check places to leave the nest for the ducklings to follow. Could this be why?

She flew off the parent branch. Maybe it is a cleaner drop? If you look at the side she normally flies from there is a large piece of the nest with all its bits and pieces of twigs and branches extending out that the little ones might get caught in.

Sunrise is at 05:41.

Daisy returns from her foraging at 07:05:08.

The solstice is upon us. It is ‘winter’ in the Northern Hemisphere and ‘summer’ for Daisy in the Southern. It is the longest ‘dark’ day for us or the longest ‘light’ day for Daisy. In Canada, we look for the light that each day stays with us a little longer. The word Solstice comes from the Latin meaning the time when the ‘sun stood still’. Today, the sun is at its most southern position from Earth. It seems to stop and stand still at the Tropic of Capricorn only to then reverse its direction. It is a turning point in the seasons. It is a symbol of the Earth’s rebirth.

Wishing the rebirth of the sun to fill your lives, your home, your garden, and your heart with warmth and happiness…. Happy Winter Solstice to each of you. And to Daisy, our most favourite adorable duck, Happy Summer Solstice. We wish you an uneventful, boring day.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. I will continue to monitor Daisy throughout the day with a brief posting later today on the day’s events. Take care. See you soon!

Note: Congratulations to Samson and Gabby on their second egg which was laid yesterday at the NE Florida Bald Eagle Nest.

Thank you to the Sea Eagles @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

The Daisy Chronicles, Day 19 morning

Daisy flew off the nest at 05:07:04. Then the camera went offline. Thankfully Dasha moved the Twitch streaming cam so that we could see Daisy instead of a wide view of the nest tree. It is unclear when Daisy returned precisely but she was on the nest and dry at 07:29.

The cam operator (I think it was Dasha – thank you) gave us some beautiful close ups of our favourite duck. Daisy is just so beautiful.

This first image with the wee bit of sunlight falling really shows off Daisy’s plumage and that amazing down.

That blue bill really differentiates the Pacific Black Ducks from the ones in North America.

There is that beautiful distinctive creamy tan line from the bill above the eye and then the wider one below.

Oh those bits look like twinkle stars. I never knew Duck down was so beautiful — just warm!

Sometimes you can hardly see Daisy on the nest.

It has been a very quiet morning for Daisy as it nears noon. I can hear the Noisy Miners in the forest but, there appear to be no Sea Eagles over on the River Roost.

What a blessing! I do not believe the Sea Eagles will harm Daisy and I don’t even think that they will mess with the down because Lady doesn’t like it. But Daisy would leave quickly and she would not be able to cover her eggs leaving them in view of predators.

Of course, Daisy being a very intelligent duck would wait in a nearby tree for the WBSE to leave and then she would fly over quickly, right?

Daisy doesn’t often stay in the same position for a long time. She is twisting and moving about, turning the eggs, tucking in down.

You can see the shadows moving over the nest at noon. It will be a hot day for our girl and those eggs. Hopefully she will not leave the nest too early this evening.

Daisy has moved a little. It is noon and all is well.

It is a little after noon. Daisy is rolling eggs and reaching out to find leaves underneath the branches and twigs. I really hope she is not thinking of a break. Oh, please, Daisy. Just stay put for six and a half more hours, please.

I will continue to monitor Daisy til she leaves for her evening foraging and then will check on her periodically. I am hopeful that nothing untoward will happen. Fingers crossed.

In other nest news, OGK has flown in and replaced YRK on the Royal Albatross Cam in New Zealand. Also a 2017 hatch, Royal cam chick, Tumanko, landed on Taiaroa Head. This is amazing. He is four years old and has survived. As a chick he was not always well so this gives us all hope for all the birds. Over at the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest, Falky has been trying his hand at fishing. He made two dives off the barge this morning. The first was at 07:04:41 and the second at 07:20:07. In the image below, you can see the nice form Falky has. It will not be long until he catches his own fish. Mum looks on proudly while Bazza is on the nest waiting for his fish. Is it really Bazza Baby??? Ervie is off flying!

Here are a couple of lovely morning views of Diamond, the Peregrine Falcon female at Orange. She is adorable.

It has been a good day in Bird World. M15’s injury from the GHOW is improving and we wait for Gabby’s second egg — oh, and it is getting close to hatch watch at SWFlorida with M15 and Harriet. Oh, I am in dire need of some bobble head action! And if you are missing the Ospreys, her is a great image of Aran, the male at the Glaslyn Nest who was injured during the storm that hit Wales at the end of May. The community was so generous. They brought out a fish table for him and Mrs G – allowing them to grieve the loss of their three osplets and heal. Oh, Aran is a handsome one – and he is also a good fisher. Three and a half more months – Osprey action in the UK!

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Sea Eagles @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

The Daisy Chronicles, Day 19

Daisy only took an hour break last evening (Day 18).

It was extremely hot on the nest reaching to more than 98 degrees F on the forest floor or 37 degrees C. Did you know that extreme heat can kill the embryos? just like extreme cold? My friend told me that the layers of down that Daisy folds over can protect the eggs from either. Daisy was awfully not yesterday. She was often seen panting.

Daisy had a few hours reprieve from any intruders after she returned from her foraging. After midnight they arrived. Then at 00:41 she had to defend her nest and eggs from a Bushtail Possum! Daisy lunged at the Possum just like she did the Ravens. Gosh, our little duck mother is very protective and brave. Someone caught the action of the Bushtail Possum, the Ringtail Possum and a Lizard! My goodness.

“Bushtail Possum eating” by yinzhou1 is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

There appears to be no consensus as to whether or not the Bushtail Possums will harm the eggs. Many say they ‘hiss and look scary’ (my friend) but won’t be interested in the eggs while many individuals in Australia believe that the Bushtail have taken their eggs from the hen house.

The main streaming cam, cam4, that I watch continues to go offline. The cam operator for Twitch has moved it to focus on Daisy. Thank you. The Ringtail Possum continues to climb around the tree. Daisy may not take her break before sunrise because of them but after sunrise she runs a risk of the Ravens. That also applies to the afternoon if she leaves too early.

Here is a video – the image is grainy – of the Ringtail Possum coming up the tree to pester Daisy. I believe Daisy will wait to leave for her morning break until this possum goes into its nest and quiets down.

Daisy first started thinking about leaving for her morning foraging at 05:03 when she began tucking the down around her body. Then she stopped. Then she started again.

Wee get a wee peek at the eggs in the first image.

Daisy is very thorough.

She will move around the nest several times scooping up and pulling down and leaves over those 8 eggs.

She is almost done. This is her third swing around the nest.

Satisfied that the eggs are covered as best she can, our lovely little Duck – this brave duck – heads off for a quick breakfast.

She’s gone.

Sunrise is at 05:41 today. The temperature in the forest will range from 21 degrees C which it is presently to 31 degrees C mid afternoon. The wind is only 2 km/h so no creaks on the old Ironbark Tree today for Daisy! It could be a perfect day for the Sea Eagles to come and check on their nest. That is a horrible thought but they are due and the weather is good. Hopefully they will come when Daisy is away from the nest. Otherwise, she will flee leaving the eggs exposed.

While we wait for Daisy to return, there is some good news. When the camera maintenance is undertaken on the WBSE nest, there will be an attempt to remove the monofilament fishing line. They can’t go up while Daisy is incubating so it will not help the legs of her tiny goslings should they hatch and make their way to get off the nest. It could frighten Daisy and she might not return to the nest. It will, however, help the Sea Eagles – all of them. It must have come in one of the fish deliveries. This fishing line is so dangerous – along with the lead and the hooks.

It is cold on the Canadian Prairies which means the sun is shining! It is -17 C today. A good day for reading and hot tea. The summer solstice will occur at 02:58 on Wednesday the 22nd of December for Daisy. For North America the winter solstice is at 09:58 tomorrow, 21 December.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I will continue to monitor Daisy on the nest throughout the day and evening. Let us all hope it is boring and uneventful! Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures and also for their videos. Thank you to Pat for the alert about the possums and Dasha for turning the Twitch cam on Daisy instead of the wide view of the tree while the main cam is down. Much appreciated.