3 December 2023
I hope this blog finds you well. As I mentioned earlier in the week, news in Bird World is quite thin. Until we have eaglets hatching or are on fledge watch at PLO, things are pretty boring. I have mentioned a great book on ospreys at the end of this blog today. I highly recommend it and if you are looking for a super gift for a friend that loves ospreys, it would be a perfect present.
The trip to the pet was to get two big bags of dry cat food – one for the kittens and one for the group gathering food to give to those who cannot afford to feed their pets. Pet food has gone up around 32%. It is tragic if people have to dump or surrender their trusted friends, so finding several resources in my City that are helping has reassured me that humans can be generous. But the trip turned out to be more than that. I am trying to get the house ready for the little brother’s arrival. The latest addition to Cat World is a shorter cat tree for the girls and the new baby boy. There should now be enough perches and places to hide, look out over one’s territory, and to jump and play to maintain civility amongst the felines. Keep your fingers crossed!
Missey has been the only cat that has noticed the new piece of furniture. She made sure that she was all over it this afternoon. Hope just finished her chicken dinner, walked by it and didn’t even look. She is out to find Mamma and see if Calico left any food in her dish. Yes, Hope eats much more than Calico now. She is growing and is getting very long.
These Maine Coons are the sweetest and most calm cats. I wonder if Missey still misses Lewis as much as I do? She loves playing with Hope which has been a real blessing.
I guess she must have marked it as hers. Calico and Hope have not even gone near the new cat tree!
Some news from Bird world-.
‘A’ sends us a big report form the NE Florida nest:
“It’s early morning at NEFL (06:00) and both Gabby and V3 are in the nest tree. Gabby spent the night there. V3 flew off around 00:28, but is back in the nest tree now, perched on Wallenda. It seems both of them are protecting their territory. There has been no further sign of the intruder since he left late yesterday morning. Around 06:01, Gabby was in the nest bowl. C’mon V3, she still seems to be waiting for you, but she’s definitely willing to consider other options.
Here is the description of the events from the log (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mpMqyoaEKIxztAg3s4m-cf95J79W6bV6JKYbdqS4eeg/edit#gid=1961113004).
Morning Activity: Gabby arrived @ 8:12 am on Wallenda with a nice crop…she was doing her feaking. During morning chat @ 9:08 am a visitor arrived in the nest….and, well, during chat the visitor mated with Gabby…total surprise to everyone. Gabby moved to LOP @ 11:25 am…the visitor remained perched on Wallenda. They appeared to be watching someone overhead. The visitor returned to the nest and then flew off @ 11:36 am. Gabrielle remained at LOP. Then at 11:40 am V3 returned to the nest with vocals. He hopped up to Sunset Branch, while Gabby remained perched at LOP as of noontime.
Afternoon Activity: As of noontime, Gabby and V3 were both perched, Gabby at LOP and V3 on Sunset Branch. They were both doing some preening and there were vocals @ 12:48 pm. V3 moved to another branch by the cams @ 1:05 pm and both he and Gabby let out more vocals. @ 1:32 pm V3 moved over high on LOP branch to join Gabby. More vocals by both @ 1:46 pm…V3 flew off @ 1:49 pm and returned on Wallenda @ 1:52 pm with vocals. Nice rouse by V3 @ 2:09 pm….more vocals by both. V3 flew off @ 2:47 pm and came right back @ 2:48 pm…he landed on LOP and moved up higher above Gabby. Gabby flew and V3 flew off right behind her @ 3:09 pm. V3 was back again on Wallenda @ 3:54 pm. He moved to LOP. He flew off @ 5:13 pm in the direction of the Lumber Yard. Gretchen’s tuck report: “Whew…..a turn of events in the Hamlet today! But no aggression and all is calm. Surprise #1 was the visitor returned again, and a BIG Surprise #2 when he and Gabby mated! (video posted above). V3 doesn’t seem to engage in any chase on cam, but he often returns to the nest right after the visitor flies, as he did today…..a mystery. We’ve all accepted and favor V3 for many reasons, but we go with the flow and have no control. It’s proven to be Gabby’s nest! When I left the LY tonight V3 was still perched there solo, and it was getting fairly dark. He arrived there about 5:15pm, after leaving the nest tree. We all stay tuned and TTE (Trust The Eagles)”.
Evening Activity: Gabrielle and V3 arrived back at the nest together on Wallenda @ 9:17 pm….Gretchen said to scrap her tuck report from earlier!
“V3 and Gabby are constantly together, on the nest tree, in the lumber yard. They fly in to the nest tree, usually Gabby first immediately followed by V3. They work together on the nest (as they were doing around 17:30 last night (2 December), before heading off to perch together in the lumber yard. They are deeply bonded. All that remains is for V3 to gain confidence and practice. Gabby can be intimidating!
The visitor the other day literally landed on Gabby’s back with little or no warning. She appeared a little surprised. Certainly, she did not initiate or encourage it, as she has tried to do with V3 on more than one occasion (he’s nervous of her, and usually moves away up the branch or even moves to a nearby branch). He has made one clumsy attempt that I have witnessed, and although it was not successful, it was at least a step in the right direction. He knows what he SHOULD be doing. He just finds Gabby a wee bit intimidating and he lacks both confidence and experience. Hopefully, he will gain both over the coming weeks.
I have checked the laying dates at this nest, and it is noteworthy that the most recent clutch from Gabby and Sampson was laid in December 2021 – the first egg arriving on 17 December. The year before that, she laid on 31 December 2020. And the year before that, she laid in mid-January – 13 January 2020. So that’s a pretty wide range – from 17 December, which is exactly a fortnight away, to mid-January, which of course is six weeks away. That’s a pretty lengthy window, but were Gabby to lay an egg fertilised by the recent visitor, it would be significantly earlier than she usually lays. “
Ron was at the WRDC nest this afternoon checking on what needs to be done.
Rita was there, too, working away.
There are intruder eagles wanting the food M15 is delivering to the nest.
There was an owl strike on M15 and I missed it. Oh, dear.
Harriet will always be loved and remembered.
Meanwhile, there are two eggs for Alex and Andria at the KNF E-3 nest and we still wait for Louis and Anna at E-1. Personally, I think it is great that they did not lay the eggs at the same time. We will certainly get a good lesson eagle development.
Anna is a big girl!
Smitty has not been seen since the 21-22 of September. The new male and Bella have bonded. He was at the nest in the evening on Saturday.
We are five days away from hatch at Superbeaks and Pepe and Muhlady might be listening to their beautiful babies this morning. Mark your calendars for 8 December hatch watch.
They are waiting for some fish at Port Lincoln.
These two are working on those wings! This nest seems to get smaller!
There was no good on the nest yesterday. It did not trigger a fishing response by either parent.
Beautiful Diamond looking out of the scrape at Orange that she shares with Xavier.
Xavier was on the MW. Can you see him?
The Three Bridges eagles are certainly anxious for eggs.
Bobby Horvath is one of our heroes. He was ready and willing to go and help the fourth hatch at Patchogue. Thankfully his services were not needed. It is wonderful to see the community reach out and help WINOOR. A great cheque was presented to help with rehab events! Thanks, ‘J’ for sending us the news from Long Island.– This holiday season, if you can, add a little to the ‘kitty’ of your local wildlife rehabber. They will appreciate it.
Tim Mackrill’s new book will be released in the UK in February.
Tim’s book for the RSPB is excellent and very reasonably priced. It is highly recommended. In fact, I think it is one of the best books on Ospreys published.
AI is being used to count birds.
Oh, the news in Bird World is thin this time of year. Take care everyone. Will try and get some new photos of the girls today for you. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, articles, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog this morning.
‘A, H, J’, NEFL-AEF, WRDC, Androcat, Marti Lord, Tonya Irwin, KNF-E3 and E1, Superbeaks, Deb Stecyk, PLO, HeidiMc, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Trudi Kron, WINORR, Amazon, and Severson Dells Nature Centre.