3 December 2022
Oh, I continue to marvel at the flowers, the beautiful sky and the green grass — and the birds on this small island!
There are Hibiscus of every colour.
It is a gorgeous view. This is a far cry from the wind chills of -30 in Manitoba!
The Tropic Mockingbird was eating fruit off of one of the trees.
In Grenada no one likes the Carib Grackles. They are always around when people are eating, taking their food. Is it because they are hungry? Well, my breakfast companion was a Carib Grackle. You see, I don’t really eat a big breakfast but it is the same amount for coffee and fruit than for everything piled up 3x over. So, — sorry. You will never take me out to breakfast with you! I turned my camera so that the women working at the breakfast buffet could not see. Then I fed the Grackle. It felt good.
In return, that same Carib Grackle, I assume, brought me a gift – feather. He left it right in front of me on the table. How sweet. I have heard of Crows leaving trinkets for people who feed them but, not a Grackle. The colour is washed in this image from my phone. It is small – about 10 cm or 4 inches long – and black. Probably from a Grackle!
After breakfast, we went to the mangroves near Mt Hartman to check on the egrets and herons. Nothing there but some cattle and goats along with a huge termite nest. Will check again early in the morning on Tuesday.
I am really surprised with all the mud around the edges of the ponds that there are not more Shorebirds, like the Greater Yellowlegs out and about. Maybe they come earlier – or later – in the day. Maybe tomorrow.
There were no Ospreys today at St George’s University but, there were some Cattle Egrets in the distance on an island, some more Grackles and Mockingbirds, and then….the fisher cleaning his fish threw the heads into the water. Well, some big birds began to fly in. Apparently the fishers do this everyday – clean the fish and give the birds the parts they do not want. Can you imagine Mum and Dad at Port Lincoln if this were to happen? or Ervie?!!!!!!!
The sea birds after the fish parts were Magnificent Frigatebirds. The image below is the female. She has a beautiful white collar.
The Magnificent Frigatebirds are from 95-110 cm or 37-43 cm inches in length. The male is all black and the female, as mentioned earlier, is all black with a white collar. They soar and swoop on the surface of the water getting fish using a wing span of 2.5 metres or 98 inches. They make their nests in trees and shrubs and laying their eggs from October through December. Unlike Ospreys and other sea birds, the Magnficent Frigatebirds never land on the water as they would not be able to pull themselves out like eagles or ospreys.
This is a juvenile. Its white head and chest will turn black as it reaches adulthood. It is off finding fish with Mum. Being trained like Indigo is.
Their tail reminds me of a scissor tail flycatcher. Notice the beak. It is like an albatross.
You can just see the Cattle Egret flying by the island. They are the smallest of the ‘white’ egrets on the island. The other two are the Greater or Common Egret and the Snowy Egret.
The sweet little Zenaida Dove was around with the Tropic Mockingbirds over on the SGU Campus where the Frigatebirds were.
Look closely at the photo below. See the white eye ring and look above the beak and around the eye at the pink-violet colouring. Just beautiful.
Zenaida Doves grow to be approximately 30 cm or 12 inches in length. It is a grey-brown bird with cinnamon or pink areas appearing around the neck and breast. There are two eye lines, lighter towards the black beak and getting darker towards the nape of the neck. There is a tinge of violet kissing the area around the eye with a blue-grey ‘cap’ on the head. It has white tipped outer feathers. The inner wing feathers have two black spots, while there are also blue-grey feathers going ombre into beige-grey. It feeds mainly on seeds and fruit. The Zenaida Doves lay their clutch of two eggs between February and August in a flimsy nest – sometimes on a palm leaf!!!!!!
This dove is not injured. Their legs and feet are red. Also it closely resembles the Eared-Dove but that bird does not have white around the wing tips.
I thought it was a good day because included in the sightings was a Grenada Dove. I have no photo. They are very quick and live in the back trees – some thorny trees that remind me of the Mimosa growing in my parent’s garden when I was a child. But I did see one! Yippeeee.
Seriously, we all know that the members of the Corvid family are brilliant but here is a new study that just emphasises that even more!
And a new study on the level of self-awareness in crows.
Gabby has not given in to the uninvited guests at the NEFL Bald Eagle Nest that she shares with Samson. Our beautiful Gabby is waiting and we are waiting with her – and hoping just like she is.
That head is not pure white yet or he has had it stuck in suet somewhere. I don’t think he could attract our girl.
Just to remind everyone, Bella had quite the time early last season. She was injured and bleeding and was absent for 21 days while she healed so that she could come and boot any female intruders away from Smitty! This year Smitty and Bella are working on their nest together. Hope for Samson and Alden.
Highlights today from the scrape at Orange. Indigo is quite the character! Diamond and Xavier have very vivacious offspring!
Also in Australia, the Rare Honeyeater is still learning its breeding song even if there are so few they might never find a mate and breed. If I am not mistaken, one of the adults at Orange brought in a Honeyeater this year. If I am wrong, please let me know!
In Port Lincoln, at 11:20:37 Dad brought in a fish. Mum was once again too late. Zoe got it! She spots him flying in and starts doing that famous talon dance.
I think Dad needs fish. It looks like Mum has a good crop.
Zoe is doing well and so is Indigo. This is good news. I do not keep up with their feedings now…Zoe might soon start to do her own fishing. We wait.
Last but not least, Harriet and M15 have their second egg of the season which means that hard incubation will begin. Congratulations to Harriet and M15 (remember Harriet is 28 years old), the Pritchett Family, and all who love SWFlorida Eagles.
This is not a long newsletter today but I hope that you found something of interest and also learned something new. That is the most important thing. Tomorrow I am getting up at 0400 to head north to Levera National Park and Lake Antoine. I cannot find a decent map to show you so, fingers and toes crossed there are some nice birds for Sunday morning!
Thank you for being with me today. Take care everyone. Send best wishes to Samson, Alden, and Rita. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: My Modern Met, Port Lincoln Ospreys, SWFlorida Bald Eagles and D Pritchett Family, abc.net.au, D Steyck and the NCTC Bald Eagle Cam, Falcon Cam Project and Elaine, Big Think.com and Manitoba Birding and Wildlife Photography, NEFL and SWFL Eagle Cam and Watchers Group – and to my son, Cris, who chased birds all over for me today. It was great fun.