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 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 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, end of Day 18

Daisy had a relatively quiet day on Monday, the 20th, in Australia.

The wind broke a small branch loose that had some leaves on it and it fell right by Daisy’s nest! Seriously, this is one lucky duck.

By mid-morning the sun was making Daisy hot. In the image below she is panting to thermoregulate her temperature.

The camera operator checked to see if the Sea Eagles were at the River Roost. They were not.

Daisy spends some of her time removing more down and tucking it in.

Everything was pretty quiet until 15:55 when Daisy froze. I could hear the Ravens but they went quiet. They had to be sitting on the tree branches out of view of the camera. Daisy stayed in the same position until 16:03:30 when she relaxed.

Daisy kept her head down but she was looking and listening.

Every once in awhile the Ravens would make intimidating sounds.

Daisy relaxed and then she froze again at 16:13:10.

She has relaxed.

Daisy worked on the down, twigs, and leaves and bits and bobs to cover the nest for more than three minutes before she felt certain her precious eggs were covered well enough to leave.

Daisy did not leave as early as she did yesterday. She flew off at 17:34:21. It is still light and you can still hear some birds in the forest. She is counting on the Ravens not returning. It is two and a half hours until sunset at 20:04.

It is nearing 01:00 on the Canadian Prairies and I am going to take a leap of faith that Daisy will get home and her eggs will be in tact and toasty warm under the down, the heat of the nest, and the rays of the sun.

Thank you for joining me. It is wonderful that so many people care for this wee duck who has laid her eggs in this enormous nest in the forest. Take care everyone. See you soon. — Look for my next posting mid-afternoon on the Canadian Prairies tomorrow.

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

The Daisy Chronicles, Day 18

At 03:43 in the morning I was waiting for Daisy to return home, like a parent waiting for their teenager to the first time they borrow the family car. My math wasn’t good at all. So, let’s go back and get this right. Daisy laid 8 eggs. She began hard incubation (perhaps on Day 7) but for sure on Day 8. That is 11 days. The duck eggs require 26-30 days of incubation. So, as of today, we have 15-19 days left.

Daisy is, of course, starting to drive me a little bonkers. She was so careful with the timing of her foraging trips until a couple of days ago. During that time, Daisy left the nest after sunset and took her morning break before sunrise. That guaranteed that she would miss the Ravens and the Sea Eagles. They are diurnal – daytime hunting birds. Now, she is gambling. She left for her break last evening at 15:30 – two and a half hours before sunset. She was simply lucky that those Ravens did not fly by and see her gone.

Daisy returned at 19:11:56. The beautiful glow of the setting sun makes Daisy and the nest look ‘rose gold’.

Isn’t she gorgeous?

This morning, sunrise was at 05:40. Daisy did not leave to go foraging until 05:43:21.

Daisy put considerable effort into concealing her eggs underneath that thick layer of down.

She walked around the nest several times tucking and poking.

Certain that everything was to her liking, Daisy flew off for breakfast.

You can just see her flying out of the right hand side, middle ground.

Seconds after Daisy left, the camera went offline. The wind is blowing at only 10 km/h and the current temperature is 21 degrees C. It will go up to 29 C today in the Sydney Olympic Forest. The time is 07:23. I hope our darling Daisy has returned or will return soon. The Ravens do tend to come in the morning.

Daisy is home! Whew!

The Rainbow Lorikeets have flown in to say good morning. They are so colourful and what a nice voice they have.

It looked like there were 7 or 8 visitors. Several seem to be curious about the Ringtail Possums hole on the right side of the nest below the top of it. There is a Lorikeet close to the entrance.

They come in a ‘migraine’ (that is what a group of Rainbow Lorikeets is called) and leave together just as quickly moving on to other areas in the forest.

Daisy looks really comfortable in that fluffy down nest.

Daisy removes some down.

It is 09:10 on the nest and for the moment, everything is fine! That is a good thing.

But at 09:31:11, Daisy raised her head from a sound sleep. Her head shot up! She is alert. Is there a predator around?

Whatever it is, is now gone and Daisy is back in her relaxed mode.

So, as of now, everything in Daisy’s world is calm. It is often very tense watching Daisy – that is because we know that anything could happen at any moment. Right now thought – everything is fine. Daisy is safe and so are her eggs. Can hour at a time.

Other Bird World News: Ferris Akel’s Tour located a large group of Sandhill Cranes and Red-breasted Mergansers. The images are quite ‘soft’ but I think you can see the beauty in the birds. The cranes flew and went to an area of water after feeding on the fields.

There were also Red-Breasted Mergansers. I have never seen them. I checked my Waterfowl book and they say that the Red-headed Mergansers will often completely jump out of the water when they are diving. At other times they slip straight under the water without even making a splash. They are known as the ‘wolves of the water’ – they ‘cruise the water’ in packs in an effort to catch fish. There are two males below and a female. The males have the dark head, red bill, and the lovely white collar. The females have warm brown heads and grey bodies with a red bill. They are found in various locations in North American and Asia but they really like the coastal waters and lakes. Known for their elaborate courtship rituals, unlike other ducks, they do not mature until they are two years old.

It has warmed up. It is only -5 C on the Canadian Prairies but it is a wet cold that goes all the way to your bones. Daisy is now 24 degrees C going up to 29 C this afternoon for our little duck. She will be happy for that evening swim. No storms and no rain forecast. Yippeeee.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I will continue to monitor Daisy throughout the day and report any issues if they happen. If it is quiet you can expect to hear from me tomorrow. Take care. Stay safe!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Ferris Akel Tour and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Forest.

The Daisy Chronicles, end of Day 17

So far Daisy’s day has been incredible – beautifully boring. The wind and its gusts in the forest have rocked the big nest in the Ironbark Tree as she sleeps. Without sound it is impossible to know who is in the forest unless they come down low enough to see. Funny the Ravens stay up high. I wonder if Daisy did frighten them those two days? Still they wait hoping they will arrive when she is gone because they know what Daisy has hidden. Personally, I wish they would go on a holiday to Melbourne or Canberra for the next two and a half weeks.

The wind has picked up in the last few minutes. You cannot tell from the image below but that nest is really swirling around and the tops of the trees below are twisting and turning. Daisy is not phased. The clock on the streaming cam indicates that it is getting close to the time when the storms might begin. The forecast is for a 70% chance of a thunderstorm starting at 15:00 dropping to 50% at 16:00 and to 40% at 17:00. There is no more rain forecast after that. I hope we are lucky and Daisy just gets rocked a bit faster than usual but no rain.

It is so strange to see the trees whipping about and the nest almost twirling but there is no creaking. It must be loud in the forest.

With trees below the large nest twisting and turning, I was surprised when I looked down to see Daisy tucking the down in around her. Is she leaving her eggs in the middle of the afternoon? Do the dark skies make it appear later in the day? So many questions were going through my head. Daisy removed some more down and pressed it around the eggs.

At 15:28 Daisy prepares to leave to take a break and forage. You can just see one of the white eggs to the right, under her tail.

Bless her heart. She worked hard tucking and turning, making sure that not a single egg was exposed.

Wonder if the winds will drop some more leaves down on the nest? or will they blow some of the down off the eggs?

The tree was swaying and it was extremely gusty as Daisy headed to the rim of the nest to fly off.

I have to admit that I am a bit confused. Daisy has been so careful except for the past two mornings when she has returned after sunrise. Why leave now? If Daisy can leave and fly to go foraging then the Ravens can be flitting around the forest also. I hope they aren’t. Of course, my other concern is the rain – if it comes. Feeling helpless. We wait.

So far the wind has not blown the down off but it is whipping about the ends a bit.

It has been almost an hour between these two images and Daisy’s nest doesn’t look any different – and that is a good thing!

The sound surprised me. It came on around 17:27. The gusts are now are between 30 and 45 km/h but the prediction for rain has been removed. You can sometimes hear small bird vocalizations. Daisy has been away from the nest for two hours. Can you feel how tense this is making me? I really hope she knows more about those Ravens than I think I do!

At 17:46 I could hear the Pied Currawong. Then there were some Noisy Miners in the distance. The wind gusts are still strong.

The cam operator checked to see if the Sea Eagles, Lady and Dad, were still at the River Roost. They were not.

That said, it is still light in the forest, the birds seem to be waking up after the nastiness of the afternoon’s weather, and Daisy, our dear little duck, has been away for 3 hours. I hate to say it but it feels like she is pushing her luck. Sunset is at 20:04.

Like clockwork, the camera went off line in a huge gust. Daisy, I hope you get home safe to your nest.

Daisy returned to the nest at 19:11:56. She spent some time drying off before going over to incubate her eggs.

The wind had actually fluffed up the down.

Gosh, it felt good to see Daisy back on her eggs!

At 19:26:37 the cam operator zoomed in on something worrisome – both for Daisy and the Sea Eagles. It is a piece of monofilament fishing line on the nest. That should be removed. It is a direct human caused issue.

It is nearly 03:00 on the Canadian Prairie as the sun begins to set on Daisy and her 8 eggs in the great big sea eagle nest. The winds have quieted and there is no reason to believe that Daisy will leave the nest before midnight or that predators will come. Good night, Daisy! You are one lucky duck.

Thank you for joining me and for sending all your love and positive energy to Daisy. Tomorrow is Day 18. Day 18 out of 26-30. Take care everyone!

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

Just a note: My report on Daisy will be sent out about 18:00 CDT tomorrow.

The Daisy Chronicles, Day 17 morning

The main camera was off line til right before Daisy returned from her early morning foraging at 07:11:50. Daisy did not spend as much time drying off as usual. Her esophagus is enlarged so it looks like her foraging went well.

After sliding down on the nest, she has spent some time arranging the down and the leaves.

Daisy is tucked and sleeping. She has no idea that the Sea Eagles are near by.

Both of the WBSE are at the River Roost this morning. They were caught on camera just now.

The cam operator has kept the camera on the Sea Eagles. I wonder if she is waiting to see if they will leave and come to the nest in the forest.

You can follow Daisy on the Livestream at

I wanted to let you know that the streaming cam is up and running and that Daisy returned to the nest and is alright. The concern is the Sea Eagles. What will they do?

Well, no more than I wrote that the streaming cam was working and it has gone down again! Here is the link to the Twitch cam – remember it has no sound and it has no rewind function.

https://www.twitch.tv/seaeaglecam

This is concerning because of the Sea Eagles. Fingers crossed that they fly off to Goat Island!

Ah, Cam 4 just resumed streaming. Daisy is fine! The wind and the weather must be having an impact but it ‘looks’ fine at the nest. The early morning sun is filtering its way through the leaves. My calendar says there are possibly 16 days to hatch (the most 20).

The Noisy Miners are about and now the sound has gone off the main camera. Daisy is sleeping.

I will continue to monitor the situation as best I can. Thank you for joining me and for sending all your love and positive wishes to Daisy. Please take care of yourselves. Stay safe.

Thank you to both the Twitch Sea Eagles cam and the Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discover Centre Sydney Olympic Park.

The Daisy Chronicles Day 16, continued

After having a busy morning with visitors – the Ring-tailed Possum, the Rainbow Lorikeets, the Noisy Miners, the Pied Currawong, and the Ravens – our beautiful little Pacific Black Duck Daisy had a very uneventful day. What a blessing that is – a calm, no drama day. If we could link the next 17 or 18 days together into boring bliss for Daisy, she just might beat the odds.

The forecast for thunderstorms and a drop in temperature changed periodically. The sky got dark and Daisy decided to leave the nest for her evening foraging 20 minutes earlier than last evening. She flew off at 17:51:55.

Daisy tucked and folded the down over the eggs while using her bill to scrape up leaves and nest material around the edges.

The sky turned dark. It is difficult to tell if there is any light rain falling. Despite the forecast for thunderstorms no thunder can be heard. At least not yet. The storms are supposed to last until 22:00.

My only concern is if all that beautiful fluffy down were to get wet. It would mat and shrink. Would Daisy have enough down to replenish it? so that it would completely cover those eggs like it is now?

Sadly, the male ducks do not provide security when the female is away like Canadian Geese. While the male CG do not help incubate the eggs, they do provide security and certainly help with the goslings after they hatch. Daisy has absolutely no help with either. With all the odds against her, she is really managing well this clutch. Each day I am becoming more cautiously optimistic.

Daisy returns from her evening break at 20:18:35. She spends some time on the rim of the nest drying her feathers.

It appears that the weather that was forecast did not do anything to damage Daisy’s down. Yahoo.

Just look at Daisy in all that down! It shows up so much better with the IR camera.

It is 04:42 nest time. The main camera went out just after the last image above.

This is the view from the Twitch camera. There is no sound and I cannot find any rewind mechanism. As you can see, we cannot tell if Daisy is in the nest or not.

The link to the Twitch cam is here:

https://www.twitch.tv/seaeaglecam?fbclid=IwAR1M7vk5XUVqWDD_3_F3RUo3EIlolHrtna5412R18vN1WBgy4KPZUxLN6j4

I will catch up with Daisy as soon as the main camera comes back on line. Thank you for so much for joining me as we begin Day 17 for our favourite duck!

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

The Daisy Chronicles Day 15-16

I had a question from a reader. It was a good observation about Daisy and the multi-tasking she has to do such as security, nest cup maintenance, incubation, and feeding herself. You might have noticed that no one relieves Daisy when she needs a break. It would be ‘monumental’ in terms of security if that were the case but, it isn’t. The Pacific Black Ducks are similar to the Mallards in that the males might go with the female to look at nesting sites but it is her choice. If the nest is down in the reeds by the water, they ‘might’ provide some security. Indeed, Daisy is responsible for nesting site choice, nest cup creation and maintenance, incubation, brood rearing, and getting her own food. Dr Mike Brasher in his article, ‘Understanding Waterfowl: Drakes and Ganders’ points out one of the issues when he says, ‘In North America, nearly all duck populations consist of a higher proportion of males than females…This gender imbalance is mostly caused by higher rates of mortality suffered by females while nesting and brood rearing.’ In other words, it is dangerous for Daisy to be left alone and yet the species has not developed behaviours that would see the female protected or assisted. Daisy is most vulnerable when she is incubating her eggs. David Sibley says that in many studies, ‘…up to 30 percent of adult females did not survive the four weeks of incubation.’

Daisy and other ducks spend approximately 23 hours a day incubating eggs for 26-30 days. She relies on her camouflage, be alert, puffing up to enlarge her size, and travelling quietly to avoid predators. I think she also needs a great deal of luck. Sibley says that ‘A nesting attempt has only a 15 percent chance of fledging any young.’ Once fledged, he adds that only about a third of those that fledge survive the first 2 or 3 weeks.

In other words, we are witnessing something rather miraculous if all goes well and those eggs of Daisy’s hatch and fledge. There were some who thought Daisy was ‘crazy’ selecting this nest but with the odds maybe she isn’t. Indeed, maybe Daisy was not ‘a crazy duck’, at all, selecting the WBSE nest. She tried last year and even with the Sea Eagles coming often, they showed no intent to harm the duck. They were curious. Dad seemed to be concerned about who dared to lay eggs in Lady’s nest cup and his nest. Daisy and Dad played ‘nest tag. She would often fly off the second he landed. One day he sat on the camera tree waiting for the bird to show up that owned those eggs. Daisy stayed away. She would have noticed him from a nearby tree and the second he left the forest she flew to her eggs. Dad broke one of the eggs – perhaps by accident. He didn’t like the taste of the egg but he was very curious about the down as was Lady. They didn’t know what it was – they had never experienced it. Neither of them liked it! The down stuck to their beaks and just about drove them crazy trying to get it off. No, it was the Ravens wanting the eggs when they saw them. While there were a few days to go to hatch, Daisy had held out that long. She learned something, I hope. That is not to leave the nest unattended during the normal daylight hours. That is when the Ravens could come and predate the eggs. So far, she has left on average around sunset and before sunrise. The last set of breaks was an exception – there were three in a 14 hour period – shorter in duration than the longer break days. With the cooler weather and what Daisy learned from last year, we can only hope that she does not leave the nest during the prime daylight hours when the Ravens are about.

The cam operator zoomed in and there are some wonderful closeups of our darling Daisy.

It is 16:00 on the nest and all is well. It is 23:00 on the Canadian Prairies. I have a nasty habit of getting up to check on Daisy constantly even though the sound is on quite high to alert me if any Ravens or WBSE come to the nest. Fingers crossed the time from now until Daisy departs the nest for her evening meal will be blissful and free of any incidents.

And all has gone well. Daisy left the nest at 18:11:17 – well before sunset at 20:03. That made me a bit nervous. However, Daisy pulled it off. As luck would have it neither the WBSE or the Ravens came to the nest while she was away that I could see. She returned at 20:25:37.

She has lots of down to cover the eggs. The down is quite visible but maybe the WBSE will leave it alone since they don’t like it on their bills – if they come and then if they notice.

Daisy had that enlarged esophagus or ‘crop’ when she returned. It looks like she had a very good foraging!

It is Day 16. It is now 04:14 on the nest. Daisy seems very content. Sunrise is at 05:40. The weather forecast is for a ‘possible’ scatter thunderstorm in the Sydney Olympic Forest area around 16:00. The temperature will rise to 34. Much hotter than Daisy has seen on the nest. I hope those storms with their rain are scattered. Daisy really is relying on that gorgeous down to protect those eggs.

Thank you so much for joining me. I will have an update in early evening of all the day’s happenings for Daisy. Continue to send your positive energy to this amazing duck that just might defy all the odds. She certainly has a huge support group that love her so much.

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

The Daisy Chronicles Day 15

Oh, my goodness. I missed it. Sharon Dunne posted a video of the Lorikeets visiting yesterday but, in that video is a split second visit of Lady to the nest. She is chased by the Pied Currawong – they simply do not just harass the fledglings – they also harass the adult WBSE. Lady was more interested in the Currawong and did not notice Daisy’s nest. Lady was on the nest for just a blink, nothing more while Daisy was away foraging! ——— Seriously, this is one lucky duck!

I took that screen capture from Sharon’s video that is posted on YouTube. You can watch the entire visit of the Lorikeets and Lady. Thanks, Sharon! Here is the link:

It is Day 15 and is 17 December in Australia. Daisy has already had two breaks today. She appears to now be taking shorter breaks but more of them. She first left for foraging at 01:10 returning at 03:10. This departure is right in the middle of her usual foraging breaks.

She returns and spends time drying off her plumage so that the down will not stick to her wet feathers.

Her second break of Day 15 comes at 05:09:04. She returns at 06:36:15.

There is no indication that either of the White-bellied sea eagles came to the nest this morning while Daisy was away. The Lorikeets did return in mass to say good morning to Daisy.

Some of the Rainbow Lorikeets were climbing in the top of the tree. Maybe they will lossen some of those dry leaves so Daisy has some more material to cover those eggs.

So far, the Lorikeets and the Noisy Miners have been the only birds to visit — so far this morning! The possum has been moving about, too. It is no danger at all to Daisy just maybe to that fluffy down.

The shadows are across the big nest. You can hardly see Daisy but she is there.

Daisy is sleeping in the warm sunshine. Look at all that down. It looks like our smart and brave little duck is sleeping on a cloud of twinkling stars.

Oh, just look at that purple/blue sometimes green (depending on the light0 wing pattern. How beautiful.

Daisy is very content to sleep and do her little wiggle moving the eggs. She takes time to fix the down, move the leaves, and sleep. Did you notice that there are a few more leaves that have fallen down to the nest?

Thank you cam operator for these great close ups!

The Lorikeets are returning to the tree. You can just see one on either side in the middle ground. You can hear more of them in the background.

What amazing colour patterns these beautiful birds have!

I hope that they climb around on the branches above Daisy. They could really help with leaf collection.

They must be so curious about this quiet little duck who has taken on a ‘time lease’ on the WBSE nest. They have been coming to visit more often each day.

The camera operator checked the Parramatta River. One of the WBSE – Lady or Dad – is on the River Roost!

Sometimes Daisy’s eye gives her away. Despite the fact that she has her beak tucked in behind her wing as if she is sleeping, she is very much alert and away. Has she heard something in the forest that concerns her?

I love how the leaves are getting tangled in with the down. Better camouflage to help conceal those eggs.

It is after lunch and so far all has gone well. Our little brave duck has weathered today with two breaks. I hope that she can wait til sunset to go for her last one of the day. Sunset today is 20:03. No showers or rain in the forecast. The temperature is 23 – a far cry from the 40 degrees C last time she had a clutch of eggs. Join me in wishing Daisy an uneventful afternoon incubating eggs!

Thank you so much for joining me today to check on our brave little duck. We might have to start calling her the ‘brave lucky duck’. Please take care. 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.