5 December 2022
Good Morning from the West Indies!
Today was ‘outing day’. I did not take my camera with me thinking I would not see any birds. Now, how silly was that? Thankfully the phone did catch a few. The images are really cropped and blown up so not in sharp focus but, I want to share them with you anyway.
People on the islands begin celebrating and preparing for Christmas the first weekend in December. So many blow up Santas! This evening they are having a big party (islanders love an excuse for a party) with carols, turning on the Christmas lights and walking through an area of them, and bands and singers. One highlight I heard about is that Martha Stewart is flying in with Snoop Dog to promote their wine. If you purchase a bottle of their very expensive vintages, you get to have your photo taken with a celebrity. Ah…it didn’t appeal to me. An Osprey maybe!!!!!!! An Osprey with a Santa Hat.
The entrance to the Le Phase Bleu Marina. It is a fascinating place with cottages you can rent or buy and services for people who come in on their boats – like a restaurant, a laundry mat, a clothing store, and a delicatessen amongst others.
This is a Green-throated Carib. It is there below the big flower almost in the middle. These are smaller than some of the other species of hummingbirds in the Caribbean. They are green all over except for a patch of violet-blue on their breast and a violet-black tail which you can see if you squint! You will find them in gardens and in dry woodlands. They nest between March and June laying two white eggs in a down lined nest with grasses and lichens.
Of course, the Great Egret was just standing there in the pond on the opposite side of the walkway from the hummingbird. You might, by now, recognise how sad I was feeling at leaving my big camera at home!
Such a gorgeous bird. I don’t know if you can tell but, my son and I stood and looked in the little pond and you could see fish everywhere. This Egret is very smart! I wonder if the person who owns the Marina stocks the pond for the egrets?? I must find out!
So this is my idea for Mum and Dad at Port Lincoln. A shallow pond – Ospreys can only go down about a metre. Stocked at Port Lincoln. A little bigger perhaps but, it doesn’t have to be too big. The Ospreys that winter in Columbia are always stealing fish out of the tanks where they are fish farming. But would those pesky gulls take all the fish? Oh, maybe.
Later in the day, I ‘heard’ the birds but, could not see them. Merlin Song ID helped with the sound identification of a Lesson’s Motmot, a Gray Kingbird, House Wren, House Sparrow, Bananaquit along with more Tropical Mockingbirds.
These are not my photographs but, these are the birds I ‘heard’ that I really hope to see. Aren’t they incredibly beautiful?
This is the Lesson’s MotMot that was in the mangrove. What colourful plumage. He fits right in with the fantastic colours of the islands.
“Lesson’s (formerly Blue-crowned) Motmot” by Howard Patterson is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.
This is the Gray Kingbird. This bird is the largest of the Tyrant kingfisher family in the Eastern Caribbean. It is a lovely soft grey on top and all white underneath. If you look, that grey in the image below is kissed by a wee bit of brown with a white outline on the tips of the wing feathers. There is a black eye line that goes from the cere to the ear coverts. The bill is thick and pointed and black. They build a twig nest high in the trees where they lay 2-4 heavily splotched red eggs between March and July.
“Gray Kingbird” by ahisgett is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
The Bananaquit is one of the most common birds across the Caribbean. They are called ‘Honeycreepers’. They have a short slim slightly curved bill. They have a distinguished plumage: The top half is black. They have a yellow-green underbody and rump. There is a distinctive white eye line that go from the cere to the nape in the adult birds. It is yellow in the juveniles.
They live on nectar and the juice of fruit such as mango and banana, seeds from herbaceous plants, and a variety of small insects. Breeding is from March to August. Their nest is a small mass of leaves and grasses with a small hole in the side in which they lay 2-3 heavily spotted white eggs.
“Bananaquit” by Alberto_VO5 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.
This is an adult bird but notice that the yellow underpart is limited to the rump with the back and wings a more dark grey or sooty black with white tipped wings. In fact, the plumage of this common bird does vary slightly over the region.
“bananaquit” by qmnonic is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Here is a Bananaquit gathering cotton for its nest.
“Bananaquit getting cotton for nest” by Mike’s Birds is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.
Eating the juice of a mango.
“Reinita común [Bananaquit] (Coereba flaveola luteola)” by barloventomagico is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
When I returned from my adventure today, there was news from ‘H’ on Rita from the WRDC. This is really, really good news.
“Update from moments ago: Rita is recuperating. She ate a fish. She’s still attacking anyone who reaches into her enclosure (this is good). The flesh part of her wound has some healing (also good).”
“Still a very long way to go. She picked a bit at the wrap and pin, which surprisingly was also considered good news, but not enough to need a cone. Sorry I don’t have a pic but if I get one I’ll post.”
I continue to try and point out different incidents to help educate all of us. Rita had a trauma and almost died. She was so lucky she was rescued. Those rescuers had no problem getting Rita to care. She did not fight them BUT she is today and she is still in critical condition. It sounds like I am beating a dead horse but if you are ever in a situation where you can pick up a raptor with a blanket, then that bird needs immediate attention. You should have the name of your local wildlife rehabilitation clinic 24/7 phone number. Call them. Tell them the situation. Ask if they can help or if they can give you the name of a centre who can. Get the bird to care. It should be standard protocol everywhere for this to happen and those connected with streaming cams need to be sensitive and have their entire teams and anyone around the nest versed in what the protocol is. Emergency contact numbers should be posted around a nest but they should also be placed under the streaming cam clearly so people can find them. ‘S’ and I urged this to happen after incidents in 2020 at two nesting sites, Collins Marsh and Patuxent.
Indigo is doing exceptionally well. Diamond was looking out from the ledge of the scrape box at Orange when Indigo flew in with a small bird she had received from Xavier. The time was 09:49.
Diamond is looking out over her territory on the Charles Sturt University.
Diamond sees Indigo coming and she wants out of the way!
Indigo has the small bird but she is still mantling and telling everyone that it is his.
What a handsome fledgling. Strong and healthy.
Indigo is very good at plucking!
It is delightful to see this falcon family doing so well with Indigo proving himself to be a very strong flyer. Very reassuring. ‘A’ writes that the only thing Indigo hasn’t figured out is that Mum steals stashed prey. She sure does! Watch out Indigo!!!!!
The camera at Port Lincoln may or may not have been off part of today. There is news that Zoe has had at least one fish if not two during the time I am writing. Ah, ‘A’ has written this morning that there were 2 fish for Zoe yesterday.
The Port Lincoln Osprey group continues to add information below the observation board including fish counts and hatch and fledge days from 2015 to the present. They have also included images of the barge. All of this is very interesting stuff.
This is the barge with the nest. Isn’t it amazing?
To view all of the documents uploaded to Google Documents by PLO, you go to the streaming cam and then go below the image and click on the link. Here is the link to that streaming cam in Australia.
In New Zealand. L has returned to the nest to join her Royal cam mate much to the relief of all. Sharon Dunne aka Lady Hawk posted a video of their happy reunion. Don’t you just love skycaps?
I continue to wish for a reunion for Samson and Gabby but, it appears that Gabby may be giving up hope as she warms up a little bit to one of her suitors. Both returned to the nest with big crops – you can clearly see Gabby’s – and Gabby allowed V2 (Visitor 2) to move a few sticks in the nest.
In California, at The Campanile, Annie is still being courted. It is not breeding season so we will wait to see how she does with the male visitors. Oh, Alden, where are you?
Thank you so very much for being with me today. I am having a great holiday – what a wonderful battery boost. It is sadly cold and wintery in Canada where I live. They had a big storm yesterday and it is to get very cold. I am so glad I am here for a few days longer! Take care everyone. See you soon!
Thank you to ‘H’ for the news about Rita and to ‘A’ for the news of PLO and Indigo and the following for their postings, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: Port Lincoln Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, NEFL-AEF, Sharon Dunne and the Royal Albatross Cam and the NZ DOC, Cal Falcons, and OpenVerse.