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.