The Daisy Chronicles, Day 19

Daisy only took an hour break last evening (Day 18).

It was extremely hot on the nest reaching to more than 98 degrees F on the forest floor or 37 degrees C. Did you know that extreme heat can kill the embryos? just like extreme cold? My friend told me that the layers of down that Daisy folds over can protect the eggs from either. Daisy was awfully not yesterday. She was often seen panting.

Daisy had a few hours reprieve from any intruders after she returned from her foraging. After midnight they arrived. Then at 00:41 she had to defend her nest and eggs from a Bushtail Possum! Daisy lunged at the Possum just like she did the Ravens. Gosh, our little duck mother is very protective and brave. Someone caught the action of the Bushtail Possum, the Ringtail Possum and a Lizard! My goodness.

“Bushtail Possum eating” by yinzhou1 is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

There appears to be no consensus as to whether or not the Bushtail Possums will harm the eggs. Many say they ‘hiss and look scary’ (my friend) but won’t be interested in the eggs while many individuals in Australia believe that the Bushtail have taken their eggs from the hen house.

The main streaming cam, cam4, that I watch continues to go offline. The cam operator for Twitch has moved it to focus on Daisy. Thank you. The Ringtail Possum continues to climb around the tree. Daisy may not take her break before sunrise because of them but after sunrise she runs a risk of the Ravens. That also applies to the afternoon if she leaves too early.

Here is a video – the image is grainy – of the Ringtail Possum coming up the tree to pester Daisy. I believe Daisy will wait to leave for her morning break until this possum goes into its nest and quiets down.

Daisy first started thinking about leaving for her morning foraging at 05:03 when she began tucking the down around her body. Then she stopped. Then she started again.

Wee get a wee peek at the eggs in the first image.

Daisy is very thorough.

She will move around the nest several times scooping up and pulling down and leaves over those 8 eggs.

She is almost done. This is her third swing around the nest.

Satisfied that the eggs are covered as best she can, our lovely little Duck – this brave duck – heads off for a quick breakfast.

She’s gone.

Sunrise is at 05:41 today. The temperature in the forest will range from 21 degrees C which it is presently to 31 degrees C mid afternoon. The wind is only 2 km/h so no creaks on the old Ironbark Tree today for Daisy! It could be a perfect day for the Sea Eagles to come and check on their nest. That is a horrible thought but they are due and the weather is good. Hopefully they will come when Daisy is away from the nest. Otherwise, she will flee leaving the eggs exposed.

While we wait for Daisy to return, there is some good news. When the camera maintenance is undertaken on the WBSE nest, there will be an attempt to remove the monofilament fishing line. They can’t go up while Daisy is incubating so it will not help the legs of her tiny goslings should they hatch and make their way to get off the nest. It could frighten Daisy and she might not return to the nest. It will, however, help the Sea Eagles – all of them. It must have come in one of the fish deliveries. This fishing line is so dangerous – along with the lead and the hooks.

It is cold on the Canadian Prairies which means the sun is shining! It is -17 C today. A good day for reading and hot tea. The summer solstice will occur at 02:58 on Wednesday the 22nd of December for Daisy. For North America the winter solstice is at 09:58 tomorrow, 21 December.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I will continue to monitor Daisy on the nest throughout the day and evening. Let us all hope it is boring and uneventful! Take care everyone. 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 and also for their videos. Thank you to Pat for the alert about the possums and Dasha for turning the Twitch cam on Daisy instead of the wide view of the tree while the main cam is down. Much appreciated.