It’s not all about Raptors…

19 October 2020

Hello Everyone,

The first feeding at Port Lincoln was a good one, save for Mum. She has two big osplets that could sit and eat fish all day. It went well. Smiling. And it is warming up on the Canadian Prairies. It is 11 degrees. Tomorrow is going to be beautiful. It will be a good day to get outside!

In the Mailbox:

‘D’ writes:  You often mention some of the visitors to your garden. Today the squirrels were included again. I’m interested to read that you have greys & reds visiting. As you know, the greys in the UK are a threat to the reds, I wondered are yours a different species?

A Eurasian Red Squirrel in the Scottish Cairngorms. Photo by Dani Connor Wild.

I did not know the answer to ‘D’s question right away although I knew that Little Red looked different than the Red Squirrels in Sweden and the UK that Danni Connor photographs. First, the Grey Squirrel is native to North America. It was introduced by the aristocrats of Victorian England as an ornamental species. It is very invasive and there are currently issues with it and the native Red Squirrel in the UK. In my garden, Dyson is the matriarch of all the grey squirrels. She has been visiting for several days now along with her babies from the summer. One of the young ones prefers the shelled peanuts and will spend hours eating on the deck in the warm sunshine. Dyson will eat anything – as all of you know – but she much prefers the solid seed cylinders with the nuts and cranberries.

There are 3 species of Red Squirrel: the North America species is the one that lives in my garden in Canada. It has no ear tufts and has a single cache of winter food. Previously, Little Red used the garden shed but now he stores his nuts in the wood box. Eurasian Red Squirrels live in the UK, Europe, and parts of Asia. They have tufted ears and spread their cache to multiple sites. Gosh, I loved that question. It made me look closer at my own garden animals and it reminded me of Dani Connor Wild. I wonder what she has been up to?

Well, Dani has made a trip to Scotland to see rewilding and reintroduction measures. Wow. So today, it isn’t all about raptors…but imagine, in these Scottish Highlands, in the spring, the call of the Osprey!

Making News:

Arthur was caught on camera this morning at the Cornell Red Tail Hawk nest on the Fernow Light Tower. He delivered a single stick at 083726. It sounds like Big Red has chosen which nest to use for the 2023 breeding season. Arthur looks good!

Here he comes!

I am so fascinated at how they fly so fast, talons first and pull back their wings so they are not ripped off as they go through the metal bars.

Well, hello Arthur. It is really nice to see you!

The streaming cam at the nest of Southwest Florida Eagles Harriet and M15 is now operational again after Hurricane Ian. You can watch the nest building progress.

Australian Nests:

It is sometimes not easy watching raptor nests. We love the little gaffers and take them to our hearts. Most of the time all is well but, there are times when it isn’t and we lose one. Many of us still want to honour Little Bob in some way. We are discovering more and more about the legislation and who is responsible for permissions. When ways to help ask for intervention permissions are discovered, I will certainly let everyone know.

This was the day that the beaking began – 26 September. Little Bob was so tiny next to Big.

This is a video put together by Bart who is one of the moderators on the PLO chat that is beside the streaming cam. Difficult but best to watch to the very end.

I had so hoped that Big would settle and let peace reign on the Port Lincoln Osprey nest. That happened until it didn’t. Let’s hope that today is different.

The first fish of the day, a whole fish, arrived on the nest at 063037. This is early and very promising. So far Middle has been able to have bites without being beaked…although he is visibly cautious of Big. Middle is the furthest away from the screen.

Oh, it’s a nice big fish. Middle is so hungry and he is getting so good at the old snatch and grab. Every once in awhile, if you watch it live, you will see Middle jerk over to the right with its head and shoulders – trying to get his head out of the way if Big goes for him. But so far, so good. Big has ‘leaned over’ to try and remind Middle she’s the boss but Middle is so hungry he is doing a great job at snatch and grab. Hopefully Big will be friendly all day long but she tends to get grumpy…let’s just blow the grump out of her!

Now Mum needs some fish. That was a great feeding. Back and forth between the two. Middle finished with a really nice crop. So happy. The feeding was over at 064511. Fifteen minutes to vacuum down a big fish with its head. Gracious.

Pigeons are arriving early in Melbourne. Mum waddled down the ledge with the breakfast offering before the lights in the CBD had come on. It was 05:42:33. That pigeon was finished and Mum flew off with a couple of bones at 06:06:22. Gosh, just stare at the eyases with their thick white down and the feathers beginning to appear. Many are beginning to look like that cartoon hero The Hulk or maybe a member of the Australian Rugby team as they try to stand and use their wings for balance.

Just look. One trying desperately to stand and the other all fluffy with a nice tail. They are changing before our eyes. The thermal down will be beneath their feathers when they finish getting their plumage before fledge.

Everyone looked like they were full.

At Orange, the kids are awake. Diamond has been restless and Rubus is starving! No surprise there. It is shocking how much prey that little one can hold. And here I must admit something. I think that Rubus is one of the cutest eyases I have ever seen. He is such a character. They are waiting for breakfast to arrive.

Xavier flew to the ledge with a freshly caught unplucked Starling at 055658. The kids got a lesson in plucking. Rubus was so excited to see prey that the little gaffer was happy to have a mouth full of feathers.

Xavier was visually delighted that Diamond was not in the scrape and he got a chance to feed Rubus and Indigo.

It is 1536 on the Canadian Prairies. The sky is cloudy but it is warming up. The Juncos are busy eating Millet off the red garden carpet, their favourite. What a nice way to close the blog with the garden birds happy and all the chicks in the Australian nests fed. It is such a relief that Middle got a good feed this morning first thing.

Thank you so much for being with me. Please take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts and streaming cams that made up my screen captures: Dani Connor Wild, SWFlorida Eagle Nest and D Pritchett Family, Cornell Bird Lab, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and Port Lincoln Ospreys.

Will Indigo hit the bullseye again and other news…Late Tuesday in Bird World

18 October 2022

Hello Everyone!

It is entirely possible that the most entertaining and educational streaming raptor cam of the year will be the Falcon Cam on the water tower at Charles Sturt University in Orange. It is the home of Xavier and Diamond, seasoned parents, and this year’s eyases, Indigo and Rubus.

How do you spell adorable? Indigo and Rubus! When Indigo was walking today, Rubus was very concentrated in watching his big sister.

Today, Indigo continued her quest to walk while, at the same time, she is practicing hitting the camera with her ps every day. The last one resulted in Dr Cilla Kinross, the lead researcher on the Peregrine Falcon Project, having to climb 170 steps inside the old water tower to clean the camera.

Watch Diamond’s reaction and then, don’t stop. Listen to how little Rubus is. Then, watch as Cilla finishes going down the ladder, Indigo has a near hit again!

Of all the streaming cams, this one with its three cameras gives you a view of the tower so you can see the peregrine falcons arrive and leave, and two views of the scrape. The closeness lets us catch the details that can be missed elsewhere including the incredible facial expressions and eye popping moments.

Indigo and Rubus have already had two feedings today. At 055209, Xavier arrives with the breakfast pigeon. That breakfast is over at 060314. At 074959, a bird with long red legs arrives. What is special about this feeding is that little Rubus is in front and gets some of the best and biggest mouthfuls yet. How splendid. He did not have to stretch his neck all the way to Sydney to eat! Cilla Kinross thinks it could have been a Red waddle bird.

Proud mama Diamond.

Indigo wants to walk and flap at the same time. She is just not quite coordinated yet!

This morning Indigo played, ‘Ring around the Rubus’.

That second prey item was very popular!

Look at that neck on Rubus!

The Melbourne Four had an even earlier breakfast. Dad arrives with the pigeon before Melbourne is even waking up. It was 055209. At 060314 Mum flies off, breakie is over. At 074959 there is another pigeon feeding! These parents are working hard to take care of the pigeon population in the CBD.

Port Lincoln was still waiting as the golden glow of the sun spread down on the nest with beautiful Mum and Big and Middle. It is the first time we will see Big stand.

Dad brought in a late fish last night but the osplets and Mum are starting to get a little peckish as 0800 gets closer. Big has pecked Middle a couple of times – late yesterday – but, in general the nest has entirely settled down. Middle is a beautiful bird. Look at the images of her/him next to Mum at the end.

We all miss Little. It is impossible not to grief that we have loved. What we need to learn is the ‘why’. But, now it is time to turn our attention to wishing well for Mum and Dad, for the nest to have a lot of fish, for these to fledge, and have productive lives building up the population of Ospreys in South Australia.

At the same time, take care of your garden birds, the birds at the park, and do whatever you can, how little or small, to make the world a better place for our feathered friends. A place where there is so much fish that all of the birds and animals depend on the oceans, the seas, the lakes, and rivers can thrive. We will talk about how you can do that later this week but, if you have good ideas or know projects, send them to me. I would be very grateful.

Middle is very smart. He tries not to make eye contact with Big yet. Instead, he moves over by Mum to look out over the water waiting for Dad’s arrival.

As Port Lincoln waits for breakfast, I will sign off. It is a sunny blue skied day in Manitoba. The temperature is 4 degrees C with the promise of a much warmer day coming on Thursday.

Thank you for being with me on our breakfast check up in Australia. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures.

Early Friday in Bird World

14 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

Some snow fell last night and it was still here – not melting – until half an hour ago. Everyone has been in the garden this morning and Canada Geese have been flying overhead. Everyone is visiting the garden. The number of Dark-eyed Juncos has increased, and the Starlings are here waiting for me to go and get Meal Worms and Butter Bark. I plan to do that shortly. They do cause chaos, but they are such beautiful birds and they also deserve a good feed on a cold day.

Making News:

Oh, I adored Rosa and Martin’s 2022 eaglet, Orion, at the Dulles-Greenway Bald Eagle nest. What a gorgeous chick. Orion hatched on the 13th of March. Well, guess what? Orion returned to the nest! But it gets better ———— Martin and Rosa were there!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here is the video:

Harriet and M15, the famous Fort Myers Bald Eagle couple, have made The Washington Post with their rebuilding activities! The raptors can show us all the way. Don’t grumble about what life throws at you, just get on making it better!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2022/10/14/bald-eagles-rebuild-nest-hurricane/?fbclid=IwAR2VxX84BEELvFGm6uHJXCm2lIm2qfvsDUHwDj4GLnnYCx9GTfPR0YsTYZU

Abby and Blazer from Eagle Country are on their nest tree. Just look at what Hurricane Ian did to their wonderful nest. I wonder if they will rebuild in the same place?

Do you adore the Kakapo, the charming green flightless parrots of New Zealand that are so threatened? Well, I do and am always thankful for the care they are given. They were New Zealand’s Bird of the Year for two straight years but, because of that, they have been struck from the ballot this year. Some are wondering if that is fair.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/12/new-zealand-bird-of-the-year-contest-favourite-kakapo-blocked

New research comes from all the poo samples collected of the Kakapo. Here are the results that shows gut health is key to their survival.

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2022/10/kakapo-gut-bacteria-key-to-its-survival.html?fbclid=IwAR3ArV1bv8gLBVh4wIP0drEOQQICOkkxbimeWUZwoMlwQTou2g6UZz5S3Is

Nest News:

Today, at Port Lincoln, Big is 27 days old, Middle is 26, and Little Bob is 23 days. Those four days and, perhaps, a gender difference with Big Bob certainly being a female, sure set those two apart. According to Port Lincoln’s data chart, there were 4 fish delivered with 5 feeds. That does not tell us much about what happened on this nest. I was, however, delighted to see that Little Bob had a feeding around 0100 Friday morning. That is interesting as the night before, Middle had been the recipient of those precious bites. I could not rewind to see how much fish Little Bob got but, on Friday in Australia, Big ruled the roost in frenzied attacks on all the siblings. Little Bob had some fish around 10:45 before it was attacked by Big three minutes later. That feeding was highlighted in my last blog.

There was a feeding at 12:36. Little stayed rolled up tight and did not get any. The third feeding at 16:28 Middle got some but Little did not. It was the break through very large whole fish that helped Little Bob. It arrived at 17:17:45. Little Bob moved up to eat with Middle at 17:36 getting its first bite at 17:37:58. After that Mum worked that fish tail again giving Little huge bites at the end. Little Bob went to bed full of fish. That is a good thing.

There was not a late fish delivery like there had been the night before. It sure would have benefitted Mum and Little. Big is out for the count so full after gorging all day. I remember the second hatch at Achieve Ospreys in 2020. That osplet would eat and eat and eat so that Tiny Tot could not get any food. We wondered how it could even hold another bite.

Looking at Port Lincoln and the age of the Osplets, let us remember that the beaking started on day 8. The late and only fish delivery that day came after 1500. It was also the onset of the Reptilian phase. We are now moving out of the Reptilian Phase and this nest should settle —- if it is going to. It is why the ages of the osplets are now important as the development of their juvenile feathering. Oh how I wish we could measure their hormonal levels leading up to that Reptilian Phase and then coming out of it.

The chicks at Melbourne were once again left out in the hot sun yesterday. I am mystified at the female at this scrape. I have never seen a female consistently leave her chicks for an hour and a half or longer every day. They were so hot. Hopefully in another week – when, according to the Melbourne weather reports it is to get hotter – they will be able to run to the other end of the gutter for shade. I want to say ‘should Mum leave them alone in the hot sun again’ but, it seems that a pattern has formed and that is precisely what Mum will do, sadly.

Indigo and Rubus are being well fed and taken care of. Rubus now gets lots of food and you can see that it knows precisely where Mum’s beak is. The eyes are open and they are focusing. When Rubus is an adult it will be able to see a prey item a mile away. There were six feedings yesterday at Orange.

Rubus and Indigo are just cute little buttons of things. Indigo is so calm and Rubus seems to be a live-wire. I do love watching Indigo take food out of Rubus’s mouth – but, only if, Diamond replaces it for Rubus!

There is no news about SE29 or SE30. I will be back with updates on migration later today along with the breakfast news from the nests. For those watching the Finnish Ospreys, Salli left Finland on August the 25th and she arrived at her winter home in Rwanda on the 13th of October. She is now feeding at Lake Llaema. Fantastic. The adult Royal Albatross have been arriving on Taiaroa Head. Some have been around Lillibet’s nest. Check it out.

Thank you so much for being here with me. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their news, their posts, and their screen cams where I took my screen captures: ‘A’ and ‘H’, Dulles-Greenaway, Osprey Friends, Eagle Country, Kakapo Recovery, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and Port Lincoln Ospreys.

We want fish! and more news in Bird World

24 September 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

Our thoughts go out to all that are being lashed about by tropical storm systems and hurricanes.

It is a quiet drizzly grey Saturday morning in the garden. Little Red has been eating at the solid suet cylinder and the Blue Jays are pecking away at the cob of corn left for them. The sparrows have not really been around much. I hope to have some photos of Little Red cleaned up for tomorrow. But, so far, the gang is all here – Junior and the 3 fledgling Blue Jays and the 3 fledgling Crows plus Little Red, Dyson, and Scraggles. Dyson’s two from the summer come and go as well. There has been no sightings of Little Hedwig and the neighbours and I are beginning to fear the worst about those cats. Fingers crossed we see a bunny shortly.

The temperatures are dropping at night. All of the Grape tomatoes have been picked and will turn green in the lovely Birch basket. All of the plants to come inside are here but one which means a trip to the garden centre today for soil. Even so, we have not had a hard frost in the garden and this is absolutely remarkable considering it is now the 24th of September.

In the Mailbox:

The other day I was asked if non-parental male peregrine falcons could harm the eyases in the scrape. I told a story of an Osprey that had kicked the eggs out of the nest when he suspected they belonged to another male. Today, a cartoon that Chloe Baker did of Odin and EJ showed up on FB.

It was Loch Garten, 2013, and here is the video of that egg being kicked out of the nest. Odin waited til EJ went for a break! (not HD) I wish some of these great old videos could be cleaned up. They are fantastic. Of course, Odin was not the only male. Some of us waited to see if Aran would go after Mrs G’s eggs this season but, he didn’t. Presumably they were his and not the Pont Cresor Aeron Z2.

This also happened at Dunrovin a couple of years ago – much clearer image.

And here is another a couple of years ago. There are many examples. We do not know what will happen if the young male totally ousts the old male at Melbourne. Indeed, we do not even know if that will happen this year. My fingers are crossed that he goes and sits and waits til this breeding season is over! But, we also have to prepare ourselves for the worst. It is much better when the males get rid of the eggs.

Making News:

Some additional images were released of Victor taking his flight to freedom. He sure must have been so excited to be back in the wild. Victor is a magnificent eagle! Thanks to Paul K for cleaning these up!

Nest News:

It is all about life lessons at the Sydney Sea Eagles nest. The parents are deliberately branching, demonstrating how to ward off the Currawong, and then how to eat a fish. It is really a privilege to be able to watch the daily lives of these amazing raptors.

Xavier looking at the eggs. Hatch watch is 1-3 October! Xavier is one of the most devoted male Peregrine Falcons that I know. This is an incredible nest to watch and there are several cameras and a chat.

Xavier has been doing some of that enfluffing in the scrape.

I wonder how many of you are counting the number of fish flakes that Little Bob is getting at Port Lincoln. Big Bob is bigger and will need more and Mum is smartly feeding it several nice helpings before moving on to Middle and Little Bob. Dad, for his part, brought in a whomping size fish that will last the day.

Oh, Little Bob you are going to have to push and figure out how to get to the front with Big Bob in the front line!

Little Bob got himself in the right position for the next feeding at 10:50. Big Bob has a super crop and Middle is laying down. Little is going to get some really nice bites.

The camera operator gave us some fabulous close ups of the three after the 1415 feeding so we could see that each had a nice crop. Little Bob is holding its own. You can really see the egg tooth of each of the osplets – that hard piece of white beak used like a pick axe to get out of the shell. Enjoy this soft fluffy down. We will not realize it but time passes quickly and soon they will be in their reptilian phase.

Incubation continues at the 367 Collins Street scrape box. It is now the 25th in Melbourne and we are on hatch watch for the 27th.

For everyone who cannot wait for the Bald Eagle nests to be full of little eaglets, the first on streaming cam mating of the year occurred at the Northwest Florida nest of Samson and Gabby!

Migration News:

Do you know about EuroBirdPortal.org? It tracks all of the European Ospreys movements during the migration period.

I will be checking on Karl II and his family for tomorrow.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Little Bob is doing well. He isn’t our Ervie – no one could ever be Ervie but, I hope he holds his own against Big Bob and thrives. Mum and Dad are doing a great job. I fear that when Dad is late with fish it is either the wind or the gulls. Let’s blow those gulls away! Take care of yourselves. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts and streaming cams that form my screen captures: Chloe Baker, Loch Garden RSPB, Dunrovin, Castnet, Bald Eagles 101 and the Ojai Raptor Centre, The Wonderful World FB, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Charles Sturt Falcons, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, EuroBirdPortal, and NWFL-AEF.

Good Morning Australia

23 September 2022

Everyone is starting to wake up in Australia and there is some action at the Captiva Osprey nest, also. So…I thought I would send you a few pictures as their day begins and ours in a growing colder Canadian begins to wind down.

Gosh, those Sydney Sea Eagles are simply stunningly beautiful. There are not showing any signs of flapping their way up to the branches yet. They are walking all over the nest and it is incredible, if you look carefully, how well they are camouflaged (best when the camera is pulled out).

The sun is just casting that beautiful golden glow on the 367 Collins Street nest. Mum looks good. Someone is providing food – I wonder if we will get a glimpse of old dad today?

Mum is just waking up at Port Lincoln and it is going to be a busy day with those three! Gracious, goodness, those beaks are always open.

Right now, Big Bob is about twice as big as Little Bob. I was holding my breath when Middle and Big were beak to beak and eye to eye. Avoiding eye contact between siblings seems to help.

Beautiful Mum waits for the first fish delivery of the day.

Xavier has been and gone with a breakfast order from Diamond. I can almost hear her telling him, ‘Xavier, darling. An Eastern Rosella topped by a Galah would be perfect for breakie.’

Diamond took a quick break and we got a chance to see those gorgeous falcon eggs.

Meanwhile, in Florida, is trouble brewing? Lena has been at the new nest and so has this younger male. It is not Andy but he has a full crop and he is checking out the new camera and look at those nice perches. Remember. If it is an artificial nest the Osprey need perches!

Thank you so much for stopping in. I hope you enjoyed these images as the day begins with our four raptor families in Australia. Captiva will become interesting in a couple of months but, for now, we wait to see if Andy shows up. Take care. See you tomorrow.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Ospreys, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife.

And then there were 3 Bobs at Port Lincoln!

22 September 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

The sun is shining bright, the skies are clear bright blue and it is 9 degrees C. It dropped down last night to 4 degrees C and thankfully no lower. The garden escaped the frost. In anticipation of the conservatory I bought some non-local tropical plants including a Hibiscus. Goodness those huge terracotta pots are heavy. Two came inside but required their bath of light dish detergent to get the outdoor bugs off so there was no room at the inn for the third. It will get its shower today. I have a friend who brings his in and out every year and has done so for at least a decade so we will see if there is any green in this thumb!

The big news is, of course, the hatch at Port Lincoln of the third chick. That came at 19:31:40 with the lid having come off at 18:45. Here is a view of all three a few hours later.

This nest has always caused a certain amount of worry because of its history of siblicide which extends back to many memories of Solly, DEW, and little Tapps who died after not being allowed to eat by Solly on its 18th day. The difference in hatch times in 2020 was huge and not anything like this clutch. That said, Big and Middle Bobs really know how to eat. I have images from the 12:26 feeding yesterday when they took in huge pieces of fish. And it does seem that Big Bob always has its mouth open regardless of the time of day or circumstance. You will need to be a toughie little one but you can do it.

While we waited and worried, Little Bob was working hard to get out of its beautiful shell. And just look at that soft light grey down covering the older siblings. Isn’t it beautiful?

You can see Little Bob’s left wing out of the shell.

There you are sweet baby. Relief.

We know that Dad was followed to the barge by a Pacific Gull yesterday intent on that fish. I had seen gulls being ruthless to one another down by the river but never to an osprey til I saw what the one did to Sloop at Hog Island to get that fish. While we cannot see off camera, I wonder how much hassle Dad gets from gulls?

Dad came in with the breakfast fish at 07:51, another fish arrives at 12:26 and again at 15:23 with a feeding at 16:05. Mum pushed the half eggshell out of 3 at 17:04:33 with, again, the hatch at 19:31:40. There is another fish delivery at 21:36.

Here are some images from that 12:26 feeding before the arrival of Little Bob. Big and Middle are keen eaters. They can only eat so many big bites until their crop is full and they fall into a food coma but they need to be fed frequently, for now.

And the 16:08 feeding.

Big Bob has a really nice crop! And there will be another feeding in about three hours. Mum and Dad you are doing fantastic.

I will be back later today with a review of all the nests in Australia but, for now, savour the moment. Three healthy Bobs at Port Lincoln, grey and fuzzy with their distinctive black eye stripe to keep the glare out of their eyes when they are older and fishing. Adorable. 65 million years of evolution to get to this point. Incredible.

Thank you so much for joining me this morning. It is so exciting to have a clutch of osplets to watch again. We are also now within 4 days of hatch at Melbourne and so far Mum has kept the second male from harming the eggs. Fingers crossed. Take care of yourselves. See you soon!

Thank you to Port Lincoln Osprey for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures — and congratulations Port Lincoln! We are all cheering you on for a successful fledge of three strong chicks.

Saturday in Bird World

10 September 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

Friday morning turned out to be a fantastic day to go and check on the birds in a pond in one of the industrial areas of the city. There had been a Great Blue Heron spotted there according to eBird and I hoped to get a glimpse. That beautiful bird and the Lesser Yellowlegs, the Canada Geese, the Mallards, and the gulls did not disappoint.

Then as I was driving around the other side to leave I looked over and saw something ‘white’. It was a beautiful Great Egret wading in the water fishing.

What a lovely way to start the morning! I feel blessed. It is always good for the mind and soul to get out into nature, however long or short one can, and if, by chance, we get to see these beautiful creatures then it is doubly wonderful.

It is also the full moon. Around the world people will be looking up and hoping for clear skies. It is known as the Harvest Moon and is a time of thanksgiving. Many years ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to be in Kyoto during the Tsukimi or Moon Viewing Festival. Moon Viewing has been practiced in Japan since the Nara Period from 710-794. One did not look at the moon directly but, rather, observed the moon’s reflection normally in a beautiful pond. Many residences of the aristocracy had moon viewing platforms. Poems were written. Auspicious gifts placed on the tokonama while the flowers, the incense, and the hanging were changed to reflect the move to autumn. I recall stacks of mochi and vases with beautiful sheafs of grain. ‘A’ also reminds me that it is a time for eating dumplings – which we will do later this evening while watching the rabbits pound the mochi in the moon!


Making News:

Yesterday I reported that Big Red and Arthur’s youngest hatch for the 2022 breeding season had been released on the Cornell Campus. Here is the YouTube video of this fantastic event! Please note that L2 is still on campus and has not left- as believed- and hopefully these two will hook up. They were always best friends.

L4 was spotted on the Campus this morning. She has made herself right at home! Suzanne Arnold Horning got a shot of her with her phone.

The raptors really need our help to spread the word. Making the news today is an Osprey with a balloon tangled around its legs. Don’t wait to get to the state that I am in – chasing after every loose balloon I see – but help educate. Tell everyone you know and ask them to tell 5 friends and family. Soon, the web of knowledge will grow and the birds will be safer.

If you live in this area, please keep your eyes open for this bird. Thank you.

It is sadly that time of year. The Bald Eagles and other birds of prey that eat carrion get lead poisoning because our governments will not outlaw the use of lead in any hunting and fishing equipment! They need to ban the manufacture, remove the supplies off the shelves, and stop this senseless pain, suffering, and death. We know the solution. Tell your elected officials. There are alternatives. ——— Of course, as you know, my alternative is to end the recreational shooting of animals – it is barbaric.

Nest News:

Idris brings his daughter, Padarn, a flat fish for her evening tea. What a fantastic dad he has been to this healthy and robust female that will soon, should the winds blow in the right direction, head off on her migration leaving Dad some time to recuperate from what has to have been a tiring summer with three girls and Telyn to take care of!

Padarn was on the perch for the night.

She was still there on Saturday!

The sun was setting on Loch Arkaig. We will have to wait until tomorrow to see if Sarafina is still with us! But there has been no activity on the nest today.

On Saturday Louis was seen on the nest. The last time that Sarafina was seen on the nest was at 0634 on the 9th of September. There have been no visits and no nest calls by Sarafina on Saturday.

Who is home at Glaslyn? It looks like it is Aran and 497. The boys and Mrs G are gone!

Aran is over in the Oak Trees.

497 has been in the nest and on the perch. Aran did not seem to be responding! 497 has had a hard time with siblings and Mrs G around to get some of those fish. Perhaps a few days longer will get this little one in shape to fly if Dad obliges with a nice big breakfast tomorrow!

Talk about beautiful. You can sure tell she is Aran’s offspring. She may have the glare of a female Osprey, but that lovely head turned…that is Aran. Until you see the dark necklace – then Mrs G comes in.

Her dark necklace she gets from Mum, Mrs G.

The nest was empty at dusk.

497 was there on Saturday and Aran was busy bringing her fish!

Xavier convincing Diamond that it is time for her to have her breakfast so he can get some eggie time.

You can see a big change in the Sea Eagles at the Sydney Olympic Park nest. They are standing more on their feet and walking about the nest more. SE29 is really flapping its wings and investigating the branches! Yesterday, SE29 got the fish that Dad had brought to the nest but wasn’t sure what to do with it. Lady took it and fed both!!! ‘J’ wrote that she thought this was the cutest part of it – 29 trying to figure out what to do with the fish! I am grateful she mentioned those moments. You might have seen that instance. I am certain SE30 was delighted when Lady fed both of them.

Look at those nice strong legs. Great wings, too! Developing those muscles. These two are simply precious.

It is fascinating – looking at the nest – how the branches help to camouflage the eaglets.

SE29 will be 8 weeks old tomorrow. What to expect for the next couple of weeks in their development? Their wings will begin to get heavy and you will notice that they will begin to sit with them drooping. There will be more hopping and flapping of their wings and by the end of week 9 they should be able to mantle, hold their food and tear off pieces to eat. They will begin sleeping upright with their head tucked into their wing like the adults. Their feathers will continue to develop all over their body. Watch at the end of the two weeks to see them standing on one leg!

Dad on the ropes and Mum on those three eggs at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. It is the 11th of September in Australia. Do you know what this means? We could be one week from hatch!!!!!!!!!!!

Incubation continues at 367 Collins Street in Melbourne! But there are strange things going on…I wonder how this will turn out.

Mum departed around 0856. Dad came and stayed on the eggs after they had been left for an hour. He stayed about 15 minutes. The eggs were left uncovered for another 43 minutes…and then Mum finally comes and settles down after 2 hours. She then leaves again briefly a little later. This couple appears to have trouble getting their rhythm going…let’s hope it is all worked out by hatch.

Mothering is not always easy, especially the first time!

There are still chicks on one of the Finnish Osprey nests.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust has produced a video diary of the 2022 season. It is delightful. I am missing Laddie and Blue NC0 already. Here is the link: https://scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/2022/09/osprey-diary-at-loch-of-the-lowes-so-long-and-thanks-for-all-the-fish/?fbclid=IwAR3JhvUSWIUsN8cXuNCKE7jsqFG9pmHwewEXuPBkGB4B__4gCLFpE1O7dsA

Migration:

CROW provided a really good post today especially with regard to birds and window strike. It is migration season…have a read. Tell your friends and family to turn off their lights and also tell them how to help stunned birds. Thanks so much!

Continuing in our tracking of the Estonian Black Stork family of Karl II, there is no tracking or transmissions for Karl II today.

Bonus remains in Belarus in the same general area of the Priyapat River he has been feeding at. The fish and frogs must be plentiful!

Kaia is still feeding near the Desna River in Ukraine.

Waba is near the Makachinsky Hydrological Reserve which is also in Ukraine like his parents Kaia and Karl II.

Maya and Blue 33’s first hatch of the 2022 season, 1H1, has been seen in Portugal.

From the Archives. Two images today!

First: Can you name this nest? Do you remember the names of the chicks? It was 29 September 2021. Gold stars for anyone who can put the name with the right osplet!

Second: Do you remember the circumstance where these two images were taken?

Thank you so much for being with me today. I hope that you have a wonderful start to your weekend. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their tweets, posts, and streaming cams that formed my screen captures: Cornell Bird Lab, Suzanne Arnold Horning, A Place Called Hope, Raptor Educational Group, Dyfi Ospreys, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Ospreys, BirdCast, CROW, Looduskalender, LRWT, and Cape Wildlife Clinic.


Answer to From the Archives:

First. It is the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. Mum is feeding Bazza (top), Ervie (middle), and Falky (bottom). You can see that the osplets have lost their soft down and are in the Reptilian Phase – looking like dark black crude was poured over them.

Second. This is Arnold and Amelia the bonded pair of Canada Geese. Arnold had its foot injured by a snapping turtle and had to have surgery. It shocked the vets when they heard a tapping on the glass door. There was Arnold’s mate. The vets realized that the pair had to be together. Amelia was allowed to share meals and whenever Arnold was moved outside she would break into the pen to be with him. This was a really learning moment if every wildlife rehabber paid attention ——–do not take one Canada Goose into care without its mate. Many times volunteers pick up the injured one and whisk it off tens of miles away. The remaining one of the couple is ‘lost’ and depressed and sometimes does not eat.

A new supporter for the Albatross? has Mrs G left for migration…early Friday in Bird World

9 September 2022

Thursday was truly a bit of an uneventful day mostly spent waiting on a parcel delivery that came much, much later than anticipated! It was a good time to just watch the garden to see what was happening. For Dyson fans, she is back to her normal self since having the babies. She was flying off branches today, landing on the deck, grabbing peanuts and running so fast I could not catch her on camera! Two of the Crows alerted me to the presence of the cat under the bird feeders. My goodness, they are quite remarkable and were given ‘extra treats’ – cheesy sausages – for their good work in protecting the rabbit and the songbirds. It has also been quite in Bird World, pretty much. These images have been shot quickly through a screen!

The Crows on the line cawing very loudly and looking at the cat below the feeders.
The culprit – a well fed pet!

In the Mailbox:

A couple of days ago, ‘B’ asked which gender migrated earlier – males or females? I have spent time asking Osprey experts and have uncovered some preliminary data using the Dyfi charts. It seems that gender is always discussed with regard to fledging but is only a footnote when it comes to migration. With a very small sample, males are 75% more likely to migrate first than females 90 days and under.

The chart below is of the Dyfi chicks. So those who fledged at 90 days, 75% more males than females. As you can see the older the chicks get, there are more females that take longer in the nest to migrate after fledging. I cannot assume that this is the same for other nests but, for now, this is the clearest data chart I have found for us to interpret. I will be looking for others in the days to come.

‘L’ wrote to me about the new climate bill in the US. The Audubon Society had posted an article on the 12 ways that it will help birds – and other wildlife. Thanks for sending me that article, ‘L’. I am certain others will find it of interest, too.

Making News:

The Osprey lost at sea that hitched a ride on a boat is making news in Scotland.

https://www.scottishdailyexpress.co.uk/news/uk-news/boaty-mcboatface-rescue-osprey-lost-27938175

Mississippi Power is putting up some Osprey Poles. How wonderful! Maybe they will place some more nests and other utility companies will follow suit. Sitting on the Canadian Prairies it is easy to imagine the number of Ospreys that might choose to winter along the Gulf or in the Gulf States.

The Royal Albatross and the campaign to change the long line fish trawling practices may have a new champion in King Charles III.

Nest News:

Based on their size and weight, the wildlife rehabber believes that Big Red and Arthur’s L3 and L4 are both female! Nice. That explains a lot about L4’s behaviour in the nest — not afraid of anything, just barreling over the others to get to the beak. Is it possible they were all females?

L4

At the Osprey nest of Aran and Mrs G in the Glaslyn Valley in Wales, all three of this years fledglings have joined the 100 Club. This means that they have been on the nest for over 100 days and counting before migrating. Today they are 106, 105, and 102 days old! Aran might be wondering if everyone has decided to over winter.

This was early Thursday morning. Mrs G is in the second photo. It was the last seen of her. The time was 08:58. If she isn’t hiding down in the Oaks or trying to fool us, Mrs G has now left for her migration. She took a piece of fish off one of the fledglings just to top up her tank! If you have left Mrs G, safe travels, lots of fish, and return again next spring – you remain the oldest osprey in the UK and what a lovely group of offspring this year!

Idris continues to deliver fish to Padarn. It looks like some are very happy to stay in Wales!

Padarn this morning. She is still in Wales!

Louis still has Sarafina fish calling!

The Melbourne scrape seems to be getting a lot of attention lately. First up, the building number is 367 Collins Street. There are now 36.7 members of the FB group. That is an incredible number of supporters. Here is the announcement:

There has been much concern over the incubation time and whether or not there was another male falcon present at the building. Victor Hurley, the chief researcher of the nest for the Victorian Peregrine Falcon Research group posted this today on FB:

The images that I have taken today appear to me to be the same male that has been at this nest since I began watching some years ago. Dad is relieving Mum so she can have a break this morning.

Later the couple were having a conversation.

In Orange, there is heavy rain falling. Diamond watches it from inside the scrape. Xavier has been in and out helping with incubation duties. I hope he is somewhere trying to stay dry.

At the Sea Eagles nest, it was chilly and the two eaglets wanted nothing more than to be able to shrink so all of them would fit under Mum.

Dad brought a little fish in for their breakfast so that Lady could feed the two.

Both SE29 and SE30 are really getting much more steady on their feet and they are spending more time walking on top of this twig nest. That surely cannot be easy!

At the Port Lincoln Osprey barge, Mum has been hungry. Dad has been known to bring in a fish, eat a large portion of it before bringing her a piece. Today he brought her a really nice sized larger fish for her tea. How wonderful. Thank you, Dad! Mum was really excited for that lovely dinner.

Looks like Alden’s funny quirks have rubbed off on Annie who was caught ‘loafing’ on the ledge of The Campanile on Thursday.

Oh, how I love Samson. He was at the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest today waiting for his mate, Gabby, to arrive from her migration. Like Richmond, the SF Bay Osprey, Samson stays in the area of the nest and does not migrate. Both Rosie (Richmond’s mate) and Gabby, do. Gabby is usually home by the 12th of September.

Migration News:

There is information from Bonus, Jan and Janika’s Black Storklet that was fostered by Kaia and Karl II. Bonus remains in Belarus near the Pripyat River where he has been feeding for some time.

Kaia remains in the general vicinity she has been in Ukraine.

Karl II is still believed to be in the area of Kherzov. We now know that the telecommunications in the area is down. Storks should, unless shelled by accident, wish to stay away form the people and there are the many nature reserves in this area where Karl II stayed for long periods in previous years. I am trying to remain positive for him!

Waba has had trouble with the tracker so there is no conclusive report.

From the archive:

Do you know which nest this was? The year is 2020. The older sibling supported the younger. The Magpie helped ‘this eaglet’ when the Pied Curra were attacking? The third image is the last one at the nest.

Thank you so much for being with me on this very quiet Friday in Bird World. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, tweets, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: Dfyi Ospreys, Cornell Bird Lab, The Scottish Daily Express, Mississippi Power, Royal Cam Albatross Group NZ, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt falcon Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Cal Falcons, NEFL-AEF, and Looduskalender.

From the Archive Answer: That is SE25 supporting SE26 after its little leg was broken. Lady is feeding both of them. SE26 struggled in the forest after fledging. After 6 days returned to the nest massively hungry and exhausted. Lady and Dad fed SE26. When 26 had recuperated, she flew to the camera branch where she was attacked by the Pied Currawong. A Magpie came to help 26. That is the last picture we have of SE26 in the forest. She flew out, chased by Curra, during the time of a storm and landed on the balcony of a 22nd floor condo some 1.5 km away in Horn Bush. SE26 was taken into care and euthanized, sadly. It was believed the damage to her leg would cause extensive pain and could not be repaired properly. It was a very, very sad day. SE26 was inspirational to all you watched her struggles to ‘be an eagle’…she flew. That is one consolation. What we learned was that the Pied Currawong are unrelenting in chasing the Sea Eagles out of the forest. This has caused extensive difficulties which have been noted in recent years with SE27 going in and out of care and requiring training to fly and hunt prey.

Little Bit ND17 and more…Friday morning in Bird World

19 August 2022

Good morning everyone! It is the end of the week. We blink and time whizzes by us. There is not a lot of news in Bird World. Sometimes that is nothing short of a welcome relief – a time to breathe.

What a way to start a Friday morning! Getting up and seeing Little Bit ND17 perched on his river roost in the evening. Oh, what a magnificent bird he is. Stephen Basly posted three images on the Notre-Dame FB page. This is the full zoomed in version. Oh, Little Bit looks so confident. A few little springs of baby down working their way out of the juvenile feathers. What a joy to see him!!!!!! So I want to move ahead a year and wonder if Little Bit will come to this same perch next year? Basly added that he had not seen 16 since Little Bit kicked him off the perch a few days ago! Way to go Little Bit. 16 was a nasty big sister!!!!!!

You will remember the two eaglets that were on the Pitkin Trail nest. The Mum flew off and pulled them out of the nest in the third week of June – one perished. The other was saved by passersby who got in touch with help immediately. I wrote to Pitkin County Open Space and Trails to find out if there are any updates on the little one. This was their quick response to my query: “The last update we received, on Aug. 8, was brief: “This Osprey is doing well so far. He is still being monitored at our ICU. Normally, this chick would have fledged in late July and would be making fewer and fewer appearances at the nest by now.” This ultimately means that the osplet will most likely not be in fit shape to take on the fall migration.

It is so nice when humans stop and do everything that they can to help our wildlife in need. It is often that immediate attention that is crucial to whether they will survive or not. Here is another amazing story of a passerby reaching out to help an electrocuted eagle. This one certainly got a chance at a second life thanks to an individual who saw the injured bird and called for help. Please cut and paste this link. I hope it still works! https://youtu.be/SCoigRwwA-Q

As you are aware, I am extremely concerned about the birds migrating from Scandinavia, Estonia, and Lativa who would normally be flying through the Ukraine. The other day Kaia, the mate of Karl II from the Karula National Forest Black Stork nest landed in the Ukraine and immediately headed back to Belarus. She has flown a bit east from her previous position but has not left Belarus. I understand from my colleagues that there are other migrating birds in the area where Kaia is resting and feeding.

August 19. Looduskalender gives the following information for where Kaia is this morning. “The Pripyatsky National Park is a protected area of swamp & oak forest, noted for wading birds, rare lynx and a herd of European bison.Pripyatsky National Park or Pripyat National Park in a natural reserve in Gomel Region, Belarus. It was founded in 1996 for preservation of natural landscapes around the Pripyat River from which it takes its name. Much of the park’s area is occupied by turf swamps.”

Hesgyn (KA3, 2019) was the last chick that Monty, the famous Welsh osprey, fathered, with Telyn. He returned as two year old in 2019 and sadly, at the blossoming age of 3 years, he was found dead. The wildlife centre that will do the post-mortem returned Hesgyn’s silver band and his coloured Darvic ring to the Dyfi Osprey Centre in Wales so that it could be placed on the family tree board. The results of the post-morten will be published when they are available.

I have been praising the Dyfi Osprey Project and Emyr Evans for their data driven website. It is wonderful to be able to go and find clear and accurate information. I also loved their family tree. Llyn Clywedog has now published their own family tree for their ospreys. Here it is:

Seren was still at the Llyn Clywedog nest in the Hafren Forest of Wales at 2055 on 18 August. She appeared on the nest wet and with muddy feet covering most of her Darvic band. Poor thing. How do I know this is not an Osprey chick? What would you say?

If you said the adult plumage you would be absolutely correct! If the plumage had been juvenile feathering then, it could have been the third hatch, Blue 555 (male).

Just look at all those males that will be returning to find mates and start their own families. My goodness, Dylan and Seren have had only one female. The largest male chick every to hatch and fledge was Blue 496 last year. He was a whopper! If every Osprey nest would design one of these family trees and have it on their website, it would be a great educational tool especially for studying the returnees, the dates of their return, and their gender and hatch ranking.

Oh, those little sea eagles are developing nicely. Breakfish arrived at 0614 with another meal following in about 4 hours. The eaglets eat more and are not fed as regularly. They are left longer in the nest alone but there is always a parent close at hand. We will see much more feather development and more balancing with the wing tips and standing up in the coming weeks. Grasping twigs and moving them about will be seen much more often, too.

Oh, this probably feels like a baby book for the sea eagles. I just got a note from ‘J’ that SE29 was playing with 30’s toes and so I went to look immediately. Thanks for the time stamp, J. Much appreciated. The cam operator gave us some great close ups. Also look, 29 is standing on its feet. Still shaky but fantastic.

‘J’ is right – it is a really cute bonding moment!

The two chicks on the Loch of the Lowes nest, LP8 and LR0, of Laddie LM12 and Blue NC0 were really fish calling when they saw an adult fly towards the nest. How said they must have felt when it was an intruder. There are many intruders landing on nests now as the birds being shifting away from their natal nests, exploring around them, and moving south for migration.

Blue NC0s chicks are really loud — just like their Mum. I often wondered if we should donate a pair of noise cancelling headphones to Laddie.

Laddie has been busy delivering fish to the pair on the nest and it is fantastic – like it is at all the nests – to see the birds on the streaming cams. So often they are simply not around. This year appears to be a bit of an exception no matter where the nest is located.

Fish delivery from Dad. Is Blue NC0 around or has she left for migration? Last week she took off for spa time for about 3 days and then returned with a big fish for the kids. She is quite the Mum.

Gosh these two are healthy! They are ‘fattening up’ nicely for their long adventure. Laddie is doing a great job keeping the fish on the nest.

Lancer is still getting room service from Chase & Cholyn at the Two Harbours nest. Lancer is certainly a really beautiful eaglet.

‘H’ sent a lovely close up of Sloop, the third hatch of Dory and Skiff at the Boathouse Osprey platform in Maine. What a cutie pie. She adds that Sloop is now loving the perch that he was afraid to move from before fledging. Grand news, indeed.

Sloop is quite handsome. So many of us worried when he was wee making sure Dory got some fish flakes in his little beak. Dory was an amazing first time Mum and Skiff kept the fish coming in.

Sadly, the Osprey rescued hanging from the tree with fishing line had to be euthanized and its sibling was found in the nest, image below, tangled in human debris. This is the announcement. Please read it and look at the tangled mess that killed these poor chicks. It seems that our rivers, lakes and oceans are nothing more than dumping grounds for human garbage carried back by the birds to their nests – innocently or tangled.

‘T’ sent me this very concerning story this morning. Another migration hazard – human meanness. Thank you ‘T’. A migrating White Stork has been shot through the neck with an arrow. The photograph of it on top of a house is below. It is not clear where the bird was shot. You do not need to hear what I am saying!!!!!! We have culprits like this in our City who think it is fun to do the same to the geese.

https://www.milliyet.com.tr/gundem/leylegin-okla-goc-yolculugu-turkiyede-vurulma-ihtimali-yuksek-6809314?fbclid=IwAR2IK2rnRzR1YU01Rr6LyAyD1s4AeC5MCREmLznuO-gzOGTSNzR9YnhXQ7U

The RSPB in the UK has released the initial findings on the post-mortem of ICI, the Loch Garten chick that passed away after being lethargic in the nest. Please have a read. I find it interesting that they mention an enlarged organ. The inconclusive findings of Big at the Captiva Nest when he died stated, ‘enlarged organs’. They did not state that this could have been due to an infection. I would like to hear more about this – and I wonder if it is the same for Molate who also was lethargic for several days and died.

https://community.rspb.org.uk/placestovisit/lochgartenospreys/b/lochgartenospreys/posts/osprey-update-post-mortem-results?fbclid=IwAR36xBdBt84rAMULZAgotA8uRz2CnQFsNCEkI4CDKkoB5DzacVMQDbsa4Mg

Thank you to everyone for being with me today. I hope that each of us is enjoying a lovely end of the week. Please take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or posts where I took my screen captures: Notre-Dame Eagles FB, Looduskalender, Dyfi Osprey Project, CarnyxWild, Sea Eagles @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Explore.org and the IWS, Audubon Explore and ‘H’, and The Raptor Centre.

Victor update and a little news from Bird World

11 August 2022

It was really quite a treat to get an update on Victor. It appears that he is improving but, not out of the woods yet.

My day to Hecla Island did not turn out quite like expected. I had left hoping that the water levels near Black Wolf trail were dry and that the parks staff had cleared the trails. This has not happened.

For those of you watching streaming cams, you are used to seeing the nests in trees. According to provincial parks staff at Hecla-Grindstone Provincial Parks, some do have nests in trees. Most, however, have their nests along the shore on the Black Wolf trail. Those nests were ruined by the extreme rain and flooding in our province. Because it is still too wet, the parks staff cannot even start to think about clearing. I might have said – one told me he is very worried about what he will find. A single Bald Eagle has been seen by some.

Not to be disappointed, the challenge came to see what birds I could find. Red-winged Blackbirds and Barn Swallows were constants.

On the road from the Black Wolf trail there was a turkey vulture in a tree. It flew off the minute the camera was ready! Of course.

There were two American White Pelicans.

Some Canada Geese.

There were a lot of Double-breasted Cormorants including some immatures. What a delight to see some youngsters.

There were four Trumpeter Swans – in two separate locations. I caught the white out of the corner of my eye. First thought was pelicans but when I went down a rather lonely and quite muddy road, it turned out they were swans. I could see no cygnets anywhere. Perhaps they were hiding.

There were ducks taking advantage of the still flooded fields and ditches just like the swans.

Things change. So tomorrow I will head back and give those eagles one more try but the real event came after I had returned to my hotel. My legs needed stretching and the ice cream stand across a small street had been beckoning to me ever since I arrived. It was a lovely late afternoon and I took that cone down to the marina to see the gulls. Then I stopped. About 6 metres in the air above the marina right in front of me was ‘the’ Osprey. He was hovering. I know that it was not several minutes but it felt like it. Tears just started rolling down my cheeks. It doesn’t matter how many Ospreys you see, they are always special. This is the closest I have been to one in the wild. What a moment. He did not see any fish and moved on but, nothing can surpass that time standing there watching an Osprey look for its fish dinner – not even a Bald Eagle.

I had hoped to write an extensive blog on migration for tomorrow. This will not happen until Monday now so you have time to send me what you think are big challenges to the birds as they make their fall travels. Every bird that I saw today will begin leaving Manitoba in about a week -some earlier and some later waiting until October.

Thank you so much for joining this evening. It is lovely to hear about Victor. Take care. See you soon!