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Author Topic: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season  (Read 23470 times)
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #45 on: July 29, 2013, 11:44:38 PM »

Here at last are some of the photos I took on July 7.
The light was pretty bad, and some of the photos have me puzzled.

This is probably Mom Shingle Spit. She was perched near the nest tree.
July 7, 11:06 am



For sure there is at least one eaglet in this nest. I've only been hearing one for sure, and at first this is what I saw. So far, so good.
11:17



A couple of minutes later, the eaglet seemed to disappear below the rim. I kept taking pictures at random times every few minutes, in case something was visible to my lens and not my eye.
This is what I came up with.
 I took 3 pictures that show these two black triangles and something between; this one at 11:19:48, one at 11:20:03, and one at 11:21:50. This is the clearest one. The others show roughly the same image but blurrier. I don't understand what I'm seeing. Are there 2 eaglets? I only ever heard one for sure, in several days of watching. (This is nest is near where I work, so I've logged quite a few hours of observation, though not in a very focused way.) Was the eaglet flapping each time? I have no recall. I seem to recall just taking photos from time to time in case something of interest was taking place. Sigh.


 
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #46 on: July 30, 2013, 12:09:58 AM »

Meanwhile, important events are taking place nearby. On June 10 I spotted Purple Martins flying over the bay, possibly for the first time in living memory. One of our birding Elders put up four nest boxes last fall, after a nesting season that saw all the Ford Cove boxes occupied. He asked me to keep an eye on this new site. So that's how I became condominium manager. I'm told that these birds I'm seeing are pioneers, probably youngsters, and that as a rule they don't nest the first year. The first week they checked out Apartment 12-15, but lately they seem more partial to this one, with a view toward the water... I've seen one of them crawl out of the box. Mostly they fly around, but they do seem to enjoy sitting on the deck.

This photo taken July 14, 6:35 am



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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #47 on: July 30, 2013, 12:55:59 AM »

On July 22 I spot an eaglet branched high above the nest. It's 5:26 in the morning and I'm on the other side of the bay... But you can spot the eaglet if you click on the picture. (I only see one.)





A few minutes later, I'm treated to yet another demonstration of the legendary eagle eye.
Dad has been perched near the nest. I can identify him by his voice. Suddenly he launches across the channel. He's not just cruising for food: he means business. He's spotted something.

Here he is, dropping to his target, more than half a mile away.
5:32 am







Caught it! A fish about a foot long, spotted at dawn from over half a mile, with a breeze raising a chop on the water. How does he do this?  eek!




Back to the nest he flies...




He's just dropped off the fish on the nest and then hauled out of there before he gets mauled, and of course the eaglet's going nuts. She wanted room service on her branch.




She drops successfully to the nest. Nice flying, girl!

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boonibarb
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« Post / Reply #48 on: July 30, 2013, 07:42:44 AM »

 
wren, this is fantastic seeing your obs of this Nest.
& i LOVE seeing the Purple Martin posts too!

Now, i am studying that Nest foto that has you puzzled.
What i see in that foto is an Eaglet lying down in the Nest.
The two dark triangles are their wingtips, protruding backwards.
We are seeing them from their tail end.
Their wings are just a little bit open & the tail is out of sight.
The feathering we see between the wingtips is perhaps the feathering of the tail that is just above the longer tail feathers which are out of sight?
Or the top of their back between the wings?
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paintnut
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« Post / Reply #49 on: July 30, 2013, 08:41:50 AM »

Great photos wren - thank you!!
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OpieK
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« Post / Reply #50 on: July 30, 2013, 08:44:15 PM »

wonderful photos and story Wren - thank you so much!
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #51 on: July 30, 2013, 11:25:23 PM »

Thanks everyone for your kind comments; Booni, thanks so much for taking the time to analyse that picture.
Somebody sitting with wings half open, to keep cool perhaps, that would make sense. That would also fit with my having seen the same pattern over several minutes.

Certainly I have seen or heard no sign of a second eaglet except for those strange photos. I've been watching a fledgling... Just one. But eagles can be pretty sneaky sometimes, so I wasn't sure what to think.
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #52 on: August 06, 2013, 12:12:20 AM »

I've watched the eaglet of this nest flying around since my last post. She has been sleeping on one of the trees near the nest, not on the boat launch perches as her sibling did last year. Rather, Mom and Dad Shingle Spit have been spending nights there.


Shingle Spit pair on their favourite perch tree at sunset, July 23, 8 pm



Yesterday and today, no eagles, no screeping eaglet. So it's possible that the Shingle Spit family has now left for the feeding grounds. The neighbours to the south, still without a nest as far as I've been able to tell, are still hanging around. I'm still not sure if that area is a hangout for unpaired eagles or a bona fide territory. There seem to be two adults around there these days. Of course I have no way to tell if they are always the same ones.
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #53 on: August 06, 2013, 01:29:54 AM »

This is from July 23. I walked onto the Spit at the end of a night shift. The light was still too dim for anything but silhouettes, but I really wanted to check in case there was a second eaglet hiding somewhere. Again I only saw the one.

She was perched on a branch of the nest tree. Mom moved from the south side to the north side of the Spit on my approach. She started making soft huck-huck calls, and soon the eaglet took flight.

July 23, 6:25 am


(Click on the picture to see the tassels on the secondaries.)


Look at the balled foot on this one...



She's landed, then takes off again in response to more huck-huck calls.
I'm pretty sure that's still the foot we see here, dangling past the tail.
Still 6:25 am



Mom left and below, eaglet right and above. Both hard to see.
6:33 am



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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #54 on: August 06, 2013, 01:38:38 AM »

I had not yet heard or seen the Peregrines this year. July used to resonate with their calls at dawn and dusk, but last year I head nothing, and nothing so far this year. There is no white guano garnishing the niche in the cliff this year, either. But as I watched the Shingle Spit eaglet, a movement in the air caught my eye. I thought it was a Purple Martin at first. There were no calls of any kind.

Peregrine Falcon? July 23, 6:33 am



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Cawatcher
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« Post / Reply #55 on: August 06, 2013, 05:59:01 AM »

Thnak you wren for the update, love the silhouettes..  strange season
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boonibarb
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« Post / Reply #56 on: August 16, 2013, 07:23:27 PM »

 
i went out on the Hornby Home & Garden Tour this year.
For the morning i volunteered at a site near me, sitting near the garden, checking tickets & greeting people coming to the garden.
For doing this, i got a free ticket.
So the afternoon, a friend & i, she also volunteered all morning, went on the tour!
This is a great way to see places on the Island & get out & about.
Peoples* gardens here are just amazing, & every one is different from the other.
We went to a place that is near Shingle Spit, where the Hornby ferry docks & loads & unloads.
i was out on the deck in the sun when i spotted this lone Heron on the beach in the distance.

june 30 2013 15:14 - Great Blue Heron



http://www.flickr.com/photos/43214021@N08/9528167694/#


This foto has me remembering a rescue i did nearby.
A Great Blue Heron.
i was wondering if this one could be a mate or family of the one i captured..


It was saturday may 18, Victoria Day, long holiday weekend.
Of course...
It was a lovely sunny day, when i got a call about a Great Blue Heron that had been spotted in a friend*s yard a couple of blocks uphill from the shore.
She had seen him the night before, in the same spot.
Now a day later he was still there.
She said he was limping on his left leg, & there seemed to be some damage to one of the wings.
He was in thick bushes & trees.
i was to park on the road & she would walk me in & show me.
i called MARS first.
They said don*t use a net, use a blanket, & get it over the head.
Control the beak!
Don*t worry about the feet.
The beak...
My heart was pounding, thinking of that beak going for my eye.
i had on my Dad*s big denim padded coat for protection & warmth.
i wore my eye goggles & my capture gloves.
i left the kennel open at the back open door of the van, ready to pop him in.
i carried a big green capture towel.
The woman who called was worried that if i went in after him, he would run into the bush & be even harder to catch.
So she & a young man went to the neighbour*s place & walked in from the opposite side of the Heron to where i was.
They had towels.
As they approached the Heron from the other side, i went in towards him from the driveway.
It was a bit tough going.
There were downed dead trees & bushes, & there was a very steep narrow ravine, about four feet deep, which had water running in it.
The Heron was on the other side of this creek.
It was a bit of a clamber down in, then out the other side where the Heron was standing.
i was coming one way, they were coming straight at us from the other, so of course he went sideways, away from all of us, through the bushes & downed trees, along the creek.
The chase was on!
i slowly followed him, while the others navigated the obstacles to try to block him off again.
After a good bit of clambering by us, he went down into the creek!
i am realizing that at some point, you can*t just try to sneak up on a capture, you have to just go for it.
So, i left the other two in the bush & jumped down in the creek & went after him with my towel.
The water was over the top of my boots but i didn*t care.
i was going to catch him.
There was a great spot to catch him coming up!
A steep drop in the creek from a higher level to a lower one, maybe a three feet drop.
i figured i had him against the drop.
But he flopped up the drop & carried on, leaving me to try to figure out how i was going to climb this slippery wet drop myself.
i got my knees in the water & used them to brace my way up.
i was up!
& guess where the Heron was?
Right back where we started.
Poor guy, & now with me clambering out of the steep creek, he has decided to turn & face me.
All i can see is these two eyes & this long beak, pointed right at me, ready to fight.
i told him he was tough, that i was afraid.
& i wondered what to do.
So i tossed the towel over his head, & down he went!
i got a hold of the beak by first grabbing the neck & working my way up.
Not the best way, that is how i used to grab my Ducks!, but i had him & i had the beak.
i made sure his head was still covered by the towel, & held the beak through the towel in one hand.
With the other i gathered up the body & wings in the rest of the towel, & tucked him under my arm like a football.
Now i had to go down into the creek & out again, only this time with both arms full, but i did it.
He put up no fight at all from under the towel.
i walked down the driveway to the road to put him in the kennel & my helpers were amazed that i already had him!
Into the kennel he went, i was scared to take out the capture towel so that stayed in with him, which worried me afterwards.
But it turned out fine.
i had been worried about missing the last ferry off Hornby.
i had headed out just after 5pm, & the last ferry was 6!
So down to the ferry lineup i went to beg for a ride for the Heron to Buckley Bay.
i lucked out & found two guys going off, they were Park Rangers or something!
They were looking at each other like i was pulling some joke on them, but eventually they agreed to take the kennel.
They were worried about blood, & flapping, but i assured them that the Heron was covered in a kennel & that they would be met at Buckley Bay by someone from MARS.
i gave them MARS* phone number.
& off they went, just in time for the last ferry!

It was days before we heard anything about the Heron, being a long weekend & all.
So the rest of the story can be found here.
You will need to click each foto, then read all the comments below the foto, then click to the next one, & read the comments again.
The poor Heron had some terrible injuries.
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birdvoyer
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« Post / Reply #57 on: August 17, 2013, 07:23:56 AM »

I'm exhausted from reading the account, and can only imagine how exhausted you were from doing it! I love reading your accounts of your rescues.  heart  How lucky that the critters of Hornby have you and wren, and the folks who are watching out for the injured and calling you.
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boodle317
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« Post / Reply #58 on: August 17, 2013, 07:35:09 AM »

My heart was pounding reading this!  Booni...I can't imagine the adrenaline pump during one of these rescues!  You are amazing!

So sorry this guy didn't make it.  Once again though, you saved a creature from a long, torturous demise.  Thank you so much for all your efforts!   heart
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gzebear
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« Post / Reply #59 on: August 17, 2013, 06:28:05 PM »

oh booni, I was right there with you on that one! I know that feeling of commitment to a capture - you will get this bird so he can be helped ... good job! Thank you for all your good work.
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