Author Topic: Heron Rocks Nest - 2013-2014 season  (Read 25537 times)

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Offline winterwren

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Re: Heron Rocks Nest - 2013-2014 season
« Reply #45 on: August 31, 2014, 10:07:03 PM »
On August 22, to change my mind from fretting about Scootch, I went for a paddle along the Winters' Nest territory, near Downes Point. I was curious to see if the eagles were still there. I saw none, but heard screeps from further west, from the Heron Rocks area!

So the next day I took a little walk in this territory.

First I saw this eagle flying away from me.
August 23, 12:46


This picture does not click to a larger size because it is cropped to nothingness. That's how far this eagle was.

Another view, a bit closer.



She landed on the beach a little further east. She? Oh yes, definitely. She has a low, low voice. Mom Heron Rocks, then.
As I approached, she flew on further, then so did this eaglet! This is not a very clear picture but I include it to show the faint pale band above the usual white tips on the tail. It will serve to identify this eaglet later.
12:52



Mom landed in a low tree further east. I lost the eaglet from sight.
Here Mom is calling again in her low voice.
12:56


This is where I wish I had kept notes. I remember hearing some calls from below, to the left of the tree Mom is perched on. The calls sounded like a cross between an eaglet's screep and an older youngster's buck-buck call. I remember thinking that this didn't add up, that this wasn't where the eaglet had flown to.


A minute later, Mom flew back westward, toward her nest and Heron Rocks. Click on the picture to see the really big nick in her right second primary. It is hard to see because of low contrast with the background. The next primary seems moulted out.
Also... She's carrying something. Was she already carrying in my first photos? Looking at the second photo, I believe she may well have been. Did I interrupt a feeding? quite possibly. This I didn't know until I saw the pictures on the computer.
12:57






Mom flew across the territory and perched in a huge fir near her old nest. There she remained for about half an hour.

Offline winterwren

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Re: Heron Rocks Nest - 2013-2014 season
« Reply #46 on: August 31, 2014, 10:25:22 PM »
I found the eaglet around the scraggly perch trees of the new nest.
We have a better view of the thin white band on the tail here.
August 23, 12:57



I lost him again, and spent a while looking for shore birds, feeling lucky enough to have glimpsed him. But shortly after he reappeared, still around the scraggly perch trees.
This photo makes me wonder if that pale band on the tail corresponds to a pinched area (from malnutrition) on the feathers.
1:05



Coming in for a landing... Look at the little feathers on the leading edge of the wing, raising, as I saw on Scootch a few days earlier. I had never noticed this in previous years.








The landing occurs with the restrained elegance of form we typically see in newly-fledged eaglets...  :eclol




Offline winterwren

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Re: Heron Rocks Nest - 2013-2014 season
« Reply #47 on: September 01, 2014, 12:28:40 PM »
August 23, continued...

I still was really keen to know if Dad Heron Rocks was still around. This was when Dad Hornby had already left, and only Mom remained behind to care for Scootch. Was this the case here too?

The answer was complicated by the presence of dozens of starlings. They all spoke Eagle. Dad Eagle.
They also all spoke Eaglet.

August 23, 1:18



Nonetheless, once in a while I heard something that seemed a little bit too low and sustained for a starling screep. It didn't seem to come from where this eaglet was perched, either.
So I decided to circle around closer to the nest area.

Once I got there, I heard it clearly: a definite series of screeps. Right ahead of me. Meanwhile the first eaglet was still perched below and to my right.
Here he is, still on the same perch, from a very different angle.
So there have to be two eaglets in this territory!
1:33


I can't see any damage to tail feathers in this photo, just a lighter zone where the pale band showed in flight.

I'm looking for a better angle among the trees.
1:34



This eaglet has a small white feather behind his right eye; it showed on several other photos also, but is clearest on this shot.




I searched for the other eaglet around the nest but did not find him. The nest is on private property and I was reluctant to walk around. But the sounds convinced me that there is indeed a second eaglet here.

Now where was Dad?

Offline winterwren

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Re: Heron Rocks Nest - 2013-2014 season
« Reply #48 on: September 01, 2014, 09:28:47 PM »
I returned to the shore, out of the eaglets hair - er, feathers - and out of the humans' territory.
A glance at the big perch tree near the old nest told me that Mom had gone.

When I saw a big bird flying overhead, I figured it must be her...

So here is that one... Diving for a fish... Into the little sandy bay near Heron Rocks, which meanwhile had filled with people!
And what's more... None of these people seems in the least aware that a huge eagle is diving into the water right in their midst!
August 23, 1:49



Winding up feet for the catch...




Wham. Caught a fish, in the middle of all these people.




Foot to beak, eating on the wing.




Spotting a second fish!




Winding up for a second catch...




Missed!




Off he flies, to one of the outer rocks, where he will remain watching.
He? Yes indeed, I think so. Initially I thought this was Mom, because there are gaps in the wings. But they are not at the same places, nor do we see that big nick in the second right primary. So I believe this has to be Dad!



Which would tell us that both Heron Rocks parents stayed with their eaglets at this late date.

Offline OpieK

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Re: Heron Rocks Nest - 2013-2014 season
« Reply #49 on: September 02, 2014, 10:10:52 AM »
Such good sleuthing, Wren!  Thank you!!

Offline PamNY

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Re: Heron Rocks Nest - 2013-2014 season
« Reply #50 on: September 02, 2014, 07:06:32 PM »
Awesome capture of behavior Wren. Thank you!

Offline Cawatcher

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Re: Heron Rocks Nest - 2013-2014 season
« Reply #51 on: September 02, 2014, 08:25:30 PM »
wren great catch  :heart.. what really gets me is how oblivious humans are to their surroundings!!

Offline mishikeenhquay

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Re: Heron Rocks Nest - 2013-2014 season
« Reply #52 on: September 02, 2014, 09:21:41 PM »


Great captures Wren!! 

In that series, could it be that instead of the eagle spotting a second fish and going in for the catch, that maybe he actually dropped the little fish that he had and he is watching it fall down to the water?  Do I see a small 'something' falling just below and in front of him?
"Our true enemies, as well as our true sources of strength, lie within."

Offline BBE

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Re: Heron Rocks Nest - 2013-2014 season
« Reply #53 on: September 03, 2014, 08:14:57 AM »
Hi winter,

A successful expedition with some truly awesome photos.

You are certainly an 'E.E.D".   In this situation that is an 'eagle-eyed detective' not an Emergency Evacuation Device.  A very rewarding trip.  Thanks again for all you do.

I don't see how the lady holding onto the youngster couldn't see the action ahead of them.  :puzzled2

 :thumbup:  :heart
Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced. (Anonymous)
Avatar is of Karula (female leopard). May 1, 2013

Offline winterwren

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Re: Heron Rocks Nest - 2013-2014 season
« Reply #54 on: September 11, 2014, 02:59:53 AM »
Thank you all for your kind comments.
Mishi, I looked and looked at the sequence, and I think you may be right. Hard to tell for sure. There does look to be a small something falling, and the eagle returned to the same area for the second attempt.

The very next day, I was invited on a boat tour to Chrome Island, and on the return we passed by Norris Rocks and Chrome Island. It was very strange to see a Turkey Vulture perched where there usually is an eagle, at the top the largest Norris Rock. On one of the Heron Rocks, on the other hand, there was still an eagle! Probably one of the pair belonging to the nest.

August 24, 11:10 am



Offline boonibarb

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Re: Heron Rocks Nest - 2013-2014 season
« Reply #55 on: September 25, 2015, 10:08:24 AM »
 
i took Otto for a walk between Heron Rocks & Olsen Farm & it was raining.
We came around the corner of the bay towards Olsen Farm & all these Turkey Vultures were perched in the Trees there.
Because of the rain i was having a hard time getting the camera to focus but i was really pleased to get one good foto of the first juvenile Turkey Vulture i have ever seen!

august 30 2014 14:31 - juvenile Turkey Vulture



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https://www.flickr.com/photos/43214021@N08/

 
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