Author Topic: Shingle Spit Nest - 2013-2014 Season  (Read 59355 times)

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Offline winterwren

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #75 on: March 25, 2014, 07:38:19 PM »
Half an hour later, another pod came through!
This was a large family, with maybe 3 babies and several females. There were no big males that I could see, so I wonder if this was just one group that had separated. In the scale of their wanderings, a half hour apart would not be much.

This group was constantly surfacing; one or two females were almost clearing the surface with their jumps. Unfortunately I was on watch duty and was only able to get to my camera as the whales were leaving, but still some of those pics might help identify the pod.

This is one of the females. You can see two circles in the water where two more whales just dived!

March 4, 9:01:44



Same female, still 9:01:44



Little baby making a splash.
9:02:20



Five orcas surfacing together... Could be a young male in the centre.
9:03:15



This also looks to me like the dorsal fin of a young male, but I'm not sure if it's the same one.
9:04:19



Offline Cawatcher

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #76 on: March 25, 2014, 08:27:06 PM »
What an awesome experience  winterwren! thank you for sharing  :eceek :eclove

Offline winterwren

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #77 on: March 25, 2014, 09:04:54 PM »
The third orca sighting of March 4 was around 5 pm; I saw two males, two females and a baby. The rain had started and I was on bridge watch, so I didn't get any photos. In all cases the whales were headed north. During the second sighting I noticed that the sea lions of Shingle Spit seemed undisturbed. The other two times I was too far away to see how they reacted.

More about this issue: I asked a local diving instructor who has spent his whole life on the water about the sea lions' behaviour when the orcas are nearby. Why don't they just haul out on Shingle Spit to stay out of the whales' way, especially if they can tell which ones are transients - eaters of sea mammals? This person's take is that the sea lions are most mobile in the water. For them water is safety. Which would explain why, when I saw the transients last month, the sea lions only retreated to the shallows when the whales were in sight. They stayed in their most comfortable medium the rest of the time.

That same observer told me that transient orcas, which are labelled as eating only sea mammals, do eat fish also. He has watched a known pod of transients feeding on herring under his boat.

We have so much to learn...

Offline boodle317

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #78 on: March 26, 2014, 05:52:59 AM »
Just wow.  What a sight!

Offline amazedbyeagles

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #79 on: March 26, 2014, 04:03:29 PM »
Wow! Wow! Wow!    :eclove

Offline winterwren

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #80 on: April 09, 2014, 09:52:37 PM »
Last week I worked near this nest and noticed that there seemed to be someone on it all the time. At one point I saw a switch. So I'm pretty sure that this pair is sitting on eggs.

Offline winterwren

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #81 on: April 09, 2014, 10:30:13 PM »
Here's one of the Shingle Spit eagles swooping down to grab something, or at least grab at something, on the grassy part of the Spit before going to the nest. There were no solicitation calls from the nest.
March 30, 6:40 pm







I can't tell if he or she caught anything. Circled south and then up to the nest. Delivered and left... Or switched... A minute later there was someone on the perch tree again.




Offline winterwren

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #82 on: April 09, 2014, 10:41:15 PM »
I watched the nest and the comings and goings in the little bay as my work allowed. In these photos it was the pale juvenile Double-crested Cormorant who caught my eye. He's so pale, from a distance I thought he might be a different kind of bird. But the more remarkable part is the two adults with crests showing, one black, one white. I rarely catch them in full breeding garb. Sibley tells us that the plumes are black on south-eastern birds, and "average whiter to north and west."

The gulls are Glaucous-winged Gulls of various ages.

March 31, 7:01 pm



Another view of the white-crested bird. The one just to his left seems to be growing a small black crest also.




Offline boonibarb

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #83 on: April 22, 2014, 11:03:01 AM »
 
i*m not sure if it is something exciting to see a Double-Crested Cormorant with this crest above their eye?
Not sure i have seen this before.

april 12 2014 09:01 - Double-Crested Cormorant with crest



https://www.flickr.com/photos/43214021@N08/13991862793/
wooohoooo!

Offline winterwren

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #84 on: April 24, 2014, 01:57:32 AM »
:ecsmile To me it certainly is an exciting sight! (See my last post for a few more details.) Thank you for the beautiful photo; I've never managed to get close enough for a really clear shot while they're in breeding plumage.

Meanwhile, I've been working in this area and every morning I witness switches on the Eagle nest, so definitely Mom and Dad Shingle Spit are incubating eggs.


Another source of excitement for me is that yesterday evening I saw one of the little Pigeon Guillemots swimming near the dock, and then landing on one of the dock beams. So maybe the Guillemots will be nesting here again this year.  :heart

Offline Cawatcher

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #85 on: April 24, 2014, 06:41:57 AM »
 :thumbup: Wow Wren, A good season ahead !

Offline boonibarb

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #86 on: April 24, 2014, 08:28:29 AM »

Thank you wren!
i fixed my post.

i noticed in some fotos that the bills of the Cormorants have a kind of design/pattern on them.
Is that there all the time, or does that change too?
wooohoooo!

Offline winterwren

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #87 on: April 25, 2014, 08:54:17 PM »
I'm not sure about what pattern you're talking about. If it's the combination of yellow-orange and more neutral buff colouring on the bill of the Double-crested Cormorants, yes, that is there all the time but the yellow part seems to get brighter during courting season.

One thing I love, now that I've seen these Double-cresteds display their crests a few times, is that there is such a big variation in crest colour, between white and completely black. The one on your photo seems to have a bluish tinge. And those eyes!!!  :heart

Offline boonibarb

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #88 on: April 26, 2014, 08:34:11 AM »
 
Okay, here*s what i mean wren, i found it in another foto that i didn*t post.
The bill almost looks like teeth, with a light & dark pattern on it.
The eye colour is amazing!
& i love those big black flappy feet, kinda like Trumpeter Swans have.

april 12 2014 09:02 - Double-Crested Cormorant



https://www.flickr.com/photos/43214021@N08/14020267395/
wooohoooo!

Offline winterwren

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #89 on: April 26, 2014, 05:03:52 PM »
That's a WILD photo!

I've only noticed that tooth pattern a few times, and never so pronounced as that. I have no idea if it's seasonal or what. I'll see if I can find out something more about it.

This guy or gal really looks amazing, with the 'teeth' and the crest and those eyes!
There are bits of white plumes on the neck too. I recently saw some Pelagics that had those. I got a few photos of all three species of cormorants on my last paddle trip, and this will make me take a closer look at them.