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Author Topic: Phipps Point Nest - 2013- 2014 season  (Read 20513 times)
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winterwren
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« on: October 31, 2013, 11:49:37 PM »

This topic is for discussion and photos of the Phipps Point nest and its territory.

I believe this nest was brand-new in 2010. That year here were some green fir needles visible way down into the structure of the nest. The eagles of this nest may have been the same ones who occupied Nest #2, which was in the same territory.
This nest had one eaglet in 2010; in 2011, the adults added branches to the nest, courted and mated, but they did not lay any eggs. In 2012 the nest produced two eaglets, and in 2013 one eaglet.

On this updated map of the nests of Hornby Island, the Phipps Point nest is on the upper left.



Click here to view the 2010 postings about this nest, and here to view the 2011 season.
The 2012 season starts here...
The 2013 season starts here.
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #1 on: November 01, 2013, 12:20:40 AM »

This afternoon, shortly before sunset, there was a bit more light so I decided to go walk on Phipps Point beach with my camera. The previous day I had seen a big flock of Buffleheads, and I was hoping to sneak up closer to them and get some photos.

But the rules of my outings seem to be: you never know what you're gonna see!

I approached on a path off the beach, so as not to frighten the sea birds. Soon I was surrounded by dozens of little birds. Some of them were darting among maple branches, sallying out from time to time, hovering in place for a second and then returning, always to a different perch. They moved so fast, it took me a while to realise that this was flycatching behaviour. They were not feeding off the tree, they were using it as a launching site to catch little insects on the fly. Once in a while I could see a bit of yellow.
These birds were tiny, smaller than the chickadees that were also flocking lower down in the trees. This doesn't leave a lot of species to choose from. Sibley tells us that Kinglets sometimes travel in mixed flocks, and they sometimes feed by hovering-flycatching. The light was really not great down in the trees, but I caught a few identification shots.

If these are kinglets, then this would have to be a Golden-crowned. Or else it's a different bird altogether... Anyone know?
Phipps Point, October 31 near sunset 



This one has the bold white supercilium too. Look at the skinny, skinny little leg.



Aha! There are indeed more than one kind. This is a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. The white eye-ring is clearly visible, and we can see a tiny bit of the wing bar.


While editing these photos I found lots of blurs! But I also got mesmerized by the pattern of the maple seeds and their twisted, ornamental stems.



(Also a typical mystery-bird shot in this one... mhihi )




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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #2 on: November 01, 2013, 12:30:29 AM »

Meanwhile I heard a brief gulling call very near!

I left the little birds behind and soon found the caller.
Look at the long, long primaries! Might this be Mom Phipps? She sure has her eye on me.

Phipps Point, October 31 near sunset.



Soon there was a rustle of wings and a second adult took off from right near the nest. It happened too fast for me to get a picture. So I moved around slowly to get a better angle on the eagle I had seen first. While doing this, my eyes up in the trees, I disturbed a big flock of crows! They took off and all of them started mobbing that eagle, who soon flew off her perch also. Eeek!



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boodle317
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« Post / Reply #3 on: November 01, 2013, 05:58:31 AM »

wow....to have an eagle that close over head with wing roars.  !   Sigh
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passerine
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« Post / Reply #4 on: November 01, 2013, 10:44:27 AM »

Wren I do believe, you were seeing Kinglets. They have a sweet call, move very fast, stay high for the most part.

A close of view of the Golden-crowned Kinglet.



This little fella got too close to my window as much as I have them protected the odd bird still hits. sad
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #5 on: November 01, 2013, 12:17:06 PM »

Thanks Passerine! I was hoping you would check my identifications for me...  smile  I'm sure enjoying learning more about your namesakes.

Boodle, yes, that eagle was pretty close!
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Rajame
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« Post / Reply #6 on: November 01, 2013, 02:12:27 PM »

Wren,

Thank you for sharing. You write so well, I feel I am watching a movie!

Hugs,
Rajame
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #7 on: November 01, 2013, 07:01:56 PM »

Here's that same eagle again, just like Boodle said a rush of wings, plus all that cawing filling the air.

"Pesky crows..."
October 30 near sunset



A good wing print here. She has a new primary on the left side, and some beautiful fresh tail feathers.


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NancyM
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« Post / Reply #8 on: November 01, 2013, 07:31:35 PM »

lovely pictures, wren - thank you! Phipps Point was one of my favorite visits last May on Hornby ~  many swallows flitting about and eagles of all ages.  A lovely spot!
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #9 on: November 01, 2013, 09:03:22 PM »

Thanks Nancy! Phipps Point is my old neighbourhood, and it's always with pleasure that I return to it. The little wooded area to the north of the old boat ramp is proving to be quite the spot for bird-watching.

While I was chasing the little kinglets with my lens, I spotted this cute little character. Meet my cousin, Bewick's Wren.
October 31 near sunset.



The flock of Buffleheads, which I had come hoping to photograph, was way out at sea, mingling with about 150 Surf Scoters! Booni also saw some scoters in this area at the same time last year. She posted a video and some photos here.

You never know what you're gonna find.  smile


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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #10 on: November 01, 2013, 09:36:31 PM »

This afternoon I returned to Phipps Point, to see what other surprises it had in store. The light was too flat for good photography, but it was a wonderful outing nonetheless.

First I saw an eagle, flying toward the nest tree...
Phipps Point, November 1st, 4:11 pm



Not the same one I saw yesterday: the primaries on the left wing are all full size.
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #11 on: November 01, 2013, 09:52:20 PM »

There were people walking on the beach, so the sea birds were way out. I wandered around out of sight, looking for a view of the nest from below. No luck on that.

Then I returned my attention to the shore to see if the birds had come back, and saw the Buffleheads a bit nearer... And THIS fellow!
4:23 pm


I had never seen one but I would have recognised him anywhere: a Hooded Merganser!
That's when I REALLY missed my big lens, which is out for repair. Oh well...

He didn't stick around for long and took off before I could get closer. That's when I saw he had his mate with him, too.

The Buffleheads were still acting shy and the light was too flat anyway, so I made my way back, mindful of the sounds. I saw some Kinglets at the top of a tree again. Then a strange little call, and a soft, soft tapping....

4:41


I often see Hairy Woodpeckers here, but this was another first: a Downy Woodpecker. A female I'm guessing, because there is no red on her head. Her bill is much smaller than a Hairy's, her call and drumming are much softer, and she has some barring on the white feathers of her tail.

Here we can see the tail bars again, and the tuft of fluffy feathers over her bill, though the bill itself is out of sight.



Nope, you never know what you're gonna find...
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Cawatcher
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« Post / Reply #12 on: November 01, 2013, 10:53:00 PM »

Wow Wow We have to return to Hornby!! eek!
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #13 on: November 06, 2013, 11:13:11 PM »

November 3. Strong westerly wind, rising tide. The beach is knee deep in seaweed. Very few little birds around. No eagles.
Several gillnetters are travelling on the channel, and they have pushed the scoters closer to shore, but not close enough for good photos. I'm thinking the buffleheads will stay away too... I count their flock from afar... About 32 males and 40 females and young. Then while I'm counting and re-counting (they keep diving so it's tricky) they all take flight and come in straight at me! Close enough for a good look anyway.

Close enough to see the iridescent feathers... And to see how strange the males look when you see the back of their head.

Phipps Point, November 3, 2:52 pm



Just a hint of orange leg showing on this one...



This is what they come in to eat! I watched three in a row bring up these tiny little crabs, the kind you find if you look under rocks at low tide.
I can't tell the females and young apart. This is one of those.



Same bird finishing her meal, and 3 more females or immatures.



 heart


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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #14 on: January 01, 2014, 08:32:41 PM »

This year's Christmas bird count was on December 19. I was given the Phipps Point area. The day was grey and the light was flat, but I did identify 30 species, plus 2 more that I figured out once I got the photos on my computer (too late to make it into the official count).

Only a few of the photos are of much interest.
This eagle I think is one of the residents; I photographed one with a matching nick/unzip on the second left primary on November 1. Click here to see the November 1 posting. The nicked feather is visible in the second photo.
December 19, 9:30



From the largest to the smallest... Down the beach toward nest #4, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet.
10:09



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