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Author Topic: Nest #36 - Strachan Valley - 2013-2014 season  (Read 10372 times)
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winterwren
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« on: November 06, 2013, 11:45:04 PM »

This thread is for discussion and photos of Nest #36 and its territory.

Nest #36 has the distinction of being the furthest inland of all the nests of Hornby Island. It is probably the only one without an ocean view!

On this map of the eagles' nests of Hornby, Nest #36 is toward the bottom, well inland.



This nest is in deep forest and invisible from the ground. The neighbours can see the adults come and go, and they can hear the eaglets, but the eaglets are out of sight until they start branching.
We have very little information on this nest, so it has not been represented in a forum topic every year.

Last summer, in 2013, this nest produced one eaglet.
In 2012, the eagles took a break and did not have any offspring.
The forum topic for 2011 starts here.
The postings for 2010 start here,

I'm not sure all my stats are correct for this nest. 2012 and 2013 are right for sure, but my (very trustworthy) informant told me last year that this nest usually produces 2 eaglets, and I have just one for 2010 and 2011.  puzzled
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #1 on: November 07, 2013, 12:02:51 AM »

Near Nest #36 is a lake that did not exist until a few years ago.
Part of a field, on private land at the head of Ford Creek, used to flood every winter. Then the beavers moved in and that is how the island acquired its one and only permanent lake.

Did the birth of Strachan Lake prompt the eagles into building nearby? I should ask the neighbours about the timing.

Anyway, today I went walking through the forest at the back of Strachan lake. Once again the light was flat and dim, but I wasn't about to stay indoors... I could see a few swans and two distinct flocks of ducks on the lake.

Suddenly the nearest flock took off, and not away from me!
Click on the picture and look at the size of their bills... They have to be Northern Shovelers!
November 6, 2:50 pm


Heh heh... Look who spooked them:


That looks like a permanent nick on the third primary of the right wing... In the next picture we see the left wing better. There is an irregularity on its 4th primary but I can't tell if it's a nick or an unzip.



The shovelers circled back and landed right back where they had started from. Meanwhile the swans, mallards, Canada geese and wigeons stayed put.
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #2 on: November 07, 2013, 12:19:58 AM »

This was another wren day. There seemed to be a wren's territory every fifty feet of trail. I've never seen and heard so many of them. Usually they are devilishly difficult to photograph, but the reedy areas gave me half a chance.

This is Pacific Wren, the artist formerly known as Winter Wren... My totem bird.  smile

Strachan Lake, November 6, 2:55 pm



Another one further along...
3:21 pm



Same bird...


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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #3 on: November 07, 2013, 12:40:45 AM »

I was making my way through the reeds to try for a better shot at the ducks... When I almost stepped on this little fellow.

A Rough-skinned Newt? Booni, you've seen them before, is that what this is? It fit easily in my hand with the tail sticking out.
Strachan Lake, November 4, 3:25 pm



I was surprised to see him in this cold... And he sure didn't move fast.



This reminds me of the best Strachan Valley eagle story of last year. One of the neighbours, the same wonderfully knowledgeable woman who usually gives me news of this territory, told me she watched the eagles catch and eat frogs! She said they also hunt for goslings, though there were not as many of those last year.
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boodle317
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« Post / Reply #4 on: November 07, 2013, 06:22:01 AM »

Very cool wren.  adorable little wrens for your totem!  I have never seen a real newt!!
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boonibarb
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« Post / Reply #5 on: November 07, 2013, 11:02:03 AM »


I was making my way through the reeds to try for a better shot at the ducks... When I almost stepped on this little fellow.

A Rough-skinned Newt? Booni, you've seen them before, is that what this is? It fit easily in my hand with the tail sticking out.

 


wren, Rough-Skinned Newt is what i came up with.
i found out that their skin is poisonous!
Good thing i didn*t eat anything or put my fingers to my lips after handling the ones i found.
Here is where i posted about them a year ago.
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #6 on: November 07, 2013, 12:31:12 PM »

Thanks Booni! It does look like the same one.
I had forgotten how late in the year you saw them. Mid-October... Now my sighting makes more sense.
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #7 on: November 07, 2013, 08:18:58 PM »

A slightly better look at the Northern Shovelers... Through the reeds and in bad light... But good enough for a firm identification.
And good enough to marvel at their FABULOUS bills! Click on the second picture in particular.

Strachan Lake, November 6, 3:28 pm






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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #8 on: November 08, 2013, 10:30:33 PM »

Today, better light and better luck at Strachan Lake.

Northern Shovelers, November 8, 12:37 - taken through the reeds. 



These look like females, according to my field guide (Sibley). What outstanding bills they have!  heart
12:38



Sibley shows the juveniles as having that bright green wing patch. In flight, though, they all seem to have green or blue wing bars. Nice grass ornament on this one's shoulders too.
1:48
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #9 on: November 08, 2013, 10:49:49 PM »

This photo of the swans is not very sharp, but I like the colours. There is one more swan than yesterday. That's an old fence line near them, a reminder that only a few years ago this was still a field.

Strachan Lake, November 8, 12:24


Once in a while, everyone except the swans takes flight. That's my signal to look up in the sky. Today the eagles were flying higher, and like the other days they were heading right over the mountain, south-west from the area of the nest, and returning from the same direction. I had thought they fished on the south-east side, following Ford Creek to the nearest ocean shore. But I'm starting to wonder if they're the pair fishing south of the Shingle Spit territory instead... Or maybe they do both? I would not see them travelling south-east from here.

(Or maybe they commute to Qualicum and feast on Chum salmon. I can only take wild guesses here.)
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #10 on: November 08, 2013, 11:00:21 PM »

The wrens were still in the shade, but that was still more light than yesterday and I took a few more pictures. How could I not?

I'm having fun cropping the pictures, treating the maze of reeds like an abstract painting.

Pacific Wren (aka Winter Wren...) Strachan Lake, November 8, 12:50












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passerine
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« Post / Reply #11 on: November 12, 2013, 12:50:05 PM »

The Northern Shovelers photos are lovely Wren. They do have marvelous beaks. The elusive Wrens are adorable, amazing bird. I believe they are in trouble? Most likely from what is the problem for all wildlife. Development. sad
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OpieK
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« Post / Reply #12 on: November 12, 2013, 12:59:35 PM »

Oh!  Beautiful photos Wren.  I've never seen shovelers before, and the wren photos are lovely.  Thank you!
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #13 on: August 07, 2014, 10:48:21 PM »

On July 26 I spoke to one of the neighbours of this nest. She said there is one eaglet who is now visible from the ground, now that he or she is flapping and branching.
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boonibarb
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« Post / Reply #14 on: August 08, 2014, 08:31:34 AM »


& i heard this Eaglet when we were hiking the Mountain a couple of weeks ago!
wren confirms that it must have been this Nest*s Eaglet i was hearing.
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