Author Topic: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season  (Read 27659 times)

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Offline winterwren

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Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
« Reply #30 on: March 09, 2015, 09:54:29 PM »
On my return I chased the Elephant seal for a while, but he disappeared underwater. Further out, though, was a small flock whose general appearance I couldn't place.

March 8, 6:32



Brants!
I had never seen them close enough for a photo.
Huge numbers of Brants stop over near Parksville and Qualicum during their migrations, but they are not common here.
In this first shot, they are picking up pieces of eelgrass that are floating on the water.

I sneaked up closer to them, drifting, stealth-paddling...
6:36







Just enough low sun filtering through the clouds to see their eyes. Just.








Here's the whole flock again, 5 birds... Making their way closer to Flora. Light fading, time to go.
6:



On the return paddle, at sunset, I could see all the eagles launching out of their trees one by one, and more coming from further inland. They were all headed offshore.
With the binoculars I followed their line of travel. There was a feed ball way out north, at least a mile away. It would also have been visible from Mom and Dad's territory. So I hope they got a feed out of this.

Offline winterwren

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Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
« Reply #31 on: March 25, 2015, 08:54:44 PM »
I walked around Helliwell Park today.
Found one eagle perched above the nest. They don't mind when people walk on the trail (it's often busy) but they often take off if I stop and try to get photos. This is what happened today.

I took a bunch of photos of the nest but could not tell if anyone is in it.

On the second beach I was pleased to find hundreds of gulls. At the high tide line was some seaweed with herring roe on it. So a very small spawn happened in the area. Better than nothing.

There was a dead seal further along on the same beach. It seems to be a catchment for drifting carcasses; we find some there every winter. There were two more seal carcasses mostly reduced to bones further along on the same beach today.

Lots of eagles in the area. Along the high bluffs a dozen more rode the thermals.
Photos will follow.

Offline winterwren

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Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
« Reply #32 on: March 25, 2015, 09:26:55 PM »
Eagle taking off from a perch just above Nest 22.

March 25, 2:15








Offline winterwren

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Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
« Reply #33 on: March 25, 2015, 09:36:33 PM »
Flock of Brants in flight, near Flora Islet.
March 25, 2:40



Here are the gulls feeding on herring roe... We can see seaweed with roe clinging to it in the foreground of both photos.
The small gulls with yellow feet are Mew Gulls. The slightly larger ones with pink feet are Thayer's. The large youngster with pale wing tips is an immature Glaucous-winged Gull.
2:42







Offline winterwren

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Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
« Reply #34 on: March 25, 2015, 09:50:31 PM »
The dead seal was easy to spot. There were eagles all around, perched on trees, and ravens on the driftwood.
The wind was hitting that bay full on. Once in a while the ravens would simply open their wings, and the wind would suspend them like kites just a couple of feet above the logs.

This eagle did a lovely hover landing near the dead seal.
March 25, 2:48



The other eagles stayed away because I stood on the beach. This one kept an eye on me but decided to stay. Two or three ravens remained at the feeding site also.
2:49



2:51



Offline winterwren

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Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
« Reply #35 on: March 25, 2015, 11:25:24 PM »
So now we have this beautiful young eagle feeding, pulling away at the seal's skin, flapping his wings every so often to get a stronger pull, while his mythical counterpart, Raven, looks on and patiently waits for his turn.

March 25, 2:52 pm







Keeping tabs on me while eating.




Offline winterwren

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Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
« Reply #36 on: March 25, 2015, 11:30:37 PM »
Still feeding.
March 25, 2:49 pm












Offline winterwren

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Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
« Reply #37 on: March 26, 2015, 01:30:21 AM »
Finally he is sated and getting ready to move on. (I've been waiting politely to see what his food is. A dead seal, it turns out.)

March 25, 3:00 pm











 :heart



Offline amazedbyeagles

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Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
« Reply #38 on: March 26, 2015, 08:57:29 AM »
Wonderful photos, Wren!!!   How delightful to get to watch this moment in the wild kingdom, the beautiful bird, and his sidekick, the little raven!  Thanks so much for sharing!  Puts a smile in my heart!  :eclove

Offline jeavverhey

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Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
« Reply #39 on: March 26, 2015, 11:22:10 AM »
 :biggrin3 I am picturing that eagle staying because he recognized  the creature with a big black nose :really taking photos of him in his  hatch nest another year. :mhihi

Offline Stokes

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Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
« Reply #40 on: March 26, 2015, 10:15:57 PM »
Love this story and photographs. Excellent!
Thank you so much.

Flood

Offline winterwren

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Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
« Reply #41 on: March 28, 2015, 04:30:13 AM »
Just a little further along the trail, I witnessed a strange spectacle.

Another young eagle was trying to take off with a stick - and apparently not succeeding.

He faced into the strong wind, flapping a little, but mostly letting the wind lift him, got up a few feet, floated briefly, then landed again.

He did this several times.
A correct grip on the stick seemed part of the problem.
March 25, 3:11:24



3:11:29



3:11:32











He's looking like a snowboarder or a skateboarder doing a tricky jump on this one.
3:11:33







3:11:34



At about this point I finally thought I should take a video of this. And that's the moment when my camera's battery gave out. By the time I loaded a fresh one, the young eagle was on the ground, seeming to work on the stick; not much was visible over the small rise between us. He seemed to struggle and tug at it; I was wondering if he'd gotten his talons imbedded too far and was stuck. Then I saw him lift the stick with his beak and let it go, and that was that for Plan A.

Offline winterwren

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Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
« Reply #42 on: March 28, 2015, 04:44:28 AM »
Stick adventures...

So then our young eagle went to Plan B.

He floated up on the wind without the stick. Brushed past the top of a small pine.

Then landed gently like a kite on top of a small arbutus.
March 25, 3:14



Wings still open, half floating, he broke a twig from the top!




Then off he flew with his prize.




This whole sequence reminds me of the other time I witnessed a youngster carrying a stick, this time in Mom and Dad Hornby's territory. You can see the posting by clicking here.


Offline Stokes

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Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
« Reply #43 on: March 28, 2015, 10:10:41 AM »
Wren, I wonder if this is how young eagles learn to break off sticks and carry them. I never
thought about them needing to learn the mechanics of talons, balance, lift, vision, etc. etc.!
Do you think this was a male? Do females bring in many sticks when building nests and courting,
or is that mainly the male's job?

Wonderful photos. Love the one where it looks like he/she looks right at you. Reminds me of
David looking into the nest cam and his beak looking so large and goofy.

Thank you,
Flood

Offline linused

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Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
« Reply #44 on: March 28, 2015, 02:15:54 PM »
What fun these photos are to see and read about Wren. I love watching the youngsters.   Seems like that tree has been pruned a lot?
        Booni,  The ravens are busy nestorating and I was wondering about your Raven pair. Have the found a new perch close by? Do they come for a visit?