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Author Topic: Phipps Point Nest - 2015-2016 season  (Read 12404 times)
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boonibarb
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« Post / Reply #15 on: January 05, 2016, 11:06:41 AM »

 
Okay, picking up where i left off ages ago, here is the female again.
The light was perfect, but she was behind branches.
i was trying to poke my camera through the gaps in the branches.
 
november 26 2015 15:08 - Phipps Point female
 

 

 


She has some dark flecks on her head feathers.
 

 

 
link to my fotos page - 
 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/43214021@N08/

 
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boonibarb
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« Post / Reply #16 on: January 05, 2016, 11:12:22 AM »

 
november 26 2015 15:26 - Phipps Point female
 

 


Nictitating membrane here.
 

 

 

 

 
link to my fotos page - 
 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/43214021@N08/

 
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Donnae
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« Post / Reply #17 on: January 05, 2016, 12:03:42 PM »

What a pretty face, lovely bird! Thanks Booni.
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #18 on: January 05, 2016, 07:33:44 PM »

On December 31, as I was hoping, I was able to go check on this territory. The neighbours had seen the eagles carrying lots of branches into a small fir grove, a few hundred metres inland from their usual home. They have always liked perching on the tallest trees of that grove. But it is clearly second-growth forest, and the neighbours had trouble believing that the eagles would choose anything but old-growth trees for nesting.

I first scouted the area from the road. Both eagles were perched on a shoreside tree, a little south of their old nest.
There was movement in the grove, however. An immature eagle?

No!
A Red-tailed Hawk!
He settled on a branch and I abandoned all thought of trying to find a nest.
December 31, 2:59 pm







Just changing perches, to a different tree in the same grove...


Meanwhile the eagles seemed completely undisturbed by this visitor.
It was now time for my visit with the nest neighbours... So I headed inland until I was right beside that grove of trees!
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #19 on: January 05, 2016, 07:42:19 PM »

At the back of the grove, unfortunately shaded at this time of day, the Phipps Point neighbours showed me the centre of attention of the eagles.

After days of building, here was definitely a platform of branches!

December 31, 3:15 pm


A new nest?
It would actually not be the first one in a second-growth tree. The second Heron Rocks nest was also in a younger tree. But this is still a rarity here.
The obvious next step, then, was to go check the old nest site and see what I could see.

Meanwhile I was hoping for a closer view of that hawk, but he was nowhere to be found... Not from that new vantage point anyway.  shrug
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #20 on: January 05, 2016, 08:05:15 PM »

So, the next thing I did, in the fading light, was to go check the former nest tree.

I had trouble believing my eyes, and indeed after I got home I had to look at some older pictures of the same site to convince myself that I was not dreaming.

This is how the nest used to look from the road (photo from last summer, posted here):



This is how the nest looks now, from the same angle. The top of the (evergreen, leafy) arbutus tree on lower left is a good landmark, and so are the two horizontal branches on the right side of the nest tree trunk.



 eek!
(Wait, there's more!)
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #21 on: January 05, 2016, 08:22:06 PM »

I went to check below the nest tree. It is right by the road, at the top of a steep embankment.

Below the tree was a scattering of small branches, but not the big pile I would have expected to see if the whole nest had collapsed. More like the kind of jetsam consistent with the nest being dismantled.

But!
I moved to a different viewpoint, and saw another part of the story!




In this picture, the old nest site is the dark empty space we can see between the lower two electrical wires.
Above that space, are... TWO piles of branches (the upper one is hard to see in this picture and I need to return in better light).

Yes, two piles of branches above the site of the old nest.

Did the eagles try to move their nest higher up, and then change their mind? That's the only explanation I can think of. Does anyone out there have a better idea?
 puzzled
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #22 on: January 18, 2016, 08:30:27 PM »

Ok, I had it completely wrong, that's often a lot of fun!

I returned to check the old nest tree in better light and with more time on my hands.
From the side, it still looks like the old nest's cradle is empty.
I'm sure of my landmark here, because of the arbutus branches in the foreground and the shape of the branches on the right side of the trunk.
January 10, 2:15 pm



Then I went to look for a different angle. I realised that the branches holding the nest have sprung back up now that the weight is gone, so from the side none of my old landmarks were working anymore.

A bit of crawling through the briars netted me a third viewpoint that showed me a bit of both the road view and the side view I used on my last visit.



In this photo everything makes sense. The former nest site is not in the dark bit at the bottom of the photo, it is dead centre of the photo. The twisty bit of trunk looks unfamiliar because it was formerly buried in branches. The cradle branches that held the nest have sprung back up and from this angle look closer to vertical. But that is indeed where the nest was.
So the nest collapsed, but not to the ground. It slumped down. We see part of the bigger branch pile lower down and to the right.
The other branch pile is... right where the nest used to be. It is invisible from the road: as you see in my first photo of this post, the cradle looks empty. But from this different angle we actually see a good little pile of branches there.
I think there were some branches even higher up on my first outing but those are gone now. Reportedly the eagles are still seen flying from this tree to their new nest with branches.
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Tigerlady105
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« Post / Reply #23 on: January 18, 2016, 11:14:15 PM »

winterwren, thank you for continuing your report on this nest, along with the photos.  I can imagine you crawling around to get a better vantage point.   lol
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winterwren
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« Post / Reply #24 on: February 24, 2016, 08:40:24 PM »

Working near this nest in the past week, I often saw eagles perched near the old nest. This is their best view of the ocean I suppose.
Other eagles flew by regularly, but there were few chases, just greeting calls.

On one of the days I watched what sounded like Mom Phipps on a treetop in the breeze.
She has whitish staining on her beak.
February 18, 12:52







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« Post / Reply #25 on: February 24, 2016, 08:47:50 PM »

A minute later she moves to another branch; I'm thinking she's about to take off, but she remains there.

February 18, 12:54



12:55


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boonibarb
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« Post / Reply #26 on: March 22, 2016, 08:15:09 PM »


Today Otto & i went to Phipps Point.
i wanted to turn left, towards the ferry, but Otto said, no, my nose is taking me to the right & i am taking you with me!
But but but...
Off we went, the wrong way.
But we saw Eagles!
Lots & lots of Eagles.
They were perched in the Trees & soaring overhead.
At one point i counted 22 soaring together.
We got as far as, probably, the Nest #4 corner, & if they hadn*t been so well camouflaged, i might have noticed a whole bunch of young Eagles low down in the Trees on the beach!
i only noticed them when they flew away.
i could hear the rustle of wing feathers against branches, that*s how close & low down they were.
i thought they had all left, but i was hearing this rustle rustle rustle, i thought, someone is in trouble here.
As i looked for the source of the sounds, other Eagles flew away.
But i could still hear this rustling.
Up the sharp steep bank, in the brush & bushes, a young Eagle seemed to be caught.
They were trying to get out, but looking tired, & not succeeding.
This was one of the few times i wished i had a cellphone.
The only way to reach wren would be to walk all the way back to the car then drive home & call her & get the capture gear.
Would wren even be able to climb this steep bank to reach the Eagle?
i tried to take fotos & a video to see better what was going on, & to ponder what exactly to do.
The Eagle would flap, but seemed caught in the bushes.
Then, as i was trying to poke my focus through the bushes, the Eagle did one big flap & off they went.
They seemed to have very tatty feathers, as they flew away.
Phew, problem solved.
Then i discovered why there were all those Eagles there.
A gigantic California Sea Lion was freshly washed up on the bank.
One eye was taken out, & someone had made it through the belly to drag out some intestines, but otherwise the Sea Lion was completely intact.
What a beauty!
& what a tremendous size!
i took some fotos to document, then we left the Eagles to their business.
i decided to cruise the bank from up above, along the road.
i stopped & got out to look, but couldn*t see the Sea Lion or any Eagles.
i could hear someone splashing their wings down below there.
There is a fresh water stream running down the bank that comes out on the beach & someone large was having a bath!
i tried to spot who it was, but no luck.
i could see the water rings from their splashing though.
On my way back to my car, a young Eagle landed nearby in a Tree!
So i hung out with them taking fotos for a long time, then when i wasn*t looking the youngster left, but soon another youngster landed so i took fotos of them!
Then an adult landed, likely a Nest #4 or Phipps Point adult & i got to spend some time with them too!
So, it was a good day today, sunny even.
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Tigerlady105
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« Post / Reply #27 on: March 22, 2016, 10:40:16 PM »

Thank you, Booni (and Otto) for a very interesting story!   love
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« Post / Reply #28 on: March 22, 2016, 11:35:51 PM »

Wow booni what an interesting day thank you for taking us on your adventure  smile
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boonibarb
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« Post / Reply #29 on: March 23, 2016, 07:51:02 AM »

 
Some video clips of the three Eagles up on the bank.
Here is the gorgeous youngster.
His eyes are bigger than his head & he can*t swivel his head fast enough to keep up with all that is going on!
 
march 22 2016 15:38 - young Eagle
 
 
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ww7YdtF580" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ww7YdtF580</a>
 
link to my fotos page - 
 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/43214021@N08/
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