Author Topic: Heron Rocks Nest - 2017 season  (Read 4948 times)

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Offline boonibarb

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Heron Rocks Nest - 2017 season
« on: April 10, 2017, 06:52:01 PM »

Heron Rocks is one of my favourite spots on all of Hornby Island, though i probably say that about everywhere on Hornby!
There is a very cool camping co-op here.
If i ever took a holiday, i would spend it camping here.
This is a great spot to see Eagles, Sea Lions surfacing & swimming past, Orcas, you name it.
There are a lot of gorgeous Garry Oaks here, & in the Spring the wild flowers are stupendous.
The ancient First Nations presence is palpable, here.
The earth is black & full of midden shells.

Last year*s posts about this territory can be found here.

wooohoooo!

Offline boonibarb

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Re: Heron Rocks Nest - 2017 season
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2017, 07:32:23 PM »
 
We were walking the upper level of Heron Rocks when my friend said she spotted a Sea Lion.
i saw two big rocks that looked exactly like a Sea Lion, but no, she insisted this was a Sea Lion.
When i looked at her camera i realized i had missed what she had seen, a Sea Lion lying on the rocks!
This was unusual.
There are places where the Sea Lions haul out in huge groups, & you see them lying all over each other, stretching their heads back over their back with great enjoyment.
This Sea Lion was flat out, lying in a puddle, & they seemed very long & thin.
i thought he was dead, but there was slight movement of the head & sometimes the tail.
Look how thin he is & how his backbone is sticking out.  :ecsad
 
april 9 2017 11:58 - emaciated Sea Lion
 

 

 

 

 

 
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wooohoooo!

Offline boonibarb

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Re: Heron Rocks Nest - 2017 season
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2017, 07:50:19 PM »
 
april 9 2017 12:15 - emaciated Sea Lion
 


Not looking good.
 


 :ecsad
 

 

 

 
link to my fotos page -  
 
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wooohoooo!

Offline Tigerlady105

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Re: Heron Rocks Nest - 2017 season
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2017, 10:57:06 PM »
 :ecrolleyes   sad to see
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Offline jeavverhey

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Re: Heron Rocks Nest - 2017 season
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2017, 03:19:34 AM »
I'm thinking that animal was sick or injured for a long time as we all know there has been plenty of food this season. Still very sad to see. :ecsad

Offline boonibarb

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Re: Heron Rocks Nest - 2017 season
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2017, 01:33:05 PM »
 
It was a lovely warm sunny day for a change yesterday & we went for a walk at Heron Rocks!
i had my eyes open for that poor Sea Lion but wasn*t able to spot him.
i could hear a female Eagle gulling from inland, maybe this is the Nest of the Ford Cove Eagles i am hearing?
Or maybe the Heron Rocks are nesting inland now?
i can*t see their Nest in the Trees where it used to be.
Spotted this one Eagle inland a short ways in front of the bay towards Olsen Farm from the campsites.
Food or chewing nesting material marks on the beak?
 
april 21 2017 12:10 - Heron Rocks Eagle
 

 

 

 

 
link to my fotos page - 
 
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Offline Cawatcher

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Re: Heron Rocks Nest - 2017 season
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2017, 04:15:29 AM »
Lovely booni!

Offline winterwren

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Re: Heron Rocks Nest - 2017 season
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2017, 06:42:15 PM »
Hard to believe that a white head was visible in this nest from all the way past Toby Islet, out on the water. Distance helps, I suppose. Not a very exciting photo unless you're after this information... a bundle of dried branches in the treetops, a white head peeking over them.

April 28, 7:45 pm



Another adult eagle sat in a tree off the right edge of what we see in the photo.


Offline winterwren

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Re: Heron Rocks Nest - 2017 season
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2017, 07:24:16 PM »
A paddle to the outer reefs showed that plenty of migrating birds are still around.

Here are two Least Sandpipers on Heron Rocks. It's confusing because an area of the shore is known as Heron Rocks, but the Heron Rocks proper are actually 3 offshore reefs that disappear on very high tides. This is where those birds had paused on their migration flight.
April 28, 6:35 pm



A few Dunlins were on the same reef.




Further out, on Norris Rocks, my annual sighting of a Ruddy Turnstone. These are rare here, but sometimes they show up among the Black Turnstones during migrations. It was getting close to sunset and small flights of shore birds were coming in from the open ocean, joining others that had already been on the rocks.
7:15 pm



Here with a Black Turnstone nearby... they're the same size and shape, just different colours.




Offline winterwren

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Re: Heron Rocks Nest - 2017 season
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2017, 07:26:34 PM »
Another outing to the offshore reefs.
I could see an eagle perched near the nest, but it's so far from the water, I felt lucky to see even that.

Out between Heron Rocks and Norris Rocks, a gull caught my attention. At this time of year we mostly have Glaucous-winged Gulls, the only species that nests around here. This one looked different, with dark wing tips.
May 29, 7:00pm


Between the dark wings, longer than a Glaucous-winged Gull, and the big honking bill I figured I had a Western Gull here.
A close look at the pictures told me differently: the eye ring is red, instead of yellow or orange... Which means it's probably a hybrid of Western and Glaucous-winged Gull, but with a lot of Western for sure.

Anyway, the finer points of gull identification are not what I want to post about...
I was drifting closer to that gull and he paid me no mind: he was busy poking at something in the water.







The gull seemed unable to swallow that fish whole or to tear into it. And drifted closer...  


A biologist friend, besides confirming my gull ID, also identified the fish: it's a Midshipman!

He wrote:
"The fish the gull is working on is a Plainfin (or Northern) Midshipman.  The lines of small white spots on the belly are light-producing organs called photophores, which reminded someone of the buttons on an English midshipman’s uniform."

I don't know if that gull was able to get a meal. I left him alone to keep trying.

Offline Tigerlady105

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Re: Heron Rocks Nest - 2017 season
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2017, 08:30:15 PM »
His eyes were bigger than his beak!   Poor gull...lucky fish.
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Offline winterwren

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Re: Heron Rocks Nest - 2017 season
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2017, 07:12:39 PM »
The fish didn't look like anybody was home at all, Tiger. Dropped by an eagle???


Offline Tigerlady105

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Re: Heron Rocks Nest - 2017 season
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2017, 09:44:47 PM »
Hmmmm... not a pleasant day for the fish.   :ecrolleyes
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Offline winterwren

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Re: Heron Rocks Nest - 2017 season
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2017, 09:32:04 PM »
Yesterday I was on the water and passing by this territory again. An eagle flew in from the water, carrying a fish. It landed in the grove of trees where the nest is.
I took a bunch of photos, hoping to catch view of the nest somehow, since earlier I had been able to see an adult eagle sitting in it.
The photos are all blurry but some of them do show the outline of a dark eaglet sitting tall on the nest with a parent nearby.

So, at least one eaglet here this season.

(photos to come later...)

Offline winterwren

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Re: Heron Rocks Nest - 2017 season
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2017, 07:21:49 PM »
Heron Rocks eagle carrying a big fish... Blurry photo from far away, click on it to see better.

June 23, 6:53 pm


A similarly remote view of the nest with an eaglet standing on it...
6:54



Same view but now an adult has joined the eaglet on the nest.
6:56