HEGPS ~ Our Nature Zone

Around Hornby Island => Around Hornby Island ~ 2014-2015 => Topic started by: boonibarb on October 15, 2014, 10:06:40 AM

Title: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: boonibarb on October 15, 2014, 10:06:40 AM

This is where we will be posting observations, fotos & videos of the lovely Helliwell Park Nests.
There are two, maybe even three Nests here, none of which appeared to be used last year.
There may be two pairs who defend the territory.
Helliwell Park is one of the most lovely spots on Hornby Island.
You can be almost guaranteed to spot Eagles, if you go for a walk here.

To see wren*s beautiful map of Hornby with all the Nests & their statistics, & to find where this Nest is, click here. (http://www.ournaturezone.com/index.php?topic=1387.msg139575#msg139575)

Last year*s topic can be found here. (http://www.ournaturezone.com/index.php?topic=1462.msg145593#msg145593)
There you will also find the links to the topics of the previous years.
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: boonibarb on October 15, 2014, 07:13:48 PM
 
On this day, we all trucked out to Helliwell to go to the bluffs there to watch the full Moon rise!
She did not disappoint!
 
october 8 2014 19:11 - full Moon rise at Helliwell
 
(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5602/15544420192_9f6fb7529c_b.jpg) (https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5602/15544420192_470f15d0a0_o.jpg)
 
(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5597/14922823464_f3d3be04b4_b.jpg) (https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5597/14922823464_4db80ecc1d_o.jpg)
 
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(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5613/15356960009_4f1f90b71c_b.jpg) (https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5613/15356960009_7fc0aa9724_o.jpg)
 
(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3954/14923402383_e2fea80a76_b.jpg) (https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3954/14923402383_a1720cebc7_o.jpg)

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5608/15357431568_ce0c8894a3_b.jpg) (https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5608/15357431568_1416673462_o.jpg)
 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/43214021@N08/14922823464/in/photostream/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/43214021@N08/14922823464/in/photostream/)
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on January 25, 2015, 01:41:24 PM
Whew, let's hear it for MARS again. They will soon have another Hornby eagle in their care.

This morning Booni and I got a call from someone who had spotted an adult eagle with a broken wing in Helliwell Park.

We headed out on the trail along the bluffs... the short bluffs, fortunately, not the tall ones...

The people walking ahead of us spooked that eagle from the edge of the trees to the edge of the bluffs... Then he disappeared!

We found him again down the bluff, right by the water, under an overhang, near a little bay where Booni once captured a baby seal. I went down the trail but didn't want to spook that eagle further away from reach, so I waited and waited, hoping he would come out of his hiding place to where we could reach him. Meanwhile Booni went around the other side and dropped some branches behind the eagle, hoping to  make him move to where I could reach him. He just calmly looked at the branches and stayed put.

Meanwhile, though, Booni spotted an area where I might be able to climb down to the other side of the eagle! I'm more comfortable than most people with that kind of scrambling because I'm a rock climber (not a very good one but every bit helps). So I waited for Booni to get down the little path at the far end, and made my move... I climbed down and a kind person from the neighbourhood handed me my capture gear. As I approached, the eagle finally moved into the open. He was weak and I realised I could outrun him... So I did!

Poor eagle.
His right wing hung down. It didn't tuck properly. He must have been in so much pain. Once in the carrier, he laid down on his side, so I made a big horseshoe out of towels the way Maj had taught me and he settled into that nest. I don't know if he's going to make it. We were lucky enough to meet some neighbours who helped us carry our gear out and offered to take the eagle as far as Buckley Bay, where they will meet a MARS volunteer.

Booni took some pictures and I'm looking forward to seeing them here.
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: Cawatcher on January 25, 2015, 02:23:20 PM
Wren and Booni What wonder women you are!! Thank you for giving this eagle a chance   :heart
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: boodle317 on January 25, 2015, 02:32:40 PM
 :ecsad poor bird.

Thank you so much Wren and Booni for being there when these things are necessary.  What a horrible end he might have faced without you.   :heart
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: MaggiesMom on January 25, 2015, 04:18:30 PM
hope we hear good news from MARS - and thanks, both of you, helping hands for making such an effort to capture the eagle and get him to help
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on January 25, 2015, 05:17:12 PM
I returned to Helliwell Park this afternoon because I very much wanted to find out if this injured eagle was Mr. Helliwell.

I knew the odds of confirming it one way or the other were not in my favour. But something drew me out there anyway.

As I approached the nest area I heard a series of quick 'warning whistles' - a sound that many eagles use in circumstances where Mom Hornby would use a 'cachunk'. This was followed by some trills. The vocalizations didn't sound particularly low - until I heard the other eagle! His trills, in contrast, sounded really high!

The sound came from close to the nest tree. I got within view of the tree just in time to see an eagle take off.

Sure sounds like there is still a healthy pair over there!

A few minutes later, I was still searching for eagles in the treetops. Walking on the trail with my nose pointed up in the air.
Two friends from this neighbourhood politely stood aside to avoid a collision. They know me by now, and did not even comment on my walking style. Then they told me that they had just seen the elephant seal on Flora Islet!

So I walked out far enough to come into view of the islet... And sure enough, there was our old friend,  napping on the upper beach, and not a sea lion in sight.
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: amazedbyeagles on January 25, 2015, 05:25:25 PM
Thanks,Wren!  Love the "nose in the air" while walking stance!  You're a true Hornbyite!!! LOL  Thanks for the news of this pair!!!  :eclove
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: boonibarb on January 25, 2015, 07:19:04 PM
 
Alright, here are the assessment fotos i got today of this poor injured Eagle.
We are guessing he is male, due to size.
 
january 25 2015 11:40 - Eagle with injured wing in Helliwell
 
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7315/16183244037_876fc754fe_b.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7315/16183244037_69c77c278a_o.jpg)
 
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7369/16181488208_970743befe_b.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7369/16181488208_e480c70d1d_o.jpg)
 
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7282/16367380691_faa8464f0b_b.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7282/16367380691_e8d9c33678_o.jpg)
 
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7283/16367373471_407096e075_b.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7283/16367373471_2d42fae987_o.jpg)
 
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7348/16182886239_942b00ea54_b.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7348/16182886239_d4f5b3d984_o.jpg)

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7353/16367377711_d7d507b992_b.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7353/16367377711_331fb96769_o.jpg)
 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/43214021@N08/16181488208/in/photostream/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/43214021@N08/16181488208/in/photostream/)
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: boonibarb on January 25, 2015, 07:20:51 PM
 
And a video.

january 25 2015 11:42 -  Eagle with injured wing in Helliwell
 
 
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeEHzJVSD3I

 
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: Cawatcher on January 25, 2015, 08:20:54 PM
 :mconfused Poor eagle, Thank you both so much
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: auroradawn on January 25, 2015, 08:30:14 PM
Oh what a shame, poor eagle.  Thank you Booni & wren for the rescue, what ever the out come you saved more suffering.
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on January 25, 2015, 08:35:42 PM
Booni's video is helpful to me. She took it shortly after we first spotted the eagle.

I felt kind of bad about trying to wait him out at first, given how relatively easy it was to get behind him in the end. That 20/20 hind vision, you know? But the video reminds me: the tide was ebbing. The path I took to make him move to a flat area where we could capture him is the same area that's covered in breaking waves in the video. Time was on our side.

The wait also allowed us to meet the people who gave a ride to this beautiful eagle.
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: Faerie Gardener on January 25, 2015, 08:49:18 PM
Well Done, HEART team  :heart   Thank you. Hoping MARS can help. How wonderful that they taught you how to make that little nest.
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: violet312s on January 25, 2015, 09:26:18 PM
Thank you so much for the photos.  Poor thing.  So happy he is at MARS.  May they relieve his pain, regardless.  Thanks HEART team!
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: jeavverhey on January 26, 2015, 02:21:26 AM
 :heart HEART thank you wonderful people  :ty. Thank goodness for MARS too  :hooray. About the 20/20 hind vision -  it rarely pays to rush into action except during extreme emergencies. I for one believe  you exercised wise caution and observation of the situation.  Bravo! :thumbup:
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: PamNY on January 26, 2015, 08:03:44 AM
Great job with the rescue, Booni and Wren.  So glad MARS is available to help.  Thanks for the narrative and photos -- fascinating to see and learn what went on.
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on January 26, 2015, 08:37:41 PM
I'm sorry to report that yesterday's rescued eagle didn't make it. He had to be euthanized.

He turned out to have a dislocated shoulder, not an upper-wing fracture as I had thought. Wing dislocations cannot be healed to full flying strength, so this bird could not have survived in the wild no matter how long he was in rehab.

In addition to the wing injury, he had a large leg wound with some skin loss. He was also very dehydrated. As I had experienced in carrying him, his body weight was good, appropriate for a breeding male. But he must have been without food and fluids for a number of days.

I learned this morning that there is a sea lion carcass somewhere on the shore of Helliwell Park. There may have been some fighting among visitors around this food source.



Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: boodle317 on January 27, 2015, 05:30:53 AM
 :eccry
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: Faerie Gardener on January 27, 2015, 07:23:49 AM
This is sad news, but as in so many times in the past I am so thankful for you and Booni and MARS, as this beautiful Eagle would have suffered greatly if it hadn't been for your actions. Thanks, too, to the volunteers and drivers who helped.  :heart
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: Rajame on January 27, 2015, 08:46:28 AM
Dear HEART Team,

I hope I can explain my thoughts about your rescue work and all the dedicated, loving wildlife rehabbers in the world.

Yes, it is true that "nature would have taken its course" with this eagle. But he did not have to endure all that is involved in "the course." He suffered, but not for innumerable days. After the rescue, he was no longer a target for others. Once in your hands and in the hands of the wonderful people at MARS, he had a chance. He was loved from the capture through the end of his life.

The fact that you keep going out when the calls come. The fact that you continue to rescue and the precious wildlife have a chance is remarkable. And, if they cannot be rehabbed, the fact that they were in your care is what I call true HEART.

My love and thankfulness and respect,
Rajame

:hearts2
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: OpieK on January 27, 2015, 01:31:20 PM
Thank you for all you do, and for sharing with us Booni and Wren and MARS.
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: boonibarb on March 08, 2015, 10:55:59 AM
 
Okay, so this is a bizarre story, that i am a little late in telling.
i got a Wildlife call, that an Elephant Seal was hanging out at the shore in the bay below the bluffs of Helliwell with a calf!
Well, first of all, the Elephant Seals that visit us are all male.
The females have a colonly at Race Rocks, southern Vancouver Island, where they have their pups.
So, what the heck was going on here?
People had seen the Elephant Seal hanging out with the *pup* for days.
Being with a calf, they thought she must be female.
First thing to find out, was this a male?
Only males have the Elephant trunk.
The females are much smaller, & look more like Seals.
Yes, indeed, this was a male.
Stranger & stranger.
Someone suggested the males guard the pup, while the female goes off to feed.
This is not anything i have ever seen happening, in programs i have watched about Elephant Seals.

Fortunately, our then Fire Captain called the Department of Fisheries & Oceans.
Prepare to be thunder-struck.

Quote
I just spoke to Paul Cottrell at DFO about Snuffy the elephant seal. Paul looked at the photo that Quinn took and spun a whole new twist on this story.

1) Snuffy is definitely a male
2) the seal beside him is a harbour seal
3) Elephant seals at this time of year can whipped up into a sexual frenzy and take it out on harbour seals. Its very likely that Snuffy sexually assaulted this harbour seal to death! I shit you not!

Apparently its also common behavour for them to hang around their victim for a while.]

These fotos were all taken by Quinn Catherine.
Thank you very much for letting me upload them & share them here!
Check out her Big Tree Video (Company) on facebook here. (https://www.facebook.com/bigtreevideo)

february 24 2015 - male Elephant Seal by Quinn

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8745/16133093644_56bc947f2a_b.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8745/16133093644_26206aa05d_o.jpg)

february 24 2015 - male Elephant Seal & Harbour Seal by Quinn

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7606/16133092894_71b8dc2a20_b.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7606/16133092894_fce49bc700_o.jpg)

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/43214021@N08/16569267349/in/photostream/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/43214021@N08/16569267349/in/photostream/)
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: NancyM on March 08, 2015, 12:08:54 PM
oh gosh -  I looked at the photos before I read the story and wondered why the seal's head was under water (I think that is what I am seeing).  
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: Donnae on March 08, 2015, 03:46:03 PM
That is a strange story, who would have ever know that this took place... poor seal!!!
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: MaggiesMom on March 08, 2015, 04:24:03 PM
how sad!  poor little seal.  But very nice photos.  And I suppose we have learned something - though maybe I would have been fine not knowing this ever occurred.
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on March 08, 2015, 10:33:36 PM
The Elephant Seal doesn't look alive in those photos either... But I saw him this afternoon, fishing near Flora Islet, so he's alive and well.

What a strange story.
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: jeavverhey on March 09, 2015, 02:03:05 AM
Amen maggies
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on March 09, 2015, 08:43:54 PM
In addition to seeing the Elephant Seal fishing yesterday...

I also saw quite a few eagles but they were mostly perched in trees and impossible to photograph in that light (hazy early evening).

One eagle, near the park boundary, was screeching every minute or so the whole time I was in the area. He or she sounded like a cross between a gulling eagle and a screeping eaglet. I still don't know what was going on there.

There weren't very many seabirds aside from huge flocks of Wigeons, who rarely let me approach anyway.

On the islets near Flora I found a few Oystercatchers.

March 8, 6:04 pm
(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8571/16769632521_5339c49aa7_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8571/16769632521_3e22849180_k.jpg)


Earlier in the winter they were in flocks, but now they are all paired up.
Every so often, all the nearby pairs started vocalizing at the same time, and bowing to their mates.
6:16
(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8584/16150866793_acdd954309_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8584/16150866793_2241ac0cd2_o.jpg)



(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8606/16769637621_9fc53aaa60_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8606/16769637621_86e75ac7ac_k.jpg)


Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on March 09, 2015, 08:55:46 PM
In the middle picture of the last posting, there is a (very blurry) Dunlin, looking like a midget beside the Oystercatcher.

There was a whole flock of them around the Oystercatchers.

March 8, 6:16 pm
(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8753/16744914906_ed92331cba_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8753/16744914906_5e1b311557_k.jpg)



(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7641/16148489714_6759187efe_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7641/16148489714_356e0175b0_k.jpg)

Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren 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
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7649/16583859248_3e16a53ccb_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7649/16583859248_852383226a_k.jpg)


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
(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8735/16745555956_84a0e93f80_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8735/16745555956_5a84d90137_h.jpg)



(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8662/16151503403_373098fddc_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8662/16151503403_ea9508d8f6_h.jpg)


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

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8569/16585280609_071b4a2eba_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8569/16585280609_4ca6b3c754_h.jpg)



(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8654/16585281759_7518cfe042_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8654/16585281759_1613f2a480_k.jpg)


Here's the whole flock again, 5 birds... Making their way closer to Flora. Light fading, time to go.
6:
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7593/16151496153_81411d7442_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7593/16151496153_b77da4bdb8_k.jpg)


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.
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren 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.
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on March 25, 2015, 09:26:55 PM
Eagle taking off from a perch just above Nest 22.

March 25, 2:15
(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8749/16932004271_5d5c670887_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8749/16932004271_5c8bfe494e_k.jpg)



(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8715/16725674637_c8ba623ca9_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8715/16725674637_6028083132_k.jpg)


Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on March 25, 2015, 09:36:33 PM
Flock of Brants in flight, near Flora Islet.
March 25, 2:40
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7628/16932014161_0e77aff633_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7628/16932014161_7075e53b6b_o.jpg)


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
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7642/16932989645_54812cf2ee_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7642/16932989645_e09ede9db9_o.jpg)



(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8743/16725664807_92f7c905ec_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8743/16725664807_5ea46131f7_o.jpg)

Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren 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
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7585/16931894662_4c5346e863_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7585/16931894662_6fbff5da87_k.jpg)


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
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7286/16745520838_65de0ae138_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7286/16745520838_986fbae764_k.jpg)


2:51
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7639/16310798154_865cd3979d_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7639/16310798154_3d9fe6e2a1_k.jpg)

Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren 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
(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8706/16726341517_fd82a4e841_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8706/16726341517_2691ee23db_k.jpg)



(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7610/16747467409_f66e65eefc_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7610/16747467409_c1e57550f1_k.jpg)


Keeping tabs on me while eating.
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7590/16933663365_2a34872cd5_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7590/16933663365_9d37a58129_k.jpg)


Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on March 25, 2015, 11:30:37 PM
Still feeding.
March 25, 2:49 pm
(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8705/16313627133_b97c070fc3_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8705/16313627133_2b2635e734_k.jpg)



(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7610/16311283084_733c127455_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7610/16311283084_5d8b3fb5e3_k.jpg)



(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7627/16932691801_37b2edc9b1_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7627/16932691801_8106ef1011_k.jpg)


Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren 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
(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8735/16932894062_8f4e484191_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8735/16932894062_c0e71fd150_k.jpg)



(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7640/16934200995_3530a2f2b2_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7640/16934200995_b8f716818f_k.jpg)



(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8698/16908273526_9201278aa8_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8698/16908273526_060bb2cbb4_k.jpg)


 :heart
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7286/16311807354_d88e08995b_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7286/16311807354_da33e450e6_k.jpg)

Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: amazedbyeagles 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
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: jeavverhey 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
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: Stokes on March 26, 2015, 10:15:57 PM
Love this story and photographs. Excellent!
Thank you so much.

Flood
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren 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
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7641/16747006650_dd42ea3eec_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7641/16747006650_84fca46bdd_k.jpg)


3:11:29
(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8707/16908528356_9d4db79a14_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8707/16908528356_da7a3da5ad_k.jpg)


3:11:32
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7620/16748233419_26af03ca0d_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7620/16748233419_2aa7c21c82_k.jpg)



(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7589/16908525646_ce42ab8cb5_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7589/16908525646_d24787161a_k.jpg)



(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8725/16314408953_dcc66469f0_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8725/16314408953_1ed2afe6f4_k.jpg)


He's looking like a snowboarder or a skateboarder doing a tricky jump on this one.
3:11:33
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7610/16747013870_668277ef7a_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7610/16747013870_fa9b7ea9ea_k.jpg)



(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7630/16727115517_e7d55c3104_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7630/16727115517_fb9acf2c97_k.jpg)


3:11:34
(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8711/16747010300_7bd5e15e5b_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8711/16747010300_5a20d55eb5_k.jpg)


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.
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren 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
(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8688/16318273194_8a3268d26b_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8688/16318273194_c215ed857d_k.jpg)


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

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8691/16939712681_d8bf201258_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8691/16939712681_10dc46a276_k.jpg)


Then off he flew with his prize.

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8715/16939709301_60ca25cc14_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8715/16939709301_c9507d044c_k.jpg)


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. (http://www.ournaturezone.com/index.php?topic=939.msg92169#msg92169)

Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: Stokes 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
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: linused 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?
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: boonibarb on March 28, 2015, 09:30:51 PM

Linused, i see the lovely neighbourhood Raven pair & hear them a lot!
They hang out in the Tree across the road from me.
i post about them in the Nest #9 West Carmichael topic when i catch fotos & videos of them.
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on March 28, 2015, 11:10:00 PM
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?
Thank you,
Flood


Flood, I'm thinking that this is indeed a part of Nest Building 101. I know very little about this process. My only data points are my two photo ops of youngsters with sticks, the cam views of eaglets showing interest in moving sticks in the nest, and a story from NIWRA, the other rehab on Vancouver Island, that showed fledglings in their care being given green branches to play with. (This was posted in this forum a few years ago.)
Is this a male or a female? I do not know. Sometimes I get a sense of the gender but this eagle was too far away. I tend to default to 'he' because it is grammatically traditional, and simple, to do so.
We've seen both Mom and Dad Hornby bring in nesting material. My impression has been that Dad brings in the bulk of it, but I'm far from certain that this is accurate. Perhaps one of the wonderful people who keeps stats on nest visits could help us here?


Linus, yes, that tree looks like it's been pruned a lot, but I believe this is the work of the wind and salt spray. This is a very exposed location on top of the first bluffs past St. John's Point. The trees on the edge of the meadows are all twisted and dwarfed. You can see a lot of dead twigs on the left side, which is the side the storm winds and salt spray come from.

Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on April 01, 2015, 12:18:14 AM
I enjoyed that walk on the shores of Helliwell Park so much that I returned the next day.

I took a few more inconclusive photos of the nest. Still can't see if there is anyone in there. The nest itself is difficult to spot.

There were two eagles flying near the nest but I'm pretty sure one of them was an immature. Indeed later on I saw several pursuits, including another one of a youngster by an adult; part of the chase happened below the canopy of the trees. It's always an amazing thing to witness, these huge birds slaloming at high speed between the branches.

On the shore, gulls still fed on the precious little area of herring spawn.
There were two young eagles and some ravens by the seal carcass but they did not let me approach this time. A few more eages rested on perches nearby.
Coming around a tiny headland to the next bay, I came nose to beak with this amazing young eagle. Seemed really big... A female then? Just finishing her first year as we'll soon confirm.

This is an uncropped shot. For the next ones I had to collapse my zoom lens a bit to get all of her inside the frame. This is how close we were.
You can see the thread-like tassels on the ends of her secondaries. Only the first set of secondaries have those. The next set are rounder at the tip. Usually, by the end of the first year the tips of the juvenal feathers are all tattered and worn.

March 26, 2:35 pm
(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8727/16374500514_c8462c0b9a_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8727/16374500514_7b56065b94_o.jpg)


She's just starting to have some pale tips on her head feathers.

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7586/16376747903_dd6924872f_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7586/16376747903_25db32e8cd_o.jpg)


There was a person with a dog coming on the trail behind me, so I knew we wouldn't have long before she got spooked off. She's just caught sight of them now.
2:36
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7593/16810602849_0df8ac9e02_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7593/16810602849_7f5a697ff0_o.jpg)

Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on April 01, 2015, 12:30:08 AM
Off she goes.
March 26, 2:36 pm
(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8739/16995367352_20be2055b9_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8739/16995367352_116c90edf8_o.jpg)


This next one is a bit dark but all the tassels from her secondaries are catching the light! She still has the full set of juvenal secondaries. Also we can see the white tips of her tail feathers. Those too are usually worn off by the end of the first year.

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7636/16995350612_0db7c02bbd_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7636/16995350612_f591da9f92_o.jpg)


Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on April 01, 2015, 04:34:32 AM
I walked over to St John's Point on the shore, then returned on the path.
In the same area... Low on a branch... At a point where the path turned and dropped sharply... I again came nose to beak with an eagle!

Could it be the same one? Now that I can compare the photos, I do think so. Same long fluffy flank feathers, intact tassels on the secondaries, pale tips on the tail feathers.

Again I froze, then started tiptoeing around to try to find an angle where the branches weren't so much in the way. The canopy of the tree made it really too dark for photos.

Meanwhile she has started preening, so she's not too freaked out.
This photo I managed after a few minutes.
March 26, 2:50
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7604/16811040718_6d72af6daa_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7604/16811040718_5221358572_k.jpg)


The path passed directly below that eagle. The woods were full of fallen branches that would have made a racket if I tried to pass through. So I decided to see if I could walk through on the path without making her fly away.
It took me ten minutes to travel fifty feet. It was well worth it.
2:54
(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8717/16791419307_051bfb9f6c_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8717/16791419307_c4019d2ecb_k.jpg)


I've made it to the other side! She's still preening. But from here there is more light and we can see her beautiful tassels and pale tail tips.
2:59
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7645/16998786395_4e612ca474_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7645/16998786395_ac82b972cc_o.jpg)



Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: jeavverhey on April 01, 2015, 06:26:24 AM
Unbelievable detail and patience Wren!  :nod2 Thank you so much. :thumbup:
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: Faerie Gardener on April 01, 2015, 07:04:16 AM
That is a wonderful set of Photos, Wren, and I just love the commentary. I found that I was holding my breath, tiptoeing slowly along with you!
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: amazedbyeagles on April 01, 2015, 08:27:03 AM
Wonderful, Wren!  Love the detail and your commentary really brings the photos to life!  Thank You! :eclove
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: Stokes on April 02, 2015, 10:47:07 AM
Gorgeous young eagle! What a gift.

Flood
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on April 03, 2015, 10:00:57 PM
Eventually she turned her head and peeked at me!
March 26, 3 pm
(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8712/16396120893_89ea5f5fc2_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8712/16396120893_9129cfd952_k.jpg)


Blink!
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7592/16396135533_3e6bfe66a5_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7592/16396135533_956a4b285d_k.jpg)



(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7600/17016265275_8f71c49623_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7600/17016265275_4b8af23911_k.jpg)



(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7632/16393850344_c65e313304_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7632/16393850344_a13780fe3e_k.jpg)



(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8737/16830048659_d204d617d0_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8737/16830048659_6b7591be51_k.jpg)


Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on April 03, 2015, 10:06:50 PM
She's gotten relaxed enough to start preening again, so I back away very slowly and leave her in peace... After getting a picture with most of her in the frame.
We're just missing her tail tips.

We can see those beautiful tassels on her secondaries again.
March 26, 3:02 pm
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7589/17016257855_4a3367fcff_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7589/17016257855_654eccb811_o.jpg)



Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on April 03, 2015, 10:36:05 PM
Special bonus for Idahowa and Mr. Idahoho...

Ravens at Helliwell Park.
March 25, 3:03 pm
(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8718/16406670033_dba9b852af_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8718/16406670033_06394c25e3_k.jpg)


March 6, 3:05 pm
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7587/16819397837_3969a98504_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7587/16819397837_6c7ac7a4bb_k.jpg)



(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8714/17025948941_1d979da282_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8714/17025948941_3f10dd2591_k.jpg)


Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on April 04, 2015, 02:09:12 PM
I had been aware of the Scoter gathering because I heard them in the distance one morning near Nest #4. Later that day they were seen from the cam (Tuesday March 31, I think).  The next day, April 1st, Booni found them near the Belcarra nest and posted a wonderful video here. (http://www.ournaturezone.com/index.php?topic=1547.msg163247#msg163247)

Yesterday noon I was visiting at Whaling Station Bay. Around 1 pm we started seeing many small flocks of Scoters flying past the mouth of the bay. So on my way out I went to check the beach access just past Cape Gurney. Sure enough the flock was assembling, near the boundary of Helliwell Park.

So as soon as my work was done I headed to Helliwell. I was able to get on the same small headland where I had first encountered the one-year-old eagle last week. I was just ahead of the birds. I stayed there for a long time and got some photos and videos.

This is when we arrived, as we walked past the flock. We see part of the main body of it on the right.
The flock then thins out, seeming to follow a current or a line where food is abundant.

The birds don't stay in one area, it seems. They dive and reappear further down the line. (I found that out by trying to keep track of odd birds like the few Black Scoters in the flock). Further out there is a wide area where the birds are further apart, possibly resting. If you click on the photo you can see the scattered birds, the whole width of the photo, in the distance.
The area is rich in small mussels, which are a scoter's favourite food.

The island in the background is Texada.

April 3, 4:13 pm 
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7599/16412891953_b27b4fe869_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7599/16412891953_878f4656a7_o.jpg)


There were waves of birds flying back to the main flock.

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7643/16412911593_e848d09153_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7643/16412911593_8377c33af2_o.jpg)

Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on April 04, 2015, 03:37:01 PM
April 3, 4:19 pm
There is a lot going on here!
The new thing for me is to see some gulls fishing along with the scoters. Gulls are very buoyant and cannot dive down far. I was wondering if they were after the scoters' prey, but there doesn't seem to be any altercations going on.

Most of the gulls in this picture are young ones, with the notable exception of the California Gull on the lower right (it has a bill with a dark spot and a red spot). The smaller gulls are Mew Gulls; the larger ones with the primaries the same tone as the body are Glaucous-winged; the ones with the primaries a little darker and with a pale line on the edge are Thayer's Gulls.

There is one White-winged Scoter on the lower edge of the picture, in the middle. He has a white patch on his wing.
There are also two Surf Scoters emerging so fast from the water that they are wearing a helmet of water, one on lower left and one on lower right, behind the California Gull.



(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7614/16846842269_4c23938da4_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7614/16846842269_56566eb8b9_o.jpg)


I watched the gulls to see what they were after here.
The answer: seaweed! The seaweed would have detached from the bottom and would be rising to the top as a result of the scoter's foraging.
That's what they all seem to come away with.
Not any old seaweed, probably: there was a small herring spawn in this area, and on the next photo the airborne gull is carrying a string of Japanese Driftweed with what looks like a little herring roe clinging to it.
This also explains why the gulls were only in one small area.
That White-winged Scoter is still there in the foreground.

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8730/17031604792_d85779de3f_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8730/17031604792_c16d701cec_o.jpg)

Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on April 04, 2015, 03:56:10 PM
Here's the best shot I got of one of the White-winged Scoters. He sure looks strange. The white 'eyebrow' is actually below the eye.
One of the Scaups is on the upper right. I'm pretty sure they were Greater Scaups.
April 3, 4:18 pm
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7640/16410624234_d11f6172c2_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7640/16410624234_b3c175660a_o.jpg)


And this is as close as i got to a Black Scoter. He's the one with the bright-yellow bill.
There is a female or immature white-winged scoter behind him. (All-black head with a pointier bill, and white wing patch.)


(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8697/17031600632_0be50e49ee_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8697/17031600632_6d6d1c89d8_k.jpg)
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on April 04, 2015, 05:08:06 PM
More scoter madness...
Sheets of water rise as they dive for more food.
April 3, 4:32 pm
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7661/17009366166_652e986e5d_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7661/17009366166_35c60902b9_o.jpg)


On the edge of the scoter flock and remaining relatively stationary is a smaller flock of Greater Scaups. At times they blend in with the scoters; but once in a while the scoter flock shifts away and most of the scaups remain as a group.
I've seen this on previous years also.

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7638/16412924604_98d3fc5848_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7638/16412924604_61c85f1f3e_o.jpg)


Eventually I was able to get a little closer to them.
4:45
(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8691/16827956257_fe02c1e2ea_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8691/16827956257_6b4a0c1ed8_o.jpg)


4:47
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7645/17009358166_462bcabbc5_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7645/17009358166_8f2ee65027_o.jpg)



(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8806/17035361735_f1802cbc5d_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8806/17035361735_13c95c6ea6_o.jpg)



(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7601/16827954857_7e2e6512c8_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7601/16827954857_af239a8351_o.jpg)

Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on April 04, 2015, 05:13:33 PM
A little video of the action...
April 3, 5:10 pm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3LdzlhfXUQ
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on April 04, 2015, 10:22:21 PM
Once in a while a section of the flock retreats all at the same time, making empty spaces between masses of ducks. I wasn't able to find out what spooked them. Earlier there was a Sea Lion nearby; I wonder if he approached them underwater?

April 3, 5 pm
(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8754/17037662805_5876b46248_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8754/17037662805_b6269c84cb_o.jpg)



(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7713/17037653955_03aca85680_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7713/17037653955_7b9af3b04e_o.jpg)



(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8810/17011647906_e6b9a0f07d_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8810/17011647906_e6b7b05e89_o.jpg)


After a few minutes, a small group starts diving and emerges closer to shore. The flock widens again.
5:03
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7631/16850103630_49b9b52fd5_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7631/16850103630_74e418e359_o.jpg)


Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on April 05, 2015, 09:23:06 PM
April 3, continued...
A few Harlequins were fishing on the edge of the scoter flock but not mixing with them.
April 3, 5:14
(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8748/16429729353_f384fb56a3_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8748/16429729353_04332141bc_k.jpg)

One beautiful Mew Gull in flawless breeding plumage. Further back, a young Glaucous-winged Gull is grabbing a big chunk of seaweed.

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7643/17048424902_921fe35bd6_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7643/17048424902_e66684ef9b_k.jpg)


Here are those Harlequins again, just minding their business, as if 10 000 birds hadn't just moved in.
One of the Harlequins is in transitional plumage, getting his adult-male colours.
Two adult Mew Gulls and a young one behind them. The large gulls all look like Glaucous-winged.
5:22
(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8769/16863677309_2e3075a10b_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8769/16863677309_b4c51da3b4_k.jpg)


Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on April 05, 2015, 09:49:44 PM
Other years, I saw lots of Long-tailed Ducks with the Scoters.
This time I only saw two (or maybe the same one twice, a male moulting out of his spring plumage).
Here he is in a little pile of birds: two Greater Scaups (female on the left, male on the right), a Surf Scoter, and a Glaucous-winged Gull.
April 3, 5:22
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7627/17049909885_95a2933bb6_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7627/17049909885_053c75b46c_h.jpg)

Today, though, I met a birder who had watched the same flock with a scope just before I arrived. He said that there were hundreds of Long-tailed Ducks at the far end of the flock.

A gull with a big chunk of seaweed.

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7613/17023893956_48510914f4_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7613/17023893956_3865e1982b_k.jpg)


There were also a few Bonaparte's Gulls on the edge of the flock... I caught two in this picture: the one with open wings, and another to the left of that one.
There are also two Black Scoters and a White-winged among the Surf Scoters and Scaups.

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7592/16862574018_4ed4622f64_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7592/16862574018_75043b631a_h.jpg)

Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: Rajame on April 05, 2015, 09:51:15 PM
Brilliant series Wren! Thank you!
:hug
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: MaggiesMom on April 06, 2015, 05:51:07 AM
these are wonderful Wren!  is the one with the blue bill the White-winged you mentioned?
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on April 06, 2015, 01:26:54 PM
The ones with the blue bill are Scaups (females brown with a white patch around the bill, males with dark head and lots of white on the body). They're mostly Greater Scaups but, as Nancy pointed out in a comment on flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/30093534@N02/16862574018/), there may be some Lesser Scaups in the lot also.

The White-winged Scoter males have a pink bill that looks very small and pointy because the feathering covers most of it. They have a prominent white comma below the eyes. In the third picture of the previous post, the White-winged is hiding behind the little Bonaparte's Gull with open wings. We just see his head behind that gull's head.
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on April 06, 2015, 09:49:18 PM
April 3, continued.
Suddenly, with no outside cue that I could perceive, the whole flock started taking off.

At first it looked like one of those partial retreats that made deep bays in the mass of birds every so often...
April 3, 5:31
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7671/16875116650_fa41ca5bde_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7671/16875116650_2cf2c8127e_k.jpg)


But this time they're really going.
They start off in waves, in quite an orderly way, a few hundred at a time. The air fills with the whistling sound of their wings.
5:33
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7648/16876441709_39a70df273_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7648/16876441709_f9eb54bceb_o.jpg)


5:37
(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8776/16855272487_3b881bca65_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8776/16855272487_01a80b6271_o.jpg)


It took over 5 minutes for all the waves and waves of birds to move offshore, where they rested for 10 minutes or so before starting to make their way back in again.
Interstingly, most of the Scaups stayed behind. They are in the foreground in this picture. I wasn't able to get them all in the frame, but that's the majority of them. Gives you an idea of the numbers.
5:38
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7703/16875125150_ab49eda74a_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7703/16875125150_20b71c2c0b_o.jpg)

Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on April 06, 2015, 09:54:43 PM
Here's a video I took in the middle of the exodus...
April 3, 5:35 pm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVHqHul25k4
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on April 06, 2015, 10:06:46 PM
Since you asked, Idahowa...

First wildflowers in Helliwell Park (I'll go to Flora soon!)
(I've yet to identify these.)

April 3, 5:39 pm
(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8731/16876737889_1d870b8516_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8731/16876737889_02e9d01aad_k.jpg)



(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8788/17062180581_711530c93c_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8788/17062180581_b86a441760_k.jpg)


...And an eagle flying by, to end the day. (No eagles trying to prey on all those birds, by the way.)
5:49
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7603/17036990606_47cedfdd0b_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7603/17036990606_47ce2ad687_k.jpg)

Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on April 23, 2015, 12:51:06 AM
On April 7 I went for a walk on the Helliwell Park bluffs at dusk.
I could see a great number of birds flying in circles just below the edge of the cliff. In the near-dark it was impossible to tell how big they were, but my impression was that they were pigeon-sized. That impression was compounded by the cooing sounds those birds made. Not a sound I had ever heard, though my friends, who live nearby and walk around the park at all hours, had seen and heard this before, in the spring. I couldn't make any sense of what I was seeing or hearing, so the next day I returned an hour earlier, with cameras and binoculars.
When I arrived, there were about 400 Pelagic Cormorants floating together about half a mile away. Were they my mystery birds then? They certainly had not sounded like cormorants.

But indeed they were.
The show started around 8 pm. The cormorants started flying toward shore, first in small groups, then in increasing numbers. They skimmed the water as they approached.
April 8, 7:53 pm
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7597/16621953393_92f6658ca1_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7597/16621953393_2af3b53f20_k.jpg)


More and more flew in.
8:07
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7645/17054406018_1d62e975d2_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7645/17054406018_9d28c3d22e_k.jpg)


They started swirling around near the cliffs, not yet landing.
(Unfortunately, my camera, trying to focus in the very low light, makes annoying clicking sounds through all the videos.)
8:16
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaPAowoJEFQ
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on April 23, 2015, 01:04:28 AM
More Pelagic Cormorants are arriving and now they are landing on the cliffs, clinging to tiny rocks sticking out on the near-vertical surface.
But once in a while they all take off, fly around, and then come back.

More of this is happening right below my feet. There are hundreds of birds.
April 8, 8:18 pm. Getting darker and darker.
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7654/16621963523_b428e99dc0_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7654/16621963523_a0b3731238_k.jpg)


In this second video we can hear them a bit, around the clicks of the camera. They make a mix of short barking calls and those cooing sounds I had heard the night before.
8:22
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cXH8-BtVFw

They kept taking off as you see them at the end of this video every couple of minutes. Too bad the recording didn't catch the rush of wings, it sounded beautiful.

This continued until dark. As time passed there were less of the little high barks and more cooing. This last video is intended mostly as a sound clip. Turn the sound up and forgive the clicks of the camera. It really did not like filming in the dark.
At 22 seconds into the video we also hear the call of a Long-tailed Duck way out at sea. Their call carries a long way.
8:36
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeRJwEx4xEw

Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: amazedbyeagles on April 23, 2015, 08:28:35 AM
Thank You, Wren! ♥  Such a lovely peek into a world we so seldom see!  Thank you!  :eclove
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: jeavverhey on April 23, 2015, 10:09:16 AM
It was  amazing to hear their sounds Wren - maybe one day you will figure out what those calls mean.  Meanwhile your camera clicking reminded me of  the old reel films they used to show when I went to school -  film breaks and makes that flapping/clattering sound.  Brought a smile at the memory.  :ecsmile
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on May 04, 2015, 09:57:05 PM
April 20 near sunset... Flora Islet in bloom.

I'd forgotten my landscape lens, but I took a few shots with the big zoom one. It was... Interesting.

Mostly Mimulus and Camas here.
(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8830/17374577455_02e3cf55c3_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8830/17374577455_e0f10ef7ce_k.jpg)


Camas and Chocolate Lilies.
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7797/17186780188_433593257d_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7797/17186780188_8b1dcfdb17_k.jpg)



(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8703/17167109937_9480577bfe_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8703/17167109937_f2c17a31ed_k.jpg)



(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8718/17167108497_028bf59f6c_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8718/17167108497_3b7323a7fb_k.jpg)

Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on June 22, 2015, 09:50:48 PM
A week ago, I got a call from one of the neighbours of Nest 21. She told me that there is a new nest in her area, and since her nest is occupied it is most likely to be a new home for the Nest 22 eagles. Nest 22 has looked rather quiet all season so far.

Yesterday we went to have a look. As soon as we got there we heard a screep! We weren't able to see any eaglets but I'm hoping to spend more time at this site later on this week.

This new nest is unfortunately on private land, so it won't be as accessible as the previous site in Helliwell Park.

To make sure, I went to check the old nest. There was no noise. I was able to see part of the base of the tree. There were a few poopshots but not the amount I would expect with an eaglet on board. I took a few photos and can't see any poopshots or down flags around the nest. So it's certainly plausible that the new nest is a replacement for this one. I'll keep an eye on both.

Photos will follow when I catch up...
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on June 29, 2015, 09:51:19 PM
Catching up (slowly), so here are the photos from that day.

Here's the new nest. Seems empty but if you click on the picture you can see some white droppings on the large branches in the middle of the nest's base, and little bits of white down clinging to surrounding greenery on the left side.
June 21, 10:36
(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3814/19246898002_b1aac27bee_z.jpg) (https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3814/19246898002_fbcfc02c25_o.jpg)


Here's the nest among the surrounding trees.
Funny, I had taken many pictures of that very area from the water over last winter, because there seemed always to be an eagle pair perching nearby and the treetops seemed unusually dense. My photos showed nothing. It was the wrong angle.

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/301/18632332613_d77611815f_z.jpg) (https://farm1.staticflickr.com/301/18632332613_137a2db989_o.jpg)


While we explored the area, we came upon two lovely new fawns.

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/354/18630323714_f50812c5d6_z.jpg) (https://farm1.staticflickr.com/354/18630323714_67dc4113d9_k.jpg)



(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/558/19065203720_d31f1d154e_z.jpg) (https://farm1.staticflickr.com/558/19065203720_ac2510d585_k.jpg)


Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on July 03, 2015, 09:14:55 PM
Two days later, I returned, with more time on my hands, and found two more angles I could see the nest from.

This one turned out to be the best. I took a photo of what appeared to be an empty nest, but click on the picture and you will see a little dark head.
June 23, 11:53
(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/556/19366953706_30a0e2e45d_z.jpg) (https://farm1.staticflickr.com/556/19366953706_1d8f6b8946_k.jpg)


As usual I get distracted by the little birds...  :heart
This place was Chipping Sparrow country.
12:07
(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/543/19366994936_03ecb47284_z.jpg) (https://farm1.staticflickr.com/543/19366994936_3357c34f5b_k.jpg)


At first I took this bird for a juvenile Chipping Sparrow, but that can't be right. Possibly a fledgling White-crowned Sparrow; there were some adults nearby also.
12:05
(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/398/19366987526_6b53736433_z.jpg) (https://farm1.staticflickr.com/398/19366987526_da5aa2897a_k.jpg)

Another photo, presumably same kind of bird, taken later:
1:05 pm
(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/417/18770516824_fd09bd3057_z.jpg) (https://farm1.staticflickr.com/417/18770516824_a2a29cbac6_k.jpg)


Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on July 03, 2015, 09:31:12 PM
Well, while I was distracted, looking at the sparrows, an adult landed on the nest with food!

I ran back to my observation post and was able to watch the adult for a few minutes. He or she just stood around, letting the eaglet self-feed.
The eaglet is just a dark pile of feathers to the right in this picture.
12:23
(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/534/19205456010_fa0c7e3c3d_z.jpg) (https://farm1.staticflickr.com/534/19205456010_e554f6d5cf_h.jpg)


Then the adult flew off and the eaglet had a peek over the nest rim.
12:27
(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/341/19366978086_5dc0c6aa36_z.jpg) (https://farm1.staticflickr.com/341/19366978086_1f499f8385_k.jpg)


12:29
(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/437/19386872702_6f73a3ed1c_z.jpg) (https://farm1.staticflickr.com/437/19386872702_feeb437dbf_h.jpg)


Finished my food... Calling for more!
1:06
(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/540/19205437760_da60e10324_z.jpg) (https://farm1.staticflickr.com/540/19205437760_73752a27bf_h.jpg)


Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on July 03, 2015, 09:43:28 PM
Now here's the place I was watching the nest from.

Can you see it? You'll need to click and enlarge the picture.
June 23, 12:28
(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/480/19401935961_2924beac23_z.jpg) (https://farm1.staticflickr.com/480/19401935961_1f1bbd0555_o.jpg)


Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on July 13, 2015, 07:50:06 PM
Near this nest is one of my favourite paddling destinations, Flora Islet.

On June 28 I paddled with a friend all the way from near the Belcarra nest to Little Tribune Bay. We took a breather on Flora.
There were other people on its gravel beach. They were all trooped at one end of a little point, looking at something. I could see a pair of Black Oystercatchers nearby, and both were calling. I didn't want to bother them and walked the other way.

When I came back, my paddling friend called me over. She had gone to see what the people were looking at. She said, "There is a lost baby bird over there. It can't be an oystercatcher, the bill is way too short. I don't know what it is."

Immediately I remembered a post by Booni, with photos of baby hummingbirds with short little bills! Click here to see it. (http://www.ournaturezone.com/index.php?topic=1556.msg164058#msg164058)
This post taught me that birds with long bills may be born with shorter bills! (How would that long bill fit in the egg, and how would the birdlet be able to break out?)

So I approached... And this is what I saw.
June 28, 3:51
(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/420/19488972629_6c443b8ba4_z.jpg) (https://farm1.staticflickr.com/420/19488972629_d1c28f9a3b_k.jpg)



(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/292/19487655990_9b2d6fb38d_z.jpg) (https://farm1.staticflickr.com/292/19487655990_a40d99043d_k.jpg)


Look at the red on the bill, and at its general shape, minus the length. Has to be an oystercatcher. Poor little one is sitting partway in a puddle, completely immobile, waiting for people to move away. Worried parents are nearby, not flying away despite the people and dog.
I asked everyone to retreat. Immediately the parents approached and the little one stood up.
I wasn't sure what would happen next. The tide was coming in, and the rocks the oystercatchers stood on had become a tiny island. Would the little one be able to cross back to Flora Islet?
3:54
(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/372/19488990859_b620ca128d_z.jpg) (https://farm1.staticflickr.com/372/19488990859_6f03d405d8_h.jpg)



(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/296/19680112911_6a951153f5_z.jpg) (https://farm1.staticflickr.com/296/19680112911_7f202aabf4_k.jpg)


No problem... It helps to have long legs.
(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/406/19675636015_459dc70608_z.jpg) (https://farm1.staticflickr.com/406/19675636015_9acbf7c0c8_h.jpg)


Safe and sound. Look at those nice oystercatcher legs! 3:55
(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/536/19054692123_d84b05a7af_z.jpg) (https://farm1.staticflickr.com/536/19054692123_b54850df75_h.jpg)



(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/556/19053042064_6afd42a123_z.jpg) (https://farm1.staticflickr.com/556/19053042064_b9f0febf75_o.jpg)
Title: Re: Nest #22 - Helliwell Park - 2014 - 2015 season
Post by: winterwren on July 13, 2015, 10:08:46 PM
Continuing toward Big Tribune Bay, we spotted this eagle near the eastern end of Helliwell Park. I still have not found any sign of an eagle nest between the Helliwell Nest and the back of Big Tribune Bay. So I don't know which territory, if any, this eagle belongs to.
July 28, 4:13 pm
(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/334/19671975152_45be632205_z.jpg) (https://farm1.staticflickr.com/334/19671975152_e9b8545072_k.jpg)



(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/399/19491083838_ccde75f6be_z.jpg) (https://farm1.staticflickr.com/399/19491083838_f484beb6ee_o.jpg)