HEGPS ~ Our Nature Zone

Around Hornby Island => Around Hornby Island ~ 2014-2015 => Topic started by: boonibarb on December 04, 2014, 10:33:29 AM

Title: Nest #21 - Whaling Station Bay - 2014-2015 season
Post by: boonibarb on December 04, 2014, 10:33:29 AM
 
This is where we*ll post observations, fotos, videos & discussion of the Nest #21 territory.
Last year*s topic can be found here. (http://www.ournaturezone.com/index.php?topic=1481.msg149545#msg149545)
Links to previous years* topics can also be found at that link.
This Nest is in a one of a kind spot, overlooking a huge marsh, & has a very interesting territory that includes a point of land & lovely dry earth flora that is quite different from other areas of Hornby.
Lots of Pine Trees grow here, & Arbutus, which like the drier zones.
It is a lovely place to walk around.
Title: Re: Nest #21 - Whaling Station Bay - 2014-2015 season
Post by: boonibarb on December 04, 2014, 06:22:28 PM
 
i heard these two, long before i was able to spot them, on this Tree that i see them in so often.

november 30 2014 15:21 - Nest #21 Eagle pair

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7554/15329574613_87c3b03f30_b.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7554/15329574613_157248e180_o.jpg)

The female on the right was doing the cachunking.

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8623/15763469987_2438a7ba4a_b.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8623/15763469987_1ba51ca612_o.jpg)

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7479/15763467247_8db95fb712_b.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7479/15763467247_69ed24cf98_o.jpg)

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7537/15761900080_37f42f7855_b.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7537/15761900080_636cfa1c7d_o.jpg)

A gorgeous pair.

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7545/15761897800_e0221a6682_b.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7545/15761897800_aa28cfbf92_o.jpg)
 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/43214021@N08/15329574613/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/43214021@N08/15329574613/)
Title: Re: Nest #21 - Whaling Station Bay - 2014-2015 season
Post by: typoscount2 on December 04, 2014, 07:53:40 PM

a very handsome pair   booni  ;   )
Title: Re: Nest #21 - Whaling Station Bay - 2014-2015 season
Post by: boodle317 on December 05, 2014, 05:10:58 AM
wow....those two are gorgeous
Title: Re: Nest #21 - Whaling Station Bay - 2014-2015 season
Post by: auroradawn on December 05, 2014, 08:08:49 AM
They are a beautiful pair  :heart
Title: Re: Nest #21 - Whaling Station Bay - 2014-2015 season
Post by: Cawatcher on December 05, 2014, 09:03:22 AM
 :eclove They are sooo clean looking maybe young? lovely booni
Title: Re: Nest #21 - Whaling Station Bay - 2014-2015 season
Post by: boonibarb on December 05, 2014, 02:22:11 PM

cali, this Nest has been occupied for 20-30 years.
Somewhere in a past season one of the neighbours of this Nest said how long it had been occupied.
But i guess they could be new Eagles taking over, so young ones.
The Eagles seem to come back *clean* from the Salmon spawns every year.
Title: Re: Nest #21 - Whaling Station Bay - 2014-2015 season
Post by: Cawatcher on December 08, 2014, 06:37:21 AM
Thank you for the info booni :eceek
Title: Re: Nest #21 - Whaling Station Bay - 2014-2015 season
Post by: winterwren on January 08, 2015, 09:51:36 PM
I was on the water between Whaling Station Bay and the boundary of Helliwell Park when I heard trills. These two eagles were calling. A third one had been sitting on a nearby point of land for a good half hour. I wonder if there was some food there. The day was blustery, the tide was low, and it was hard to keep the boat away from the rocks. Not the best light for photos either.

I'm thinking this may be the pair from Nest 21. This is quite close to their nest.

December 26, 2:39
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7546/16033604810_8ba8368d4d_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7546/16033604810_bac3ecbdf1_o.jpg)


They sure were giving that other eagle what-for. But once they stayed on that tree where we're seeing them land. They did not fly off to dislodge the third eagle, and he or she stayed on the ground on that same little point of land.

It fascinates me, all those gradations of greetings and statements of ownership and warnings and chases and pursuits. There seems to be a whole language here.
Title: Re: Nest #21 - Whaling Station Bay - 2014-2015 season
Post by: winterwren on January 08, 2015, 09:59:30 PM
A little closer to Cape Gurney is a spot where shore birds often congregate.

On that day I found about a hundred Dunlins, and a few Black-bellied Plovers and Black Turnstones.

I drifted close enough for a photo of some of the Dunlins. I always feel good when I'm able to take some pictures without frightening them away.

I love the Dunlins' downcurved bills.
December 26, 2:18
(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8610/16220157242_abafa86dfd_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8610/16220157242_90fc7b3742_h.jpg)
Title: Re: Nest #21 - Whaling Station Bay - 2014-2015 season
Post by: boonibarb on January 18, 2015, 11:34:35 AM
 
While wren views this area from the water, Otto & i are landlubbing, walking along the beach.
It was a SUPER foggy day!
i saw three Eagles, all in the same area, & was able to get quite close, yet still there is thick fog between me & them.
This young one appears to be *showering* in the fog.

january 8 2015 13:03 - youngster in the fog

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8568/16309497651_dfb2eccb06_b.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8568/16309497651_2a9697d96a_o.jpg)

Here*s another of the three, an older one, a sub-adult.
Looks like a four year old, who will be five in the Spring.
Lovely yellow beak, tail still has a lot of dark in the feathers, head is turning white, but still speckled with quite a bit of brown.

january 8 2015 13:04 - sub-adult Eagle in the fog

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7499/16123902980_5b3d8388d1_b.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7499/16123902980_bac1b0ecda_o.jpg)

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8637/16309492141_4780b27128_b.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8637/16309492141_91688fbf90_o.jpg)

 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/43214021@N08/16309492141/in/photostream/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/43214021@N08/16309492141/in/photostream/)
Title: Re: Nest #21 - Whaling Station Bay - 2014-2015 season
Post by: mishikeenhquay on January 18, 2015, 05:21:42 PM


just love it!!! :heart
Title: Re: Nest #21 - Whaling Station Bay - 2014-2015 season
Post by: winterwren on April 09, 2015, 12:09:33 AM
On April 6, word came from one of the neighbours of this nest that the Scoter flock (http://www.ournaturezone.com/index.php?topic=1547.msg163247#msg163247) had moved back from Helliwell Park, where I had last seen them, (http://www.ournaturezone.com/index.php?topic=1542.msg163346#msg163346) to Whaling Station Bay.

I had been thinking of going out for a paddle with a friend, so that decided us as to where to start!
We found the birds just outside the bay, around Cape Gurney, in the territory of Nest 21.
There were only (!) about a third of the numbers I had seen at Helliwell on April 3. Still, 3000 birds is a lot!
The flock was also more scattered and more mobile, alternating between foraging near shore and resting further out at sea.
There was a pretty good breeze; we paddled past the flock, then drifted back toward them. When we saw them swim wide to avoid us, we backed off, paddled into the wind again, and drifted again.

There were some Scaups again but I was not able to approach them. They stayed closer to shore. But I saw a lot of Long-tailed Ducks, who turned out to be less shy than the scoters. There must have been about 150 of them, in various stages of their complex moulting schedule.
Even way offshore they dived, staying underwater for several minutes.
They have wonderful calls and kept up a constant chatter. It was easy to tell when their flock was all underwater because the place would get a lot quieter!
Long-taileds are among my most favourite of ducks, so I was in heaven.
Here's a small group of them. The females have bluish bills, the males, pink and black. In this first picture the one male has his tail plumes in the water, as they often do.
April 6, 5:30 pm
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7708/16878086637_bc28f09b17_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7708/16878086637_2057ac5855_k.jpg)


Same group, and this time the male's long tail plumes are rising out of the water. The white blurry shape in the background is a small mooring float.

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8708/16897723258_01a15ffc72_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8708/16897723258_3103f811a4_k.jpg)

Title: Re: Nest #21 - Whaling Station Bay - 2014-2015 season
Post by: winterwren on April 09, 2015, 12:20:05 AM
A few of the 3000 or so Surf Scoters near Cape Gurney; more of them in the background.
April 6, 5:35 pm
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7619/16897722008_de539df7e2_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7619/16897722008_7fabb36e27_k.jpg)


Another Long-tailed Duck! Be still, my heart!  :heart
5:36
(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8759/17059529326_c11800eea6_z.jpg) (https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8759/17059529326_d5b7b831b6_k.jpg)


I'd never been close enough to see the serrations along the edge of their bill. They look like little teeth! (Click on the picture to see them.)
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7708/17085499005_3461e6fb2f_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7708/17085499005_03477b9b1d_k.jpg)

They also have connecting nares... You can see daylight right through them.
This gentleman must have moulted out his tail plumes, otherwise we would see them in this second photo.
Title: Re: Nest #21 - Whaling Station Bay - 2014-2015 season
Post by: winterwren on April 09, 2015, 12:25:22 AM
Two pairs of Black Scoters surfaced in front of me. The waves play games, making some of them almost disappear.
(One of them is outside the frame here.)
April 6, 5:49
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7694/16463034984_4bd744272f_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7694/16463034984_375a9e50b3_h.jpg)



(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7633/17084784371_ef4e6aaa32_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7633/17084784371_59379e4ebf_k.jpg)

Title: Re: Nest #21 - Whaling Station Bay - 2014-2015 season
Post by: winterwren on April 09, 2015, 01:07:36 AM
I think I have about half the Long-tailed Ducks of the flock in this shot.
I'm counting about 75 here.

At the time I took this first photo, most of the scoters had flown off and only a few remained among the Long-taileds.
There is one Black Scoter on the right, behind the Long-taileds.
April 6, 5:52 pm
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7645/16878617317_4f00853515_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7645/16878617317_59599a5562_o.jpg)


A few minutes later, a lot of scoters had flown back but the Long-taileds remained at one end of the long narrow group. We see the beginning of the dense flock of Surf Scoters on the right.
I like how the waves partly hide some of them. Lots of fun shooting with a telephoto lens in a kayak bouncing up and down, too!  :ecsmile
6:02
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7617/16899803259_3de5238511_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7617/16899803259_5f97de933a_o.jpg)



(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7676/16898235248_6a252af798_z.jpg) (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7676/16898235248_8fe069ae18_o.jpg)

Title: Re: Nest #21 - Whaling Station Bay - 2014-2015 season
Post by: boodle317 on April 09, 2015, 05:26:11 AM
wow!  That toof like bill, is something!  Do you know why this particular duck needs a serrated bill??? 
Title: Re: Nest #21 - Whaling Station Bay - 2014-2015 season
Post by: NancyM on April 09, 2015, 09:12:20 AM
great photos of the long-tails, wren!  they occur here but I have not seen them clearly, they are very handsome.
Title: Re: Nest #21 - Whaling Station Bay - 2014-2015 season
Post by: winterwren on April 11, 2015, 03:32:12 AM
wow!  That toof like bill, is something!  Do you know why this particular duck needs a serrated bill???  

Here's what The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behaviour says about duck bills (p. 199):
"Although all anatids share a similar overall bill structure, there are many small variations on the basic plan of a long, broad, flattened bill. Most species have comb-like lamellae along the sides of the bill for straining small items from mud or water; these have reached their greatest development in the Northern Shoveler, which also has a very broad bill adapted for sifting large amounts of muddy water. The bill of a Common Merganser is long and slender, and the lamellae are reduced to small, tooth-like points adapted for gripping small fish. The bill of a Surf Scoter is hard and stout, for pulling shellfish from rocks underwater; the elaborate pattern of the Surf Scoter's bill probably functions in displays."

So, all ducks have these serrations or lamellae on the inside of the bill and and on many species those serrations show along the edge. Long-tailed Ducks are deep divers and eat all sorts of shellfish, marine invertebrates, small fish and fish eggs. I would think that Sibley's descriptions of a merganser's bill and of a scoter's would both apply to the Long-taileds.
Title: Re: Nest #21 - Whaling Station Bay - 2014-2015 season
Post by: winterwren on June 22, 2015, 09:55:06 PM
Yesterday, June 21, I went to check this nest. The neighbours had told me that it seemed active.

I heard some good loud screeps but didn't see the eaglet yet. There has to be at least one in there. My photos show some bits of down clinging to the nest branches.

To be continued!
Title: Re: Nest #21 - Whaling Station Bay - 2014-2015 season
Post by: winterwren on June 29, 2015, 10:09:47 PM
Here are the photos from that day.

Click on the picture to see the larger sizes. On the right side of the nest we can see some bits of white down clinging to the branches and some white poopshots.
On the upright branch in that same area is an old, faded chunk of blue poly rope. Makes it look as if the eagles went beach-combing. Quite possibly they did.
June 21, 11:37
(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/450/19260240386_d31e349736_z.jpg) (https://farm1.staticflickr.com/450/19260240386_34b44b8f6d_o.jpg)


Returning  from the nest, I heard what I initially thought was an owl in a neighbour's yard. The hooting sound was replaced once or twice by an eerie screech.
I finally found the caller.
Not an owl at all.
I'm pretty sure this is a Eurasian Collared-dove.
12:12
(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/396/18665749193_ee55f0e210_z.jpg) (https://farm1.staticflickr.com/396/18665749193_d7c19fed2a_o.jpg)


Title: Re: Nest #21 - Whaling Station Bay - 2014-2015 season
Post by: winterwren on July 13, 2015, 11:49:12 AM
Yesterday morning, July 12, I returned to this nest with the family's youngest birder. We set up the camera on the same spot as on my previous visit.
We couldn't see anything but the eaglet was pretty vocal.
Finally we caught one photo of a wing tip. That will have to do!
Photo will follow in a later post.
Title: Re: Nest #21 - Whaling Station Bay - 2014-2015 season
Post by: winterwren on August 01, 2015, 06:48:08 PM
Here's the one and only photo from that observation session, showing one rather disorderly wing.

July 12, 8:42 am
(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/528/20205397452_ae03a3be95_z.jpg) (https://farm1.staticflickr.com/528/20205397452_cd79823945_k.jpg)