HEGPS - Our Nature Zone

Around Hornby Island => Around Hornby Island ~ 2009-2010 => Topic started by: boonibarb on May 21, 2010, 12:52:32 PM

Title: Shingle Spit Nest 2010 Season
Post by: boonibarb on May 21, 2010, 12:52:32 PM
A place to post fotos & information to do with the Shingle Spit Nest.

Doug*s map of all the Hornby nests is here.

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2777/4099308643_8dde5755ec.jpg) (http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2777/4099308643_8dde5755ec_b.jpg)

Shingle Spit Nest isn*t on Doug*s map. It is on the sharp point on the map labelled Shingle Spit, near to the Ferry Dock. When Doug was documenting all the nests on the island, this one wasn*t there. So this must be a newer nest.
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: winterwren on May 21, 2010, 01:38:38 PM
I had the great good luck of spending a few hours every morning of last week on the west side of the island with a very good set of binoculars... I had suspected there was a nest on Shingle Spit, but it took me 2 days to spot exactly where the eagles were going. The nest actually faces away from where the picture was taken, and away from the storm winds. Shingle Spit is very exposed, and the only protection is the couple of trees in front of it, so that nest must be strong!!!

The little houses nearby give you an idea of the scale. The nest must be about 80 feet up.

I watched some interesting things about territoriality during the week. I was wondering how much territory is actually exclusive, and actively defended, after seeing Dad Hornby fly right out to past the end of Harwood Road about 2 weeks ago. This would be right in the front yard of the West Carmichael nest, and nobody challenged him. So I watched what happened with traffic around this new nest.

On a lot of mornings, the eagles would call out even if no other eagles were flying around. Both of them vocalized, and it sounded like a statement of territory. The next adult eagle down the shore, about a km away to the south, would answer (I don't know how close the next active nest is; there were adults and juveniles perching in that area).

Click on the picture for a larger view... Shingle Spit seen from the south. Nice sunset too!

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3364/4626799523_d2c1ae2551_o.jpg) (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3364/4626799523_d2c1ae2551_o.jpg)

On the picture, the arrow at (1) shows where the eagles were coming in and out of. There's a group of 4 trees, one of them leaning, and the nest seems to be at the northwest corner of that. There is a well-worn babysitting branch just above, visible only in strong wind.

I watched a young eagle coming from the right in the photo and trying to cross the spit at the level of the dotted line labelled (2). Someone busrt out of the nest and flew right at him, forcing him to put his talons forward and change course. He turned around, and crossed the spit at the inland end of the row of trees, just a few hundred feet from the nest, and nobody bothered him.

Then later, a juvenile (the same?) crossed the spit again, but just a bit further out, at the dotted line marked (3). There was not a peep from the nest! I also watched one of the adults from the nest fishing just south of the spit. One of the juveniles was fishing right alongside, unchallenged. The young one tried to steal the adult's catch, but his heart wasn't in it. More about that in the next post.
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: winterwren on May 21, 2010, 02:08:31 PM
I knew for sure there was at least one chick in that nest when I watched an adult make 4 fish deliveries in the space of about 10 minutes one morning. There has been lots and lots of feed fish in the channel for at least 2 weeks. All the little bays are full of little silvery things leaping around like frogs. It looks and sounds like rain, with flashes of silver here and there. I don't know what kind of fish they are. They're about 3 to 4 inches long.

Feed fishes, near Shingle Spit:

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4029/4627410348_c34d5a659e.jpg) (http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4029/4627410348_c34d5a659e_b.jpg)
These feed fishes are too small for eagles to bother with, but bigger fish follow them... And the whole food chain stays healthy. You can tell the fishing has  been good for everyone, because there's a lot less competition than usual. A bird who catches a fish, usually, has only half of his work done. The other part is to get to gulp down the prey before anyone else swipes it (that's when it helps to have a crop!) My fishing eagle got pursued by seagulls and another eagle, but you could see it was just a formality.

It was a blustery day and she took advantage of the smoother water around rafts of seaweed. The first three catches were small. Just a flick of talons on the water, quick as a wink, then talons tucked tight under her tail as she flew back to the nest. It's only as she landed that I could see something dark in her claws. Ten seconds on the nest, and off she went again, twice, thrice.
She took a little rest after that.
Then off she was again, to the same spot. This time something long and dangling - I've watched a heron catch an eel in that same area, so that must have been what it was - a big one, well over 2 feet.
She landed on the gravel at the end of the spit. I figured it was her turn to eat. But no: she held on fast and pecked at her prey a few times. Then off to the nest. I think she killed it before landing it on the nest, because it was big enough that its thrashing would have been a problem. Isn't that something?
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: Tigerlady105 on May 21, 2010, 02:46:37 PM
Winterwren, your excellent account and the pictures are so interesting and you write very well!  Please keep us up-to-date about this nest.   :nod2

Booni, thanks for telling us where to look on the map.  Apparently that area wasn't already taken by a pair of eagles.  Maybe because it is so exposed to the winds, etc.?  
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: Blue on May 22, 2010, 09:09:27 PM
Thankyou for reporting your observations, winterwren.  They are very interesting.
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: luvthebirds on May 23, 2010, 04:03:11 PM
Thank you, winterwren, for the information and our observations.  :ecsmile
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: winterwren on May 29, 2010, 09:00:45 PM
Tigerlady:
Nest 1 is nearby, and for a while I thought those eagles came from there. From where I was watching, they would have flown behind that exposed row of trees and into the back of the next bay. But I kept seeing adults perching near the point and acting territorial. Once I started watching with binoculars, the location of the new nest became obvious.

This leads me to believe that nest 1 is currently unoccupied. On my next days off, if the rain stops for long enough, I'm planning a little reconnaissance trip in the area to see if I can find nest 1 and maybe photograph the new nest from the north side... I'll keep you posted!

Wren
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: winterwren on June 05, 2010, 10:08:38 PM
At last I had some time to go check this new nest... I found it exactly where I'd thought it was, which pleased me no end... :)

The nest is very high off the ground, over 100 feet I would guess. Here's the context of it:(click on images for larger view!)

(http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1265/4673755068_10f8a19fe2.jpg) (http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1265/4673755068_10f8a19fe2_b.jpg)
The nest is just below and slightly to the left of the very highest branch on the picture. That branch has a worn section and is used as a babysitting perch. The large arbutus to the right is the same one you see on the left of the picture I took 2 weeks ago - we're looking at the nest from the opposite direction.


It was early evening, often nap time at the cam nest, so I wasn't surprised to find both parents off the nest and no visible action from the nest. One parent was  hovering nearby, perching on various well-worn branches, and constantly making a strange sound that was halfway between a soft cachunk and the sound you get if you wipe a window with newspaper... (does anyone still do that?) But this parent didn't seem on alarm, and there were no strangers nearby... except me I guess. But nobody was looking my way.

Here's the best view I had from the nest... Nest is on the left; parent hovering and whispering squeaky cachunks nonstop.

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4066/4673133187_ab230cdcd3.jpg) (http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4066/4673133187_ab230cdcd3_b.jpg)

After 15 minutes of this, the parent took off and soon I saw him or her flying lazily with the other parent, riding the updrafts to the south of the spit. When they came within hearing distance, that one still was talking away in the same way. I stayed about an hour and there were no changes.
I also visited nest #4, but that is another post...
Good night!
Wren
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: Rajame on June 05, 2010, 10:37:51 PM
Wren, you did it!!! How incredible. Congrats!!!  :heart
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: boonibarb on June 06, 2010, 09:09:45 AM
GREAT reporting & EXCELLENT fotos Wren!!  :nod2

i wonder if the sound the adult was making, was similar to the sound i heard at nest #25 on wednesday?
The adult was flying from tree to tree to nest, with a midshipman in their foot, & making this constant soft call, like the cry that comes after the cachunka cry, but much softer & quieter, *ah, ah, ah, ah, ah*.
Maybe this is the call for talking to the young?
i took a video that day, but you can*t quite hear the call over the sound of the wind & water.

Maybe we could ground observe together one day to this nest, & i could bring my camera as well??
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: winterwren on June 06, 2010, 10:52:38 AM
Good morning Booni! Yes, I think we may well be describing the same kind of sound. Maybe a reassuring for the chick... "I'm still here, I'm not far..." after all, these are the  first days the eaglets are left alone for longer periods...

Yes, I'd **love** for us to visit the nest together. I was thinking about you, that day on the beach; also I was thinking 2 cameras would be nice, one on the tripod and one to catch the goings-on around the area... Ohh, Eaglesonly was right, it's a slippery slope.... :eclol
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: birdvoyer on June 06, 2010, 11:32:01 AM
Winterwren, I am so enjoying your observations, both photos and comments. If the two of you tag team this nest, imagine what great events we would see in 2 different views. Cool idea I think.  :eclove

I miss EaglesOnly.
  :ecsad
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: Tigerlady105 on June 06, 2010, 02:31:46 PM
Winterwren, those photos of the nest tree and adult eagle are great captures!    "Our Team" is so dedicated!   :eclove
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: winterwren on June 09, 2010, 11:25:43 PM
I just wanted to announce that Booni and I saw a chick in the Shingle Spit nest today!!! My pictures didn't turn out, but Booni had the Super-Duper Booni Camera and I know for a fact that some of those images came out nice and clear. Check this thread again soon!

So far it looks like just one chick. Flapping wings, just like Phoenix has been doing.

I also wanted to make sure both parents were alive and well, after the report Doug had received a couple of days ago about an injured eagle in this area. (see Hornby Nest Discussion) We were pleased as all get-out to see both parents in good health. The report is so far unsubstantiated.

Booni confirmed that the chatter from the parents was the same kind that she had heard on nest #25. Both parents made that sound, but one did it only occasionally and the other, when he or she finally showed up, did it almost constantly. Booni compared the sound to the laughter of seagulls. True, it's pretty close.

Good night!
Wren
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: Rajame on June 09, 2010, 11:59:49 PM
Yay Booni and Wren! There must be a name for your team. Hmmm.....  :heart
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: winterwren on June 19, 2010, 07:13:27 PM
On my Thursday outing with Luvthebirds and Fol-di-rol, I finally got a decent shot of the Shingle Spit chick! I think Luv will have some better ones, as will Booni (the nest is high up, so a telephoto lens really helps... not to mention experience! :) )

But this is a start. None of us has seen any evidence of a second chick yet... Though the surprise chick in nest #25 has taught me not to assume anything... It's possible that the Number Two chicks, if there are some, are not standing up tall enough to be seen yet. This could change in a day or two, as their development catches up.

Shingle Spit chick, June 17 2010 (clickable photo!)

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4059/4714151083_e8ac096ffa.jpg) (http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4059/4714151083_e8ac096ffa_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: Blue on June 19, 2010, 07:57:22 PM
I am imagining that the chick is up in the nest to take advantage of the lovely breezes off the sea.  Lucky chick - he has a waterfront view nest.  :eclol
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: BBE on June 19, 2010, 09:13:42 PM
We are blessed with not one, but a duo of "Eagle Pic Takers'.  I know what a "Spit' refers to, but why is called Shingle'  :question.  Did some roof shingles fly off a house or ??
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: Blue on June 19, 2010, 10:23:30 PM
BBE

A shingle beach is one composed of small pebbles - therefore the Shingle Spit must be a projection of the beach formed where the water changes direction, creating the spit, and it is composed of pebbles.

Does this describe the Shingle Spit on Hornby?

We need a photograph of the Shingle Spit please, next time you go.   :nod2
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: winterwren on June 19, 2010, 11:15:15 PM
Yes, Blue, that exactly describe Shingle Spit. I had never heard the word "shingle" used in that sense until I came out West, either...
And this happy chick has an ocean view on three sides!!!

I'll try for a pic of the Spit from further up next time, to give you a better idea of the topography.
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: BBE on June 19, 2010, 11:22:32 PM
Thanks Blue and winterwren.  Oh, three sides of a house with an ocean view ~how womderful.
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: winterwren on July 01, 2010, 06:03:17 PM
The peregrine falcons are back!  :biggrin3
Early yesterday morning, from the water, I spotted two bald eagles giving chase to... something. Something small. And it only took me a second to remember what could fly that fast. A good look with the binoculars confirmed my hunch.

Peregrine falcons are nesting somewhere on the cliffs south of the Shingle Spit nest (and I suspect there may be another pair near nest #3 as well). They seem to make a game of aggravating other birds... for no other visible reason but the sheer fun of flight. They're not stealing food; sometimes they gain a prized perch tree for a while, only to relinquish it after a few minutes, once they've proved their point?... I've watched them hassle eagles and seagulls into pursuing them - and I've heard a report of them playing that game with crows as well. They'll bother the other bird until it gives chase, and fly away, matching their opponent's speed perfectly. When the pursuer gets tired, it gives a last burst of speed to try to catch the falcon... and that's when Falcon turns on the booster rockets and shoots forward at its own top speed, leaving its disgruntled pursuer in the dust.

I didn't see yesterday's provocation, but the chase was something - that feisty little falcon had 2 adult eagles on his tail! How did he do that? :)
He led them most of the way across the channel - 2/3 of a nautical mile - before suddenly veering south at top speed. The two eagles turned around and went back to Shingle Spit, thereby confirming their identity.
The same day I heard a report of someone's dog getting attacked by a peregrine on the Bench trail... the trail Doug showed in that beautiful video last week. I would bet that this is near the location of the nest... which would be why there was only one peregrine flying around, not a pair like last July.

Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: boonibarb on July 01, 2010, 07:32:46 PM

Cool report wren!!   :biggrin6
You are an ACE reporter!
Pictures! We want pictures!!
 :mhihi
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: Doug on July 01, 2010, 10:55:55 PM
Peregrine Falcons:  After years of having no peregrine falcons, a family arrived here about 8 years ago.  They nested in the cliff 15 feet below the Bench Trail just above the ferry landing.  Biologist from Nanaimo put an invisible net up just above their nest and tied a specially trained Horned owl at the base of the net.  The falcons hate owls and were compelled to dive-bomb it, thus getting caught in the nest and banded.

About one week ago a neighbour of mine saw a peregrine falcon and took an excellent picture of it.  It had a silver band on one leg.  Not only that, you can see the number on it.  He sent the number away to the proper place and expects to hear details about its history.  I asked him where he saw the falcon, and it was exactly where the first falcon was banded 8 years earlier - on the bench trail above the ferry landing.  It will be interesting if this is the original family.  However, the biologists may have banded other falcons since then.
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: luvthebirds on July 03, 2010, 11:07:04 AM
On our recent visit to Hornby Island, I was lucky enough to spend some time with Winterwren.  She is a wonderful person and so kind to share some of her favorite island nest spots!  And, as an added bonus, Fol-di-rol was visiting as well and I met her at Winterwren's.  btw, Winterwren has a great garden, with lots of good food to eat

Anyway, Winterwren took Foldi and me out in the early afternoon on June 17th, 2010.  Our final stop was the Shingle Spit nest.  This nest is located in trees very near the beach/spit.  We had a nice walk from the road and along the beach to get to a spot to view the nest.  I was lucky enought to see an adult(s) on a couple of perches as well as a juevnile in the nest.

Hope you like the photos, I hope to learn the clickable trick, but just not happening today and I am uncertain about trying the new flickr version yet.    And the photos do look better in large/original, but I have posted medium here.

I took quite a few photos here, so will split into a few posts and use the medium size.


(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4093/4756665738_a045a687ed.jpg)
Adult, Shingle Spit nest area

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4119/4756666050_545b55013c.jpg)
Adult from Shingle Spit nest

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4098/4756666350_d9107a368f.jpg)
More of the Shingle Spit adult     (ETA:  I see a bird in the background flying over.  I may try to get original size and crop to see if we can id bird.  Or will post large in last Shingle Spit post of this series.)

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4075/4756666204_fb9294a513.jpg)
Shingle Spit nest... there really is a juvenile in there!

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4142/4756666672_d694ab3b7a.jpg)
Shingle Spit adult, different watch spot

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4097/4756666508_04c106d822.jpg)
There's the Shingle Spit baby!
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: luvthebirds on July 03, 2010, 12:15:27 PM
More with the Shingle Spit nest eagles.


(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4093/4756029173_3fbe93246a.jpg)
Shingle Spit Juvvie likes to hide from luv's lens

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4137/4756667352_afdc002166.jpg)
Nice pose, Shingle Spit juvenile

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4117/4756667612_b62d66ebf5.jpg)
I see you, Shingle Spit juvenile

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4080/4756667474_5187c2e1f2.jpg)
Shingle Spit juvenile viewing the area

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4123/4756667874_b82d2d71c3.jpg)
Still enjoying the pretty view, Shingle Spit eaglet
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: luvthebirds on July 03, 2010, 12:21:48 PM
More Shingle Spit nest photos.  June 17, 2010.


(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4134/4756667750_485f425bf8.jpg)
Are you looking at me? Shingle Spit juvenile

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4118/4756668150_402841e841.jpg)
Getting more interested, Shingle Spit juvenile

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4080/4756029935_47dc12e5a0.jpg)
Sitting up, Shingle Spit juvenile

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4116/4756668350_7ccbfabc41.jpg)
Really sees something s/he likes... Shingle Spit juvenile

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4096/4756668546_eeed961a3b.jpg)
More of the eaglet, Shingle Spit nest 
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: luvthebirds on July 03, 2010, 12:29:43 PM
Couldn't resist more Shingle Spit nest eagle photos.


(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4136/4756668880_4c8ce993d3.jpg)
Hi there, Shingle Spit eaglet

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4093/4756668722_8a2fb66023.jpg)
Pretty eaglet, Shingle Spit nest


(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4078/4756669052_0474044f77.jpg)
On the beach near Shingle Spit nest, we have company!  Canada Geese and Seagulls.

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4099/4756669234_d0cd0cd2dd.jpg)
One more of the baby, Shingle Spit nest

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4073/4756031363_1460ba9b9f.jpg)
Adult at top of its look out, Shingle Spit nest area
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: luvthebirds on July 03, 2010, 12:34:38 PM
And a few more, Shingle Spit nest area.


(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4115/4756031509_e12c14fcf9.jpg)
Shingle spit adult? lol Guess it should be called, "Part of a tree near Shingle Spit nest"!

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4101/4756031705_ae09497c35.jpg)
Pretty shells on beach near Shingle Spit nest
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: luvthebirds on July 03, 2010, 01:07:54 PM
Closer-up view of adult at Shingle Spit nest with bird flying overhead. 


(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4115/4757906065_49073f789c_o.jpg)
Shingle Spit adult with bird flying overhead in background.


So what is the bird?  A goose? or......?????
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: Blue on July 03, 2010, 03:46:34 PM
Luv

I tried to figure out if that was a bee or ...?  in the original pic on the previous page.  I didn't realize it was so far away because it seemed that the eagle was staring at it.  Hard to say what it is.
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: winterwren on July 03, 2010, 03:49:15 PM
Wonderful pics, Luvthebirds! That's it, I'm getting that telephoto converter...  :nod2

Wren
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: boonibarb on July 03, 2010, 06:59:05 PM


FANTASTIC fotos luv!

& wren, go for the converter!!!  :eclol
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: luvthebirds on July 04, 2010, 09:32:59 PM
This is a clickable photo of one of the series of pictures on the Shingle Spit eaglet.  I think I got it!!!!

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4134/4756667750_485f425bf8.jpg) (http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4134/4756667750_485f425bf8_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: Blue on July 04, 2010, 10:21:23 PM
The clickable photo works perfectly, luv.  I can see all the feathers sticking out on his neck. LOL

Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: boonibarb on July 05, 2010, 06:44:52 AM

That*s a great *clickable* foto luv!
Congratulations!
i love seeing the little fella*s feathers sticking out all over the place.
What a cutie!
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: fol-di-rol on July 05, 2010, 09:18:41 AM
Hi LTB:

Lovely to see your pictures of #4, Phipps Point and Shinglespit nests.  That was a fun day and it was good to spend some time with you.  I knew you and Winter would have great pics, and thatís why I didnít include any in my Hornby Island report.

fol-di-rol
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: winterwren on July 19, 2010, 10:48:18 PM
For the last week and a half, I have been near the Shingle Spit nest most mornings. And on many of those mornings, at about 7:00, I've watched one of the peregrine falcons approaching the eagle nest, threading its way between the protesting adults, and taking a turn just above the nest. Sometimes it dives for the nest a few times, stopping mere feet above it. Then it flies away as I've described in another post. It can easily outfly the eagles.

I'm starting to wonder if the peregrines' goal is to make the eagles move away eventually... To claim the territory? it doesn't make much sense since they are not after the same prey. Peregrines feed on smaller birds mostly, while fish form the bulk of our eagles' diet.

This makes me realise that I can't think in terms of good guys and bad guys when it comes to wildlife. I'm so pleased to see these rare falcons nesting on our island... so amazed at their flying prowess... and at the same time I'm so attached to the eagles. So I have to let go of that kind of judgement and just watch.

The good news is that the peregrines only appear at the end of June. By then, the eaglets are large and strong enough to be of no interest to the peregrines as prey. So maybe the eagles will decide to stay put in spite of these troublesome neighbours.

(To see pictures of the peregrine falcons, click here (http://www.ournaturezone.com/index.php?topic=37.msg18007#msg18007).)

Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: Maria dB on July 31, 2010, 06:37:15 AM
Super pictures Luv.  :nod2 Wren the falcon pics are beautiful. I don't think of falcons and eagles in the same area. :blush
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: passerine on July 31, 2010, 03:16:32 PM
Wren i thinking they're symbiotic, are are just keeping each other in their place.  Showing what their separate boundaries are.  Protecting each other. :dunno

When i was checking eagle nests i was surprised to see a family of California quail hanging out at three different nest site. Even though the eagles could easily take their babies, the eagles keep other prey away which means they can concentrate on keeping the quail safe from eagles & be free of a lot of other predators.

Only a theory, do you know what i'm trying to say as it seems clear as mud. :ecrolleyes
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: winterwren on July 31, 2010, 09:24:48 PM
Thanks, Passerine... I do understand what you're saying. Time will be the best test here: will the eagles move next season? As far as I know, it's their first year on this site. Their behaviour will be our teacher... as usual.
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: winterwren on August 03, 2010, 12:13:37 AM
I'm still not 100% sure of what is going on with this nest. On July 21, just before my week of work started, I went to check this site, hoping to better observe the interactions between peregrines and eagles.

I arrived shortly before the time of the daily peregrine attacks... but saw only one falcon, hunting low above the beach north of the Spit. Then that one landed on one of the eagles' perch trees, well inland from the nest. There was no reaction from the eagles.

I walked to the nest. It was empty. I saw no-one else around. After a while, 2 more peregrines over the water, a good distance to the south. Then I saw a sub-adult eagle fly north, and take a detour wayyyyy out at sea to avoid the spit... a good sign that the territory was still active and defended.

It took me half an hour to spot Mom Shingle Spit (I'll assume it was Mom, since we saw Mom Hornby most actively caring for Phoenix at the end, while Dad defended the territory.) She was sitting quite low on the big leaning tree that's near the nest. She was staring further into the trees at something I could not see... most likely her eaglet!
The light was marginal, but this picture shows just how huge that tree is...

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4121/4855674597_4e3aa2c114.jpg) (http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4121/4855674597_4e3aa2c114_b.jpg)

I tiptoed around the tree, trying to see what she saw... but could not spot the eaglet. There was no noise... that very vocal eaglet was making no sound at all. At some point Mom Shingle Spit flew off her perch and casually went to chase the peregrine who was still occupying the perch tree further inland. She just shooed that peregrine off as if it was a fly. Then she disappeared from my view.

That was all I could see that day. I was not completely convinced that the eaglet was alive and healthy, and the recent death of Phoenix coloured my emotions. So I refrained from reporting until I was more sure, one way or the other.

For the next week I was at work, and could only see the nest twice a day, from a distance. I heard nothing, but one morning I saw the peregrines hassling the nest again... which tells me that there was something to hassle...
A few days later, I saw the peregrines dive-bomb some eagles that were sitting on the ground at the very end of the spit. How I wished I had binoculars! But I'm pretty sure there were 3 eagles there... I had seen the Shingle Spit adults sit there to eat before.

Today, almost 2 weeks later, I went to check the nest again. Nothing, nothing. How I wish I was more certain! But there are people around; a grounded eaglet would have been spotted. So I'm hoping for the best; these eagles have quite a large territory. We're seeing Wiiglet fly far and wide these days, and it's probable that the Shingle Spit eaglet fledged earlier.

Blue asked me for a photo of the spit... I tried different angles from the top of the cliff but the results were not what I had hoped for - you can only see the very tip of the spit from above. Today I tried something else: I stood at the very end of the spit, at high tide, with water behind me and water on both sides:

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4078/4855673365_9540a4358c.jpg) (http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4078/4855673365_9540a4358c_b.jpg)
The nest tree is just to the left of the 2 cabins that are at the centre of the photo. The big snag that Mom Shingle Spit was sitting in is visible as well. (Click the photo for close-up)

Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: luvthebirds on August 03, 2010, 12:41:34 AM
Thanks for the updates, Winterwren.  I remember how great it was to visit the Shingle Spit nest with you and fol!  :ecsmile  I sure hope the eaglet is okay.  :pray

I took these photos on June 18, 2010 while we were waiting for the ferry from Hornby to Denman.  I assume that it is one of the adults from the Shingle Spit nest.

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4093/4756171283_f8c04724a4.jpg) (http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4093/4756171283_f8c04724a4_b.jpg)


(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4082/4756809246_383b88b287.jpg) (http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4082/4756809246_383b88b287_b.jpg)


(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4093/4756171675_7f5676eb12_b.jpg) (http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4093/4756171675_14fc5e80ec_o.jpg)
This one will click to very large.  It shows the eagle along with the interesting uprooted tree detail.


(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4114/4756171801_c422539479.jpg) (http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4114/4756171801_c422539479_b.jpg)


(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4077/4756172091_99d9bf67ac.jpg) (http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4077/4756172091_99d9bf67ac_b.jpg)


(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4075/4756171939_a20a6b4ba3.jpg) (http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4075/4756171939_a20a6b4ba3_b.jpg)




Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: boonibarb on August 03, 2010, 06:44:21 AM

Great fotos wren & luv, & thanks wren for the report!
i wonder what*s going on with that eaglet?
Are you thinking that was the eaglet in your view of the Spit, that day you saw three, but had no binocs???

Wren, great way to show the Spit!
From the tip!!

i think your foto of it from the bench would show it well too, no?
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: Tigerlady105 on August 03, 2010, 06:57:47 AM
Wow, Winterwren!  That Shingle Spit nest tree gives new meaning to "big tree!"    :eclol

Seeing an eagle there really makes an impact.  Otherwise it wouldn't be so dramatic.  Thanks for sharing your excellent photo with us.  It'll make a very nice puzzle, too!   :eclove
Title: Re: Shingle Spit Nest
Post by: Blue on August 03, 2010, 08:51:20 PM
Wren

Thanks for remembering to get a photo of the spit.  Interesting how the gravel has piled up there.

I really liked the one of the eagle in the big Douglas fir.  I love our Old Growth fir trees.  They have such character.