Author Topic: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season  (Read 32284 times)

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Online madrona

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #30 on: March 10, 2013, 12:21:02 PM »
Thank you so much for these interesting and informative posts, wren.  

I witnessed the gill net fishing on Sunday March 3 and the seiners on Friday March 8, at Qualicum Beach and took photos and videos, which I posted here and following pages.  It is all rather sad, considering how important herring are to the food chain.  

This article in today's Times Colonist is most disturbing: http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/quota-rises-as-herring-count-falls-1.88502
   Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to
      rather than what we are separate from. - Terry Tempest Williams

Offline winterwren

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #31 on: March 10, 2013, 07:00:27 PM »
Thank you so much for documenting what went on at your end, Madrona! Those videos are wonderful!

The article in the Times-Colonist sums up my worries - the fish are down by almost half, and yet the catch quotas rise... Sigh. Enough said.

Offline Sandor3

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #32 on: March 10, 2013, 07:30:14 PM »
Does anyone know if the bid to use smaller gauge nets to catch herring was allowed?  There was murmurings of that a year or so ago and couldn't help thinking that that is the reason they were catching so many this year.  I agree with you winter wren.  Some humans won't be happy until the last of everything is gone!  So sad!
"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have."    ~Frederick Koenig

"We aren't the only ones that live on the planet, but we act like it."  ~ Jane Goodall

Offline winterwren

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #33 on: March 10, 2013, 10:39:18 PM »
Sandor, I asked that very question last week to someone close to the fishing industry. He said the request was not accepted and would have been contrary to the interests of the roe herring fishers, since what is important to them is to catch the fish that have the highest roe content, i.e. the biggest fish.

I also learned that the seine fishers take a sample from each net-full to assess it for quality, i.e. high ratio of roe to total fish weight. If the quality is not high enough, they open the net and release the fish. This, of course is not possible with gillnets (where the fish are trapped by the gills and therefore start to die before they are landed). But gillnets don't take as many fish at a time.

When several boats dump their nets due to poor fish size or a high ratio of spawned-out fish, Fisheries officials close that area.

I remember how the herring fishery used to be very cut-throat and rife with accidents, but I'm told that this has changed in recent years because instead of timed openings (catch what you can in 12 hours, say), each boat has a quota, and so does the fleet as a whole. They keep fishing until they have caught so many tonnes or until other factors such as fish quality or the market (as last year after the tsunami in Japan) prompt a closure. It's a safer system for the fishers.

Offline Sandor3

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #34 on: March 11, 2013, 08:03:50 AM »
Thanks, winterwren! Good to know there are some controls. 
"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have."    ~Frederick Koenig

"We aren't the only ones that live on the planet, but we act like it."  ~ Jane Goodall

Offline Cawatcher

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #35 on: March 11, 2013, 04:45:43 PM »
This is supper info wren and wonderful pictures!! thank you so much and Madrona for keeping us abreast!!

Offline sparkie

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #36 on: March 11, 2013, 04:51:11 PM »
Thank you wren and madrona .  Wren fabulous Pictures ..

Offline winterwren

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #37 on: April 17, 2013, 09:00:38 PM »
I've been working near this nest all week, and have been looking for evidence of eggs. Definitely the territory is defended, although several guests still hang out at its south end. Seems late in the year for that, somehow. But I'm hoping it means that there is food to be had.

I'm working out of direct view of the nest, so it's hard to tell what's going on. I can see eagles flying in and out from the clump of trees where the nest is, and I can see them if they perch high up or on the south side of the Spit.
Finally, two days ago, at dawn, I witnessed a switch!
She called from the nest, a low gulling.
He appeared, flying above the tall trees.
She took off and circled, and for a few seconds they flew side by side, very close, above the nest.
I could tell them apart easily because of the difference in size.
She flew on, and he circled back and landed on the nest, taking her place.

So I'd say it looks like there are eggs in this nest this year.

Offline auroradawn

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #38 on: April 18, 2013, 07:55:49 AM »
Excellent Wren, it certainly seems there are eggs, please keep us informed of progress.

Offline winterwren

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #39 on: April 22, 2013, 10:11:57 PM »
Meanwhile, there are still several visitors around; they mostly are hanging out near the southern boundary of this territory.

This beautiful young one reportedly had been perched here and on the ferry dock all day. Someone tried to toss him a piece of fish but he didn't seem interested. On the other hand, I'm wondering if that piece of fish was the much-disputed food item in the next post.
Meanwhile the Shingle Spit eagles are still sitting on eggs and not bothering to clear out the visitors unless they are right near the nest.

April 13, 6:51 pm



A few minutes after I took this photo, the youngster flew away.

Offline winterwren

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #40 on: April 22, 2013, 10:35:38 PM »
April 13, 7:23 pm, half an hour after the last photo...

A sub-adult scoops something white out of the water.




(No, I didn't tweak the colours of these shots... The setting sun gave the water those sepia tones!)

Click to enlarge... Whatever the eagle has caught is white and lumpy and maybe there are fins sticking out at the bottom.
7:23:03



It must be something edible, because two more eagles soon give chase. One adult, who may or may not be one of the Shingle Spit parents, and a youngster, out of the frame in this picture, but not the same one I saw earlier. This one looks older.
At the time of this shot, they've been chasing around for a full minute, the sub-adult making a high-whistle war cry like we sometimes hear from Dad when he's on a serious chase.
7:24:02


Here are the three of them. Click on the picture and you'll see that the sub-adult, on the left, is still carrying that food. He's had to flip over and show his talons a number of times, but he's still hanging on.
7:24:33


I lost them in the trees at about 7:25:30, still on the chase. Catching your meal is only half the battle...

Offline winterwren

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #41 on: June 20, 2013, 12:56:19 AM »
I've seen a lot of fish being flown to this nest in the past few weeks... I've been thinking that for sure there must be at least one eaglet on this nest.

Then yesterday afternoon, I was watching from the little dock by the resort, and heard faint little screeps from the nest. So at least one eaglet for sure!

The reason I was on the dock is that I've also been watching for Purple Martins. One of our local birders installed some martin boxes on that little dock last fall, because all the nesting boxes at Ford Cove were occupied.
I learned that the adults Purple Martins return to Ford Cove around the first week of May. The youngsters return about a month later, and they are the ones most likely to look for new housing. So I was asked to keep an eye out for them.
Sure enough, on June 10 I saw two martins checking out one of the nesting boxes. I spotted them again two days later. And now they seem to have taken up residence. Yesterday morning I saw one appear seemingly out of thin air near the boxes. I'm thinking it must have been inside one of them. And yesterday afternoon I saw no birds but I could hear one of them once in a while. Do they ever call from inside their nest?
One of the neighbours told me that she had seen them the day before also.

Offline jefferyb

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #42 on: June 22, 2013, 03:09:04 PM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8SXRrYtx_Q" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8SXRrYtx_Q</a>
Adult keeps an eye on the nest from the nearby perch tree June 2013
Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you.

Offline winterwren

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #43 on: July 08, 2013, 08:45:41 PM »
I spent a while near this nest yesterday morning (July 7) and confirmed that there is one eaglet on this nest. I will post photos when I have a minute...

Offline mishikeenhquay

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #44 on: July 09, 2013, 07:11:20 PM »


Looking forward to seeing then Wren!
"Our true enemies, as well as our true sources of strength, lie within."