Author Topic: Shingle Spit Nest 2010 Season  (Read 30518 times)

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Offline boonibarb

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Shingle Spit Nest 2010 Season
« 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.



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.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2011, 06:26:59 PM by boonibarb »
wooohoooo!

Offline winterwren

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest
« Reply #1 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!



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.

Offline winterwren

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest
« Reply #2 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:


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?

Offline Tigerlady105

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest
« Reply #3 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.?  
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Offline Blue

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2010, 09:09:27 PM »
Thankyou for reporting your observations, winterwren.  They are very interesting.
Earth speaks through wilderness.
We still have a moment to listen.

Offline luvthebirds

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2010, 04:03:11 PM »
Thank you, winterwren, for the information and our observations.  :ecsmile
Nurture yourself with Nature - luvthebirds
(and don't forget to screep for what you need)

Offline winterwren

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest
« Reply #6 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

Offline winterwren

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest
« Reply #7 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!)


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.



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

Offline Rajame

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2010, 10:37:51 PM »
Wren, you did it!!! How incredible. Congrats!!!  :heart
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Offline boonibarb

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest
« Reply #9 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??
wooohoooo!

Offline winterwren

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest
« Reply #10 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

Offline birdvoyer

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest
« Reply #11 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

Offline Tigerlady105

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest
« Reply #12 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
Commit random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.

"When one tugs at a single thing in nature; he finds it attached to the rest of the world". ~John Muir

Offline winterwren

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest
« Reply #13 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

Offline Rajame

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Re: Shingle Spit Nest
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2010, 11:59:49 PM »
Yay Booni and Wren! There must be a name for your team. Hmmm.....  :heart
Your soul lights up the room as if the sun is beaming directly.