White-bellied Sea-Eagle Nest 2

5 July 2016

Today, acting on a tip from a bird friend, I found a large nest. It is not as large as the one I found last month, but impressive nonetheless.

IMG_0885 small

I wondered if it was in use, and by whom. Before long, a White-bellied Sea-Eagle flew overhead. I crouched in the bushes, hoping that I was not visible from the air.

IMG_0887 small

I stayed until the sun set, hoping to see the bird visit the nest, but did not see it again.

IMG_0893 small

19 July 2016

After work, I went to visit the nest for a second time. Soon after I arrived, I saw a single adult Sea-Eagle circling high in the sky.

IMG_1402 small

It disappeared for half an hour, then suddenly appeared. It appeared to circle the nest tree but did not land. I could not see a partner, either in the nest or in the air.

IMG_1396 small

I stayed until the sun set. All the while, I could hear the continuous drone of construction vehicles ripping up land for housing. The new roads and house lots are very close, but I don’t think they will get any closer. If this Sea-Eagle does have a partner, maybe they won’t be rudely pushed out of their home by human disturbance.

IMG_1422 small

As  I left, I saw the Sea-Eagle perched in the bare branches at the top of a tall eucalypt. I couldn’t help wondering if it was watching the construction vehicles eat into its habitat, and feeling as devastated as I was.

IMG_1427

IMG_1432 small

26 July 2016

After work, I headed to the nest, equipped with full camo gear (I picked up a great pair of polar fleece camo pyjama pants last weekend). While still a reasonable distance away, I saw one, then two, Sea-Eagles! I also saw at least 4 black kites. They were all circling fairly high. I snuck over to the nest after they moved out of sight. I did not see them for nearly an hour, then one started flying in large circles around the area of the nest tree. While hidden in camo gear and under heavy foliage, I took a few photos in the late afternoon light.

IMG_1664 small

I thought it had gone then suddenly realised one of them was perched on a branch of the nest tree!

IMG_1675 small

IMG_1677 small

I waited until I thought it had gone then left by walking under trees as far as I could from the nest tree before appearing in the open. The Sea-Eagle did see me and cruised around me, moving forwards very slowly. It is so much easier to photograph them without sun on the white feathers. This photo was taken after the sun had set.

IMG_1695 small

1 August 2016

Today I  approached the nest from a different direction. I could tell there was an eagle standing on the nest, so I only crept as far as the nearest cover I could get to without being seen (a clump of spindly bushes 200-300 m from the nest tree. What a thrill: my first sighting of an eagle on the nest.

IMG_1827 small

After about 10 mins, the eagle flew away, strongly, and in a straight line. It was over open country and I could still see it when it would have been several kilometres away.

IMG_1833 small

I decided to leave while the nest was unattended, so I would not be seen. When I had walked halfway back to my car, an eagle flew past me travelling towards the nest tree. It came from a different direction, so I assume it was the partner!

IMG_1838 small

15 August 2016

I haven’t been able to visit the nest for a while, but today was a beautiful day so I called in after work. One eagle – or maybe two but never together – circled then landed in the nest tree at regular intervals.

IMG_1882 small

It usually landed near the top of the tree, well above the nest, and was harassed and chased by a pair of currawongs.

IMG_1885 small

I waited until after the sun set, but did not see it go into the nest. So I still don’t know if the nest is in use. I think I only saw one eagle, but maybe the other is incubating, right down in the middle of the nest.

Monday 29 August 2016

Last week was rainy so I didn’t visit the nest. Today, as I made my way towards the nest, an eagle flew overhead.

IMG_2253 small

I hid under/in a tree about 200 m away. As I looked through my camera, I realised that a second eagle was in the nest!! It’s not immediately obvious, against the left bough.

IMG_2267 small

After some time, this eagle flew out and went to a branch higher in the nest tree.

IMG_2269 small

IMG_2274 small

The first eagle sat in a tree about 100 m from the nest tree. They both just stayed in these positions for more than an hour.

IMG_2285 small

Eventually, the first eagle flew around a few times then landed near the second one in the nest tree.

IMG_2315 small

They stayed there for about 10 mins, then flew off together. Once they had been gone for a while, I walked back to my car (more than 0.5 km away). I was far away from the nest, nearly back to my car, when one eagle flew over me!

IMG_2331 small

Thursday 1 September 2016

As I walked towards the nest, the birds seemed to fly from the nest area. I don’t think they could have seen me, because I was still quite a distance away, and I couldn’t see their nest at that point. I moved under the cover of a tree, put on all my camouflage gear and stayed very still. There’s no way I want to disturb them.

There were 2 black kites flying around and at least one of them went after one of the eagles.

IMG_2348 small

I waited for nearly an hour and a half and saw an eagle circling every so often. Some times it passed over my hiding place but other times it circled over a nearby stand of trees. It finally landed in the nest tree, but then flew out.

IMG_2350 small

A while later it landed in the nest tree again. I was hoping to see it go down to the nest, but it flew away.

IMG_2351 small

I had to go, and didn’t see them at all when I left.

Monday 5 September 2016

When I walked towards the nest I saw a single eagle flying around. I settled under a bush 200-300 m away (I find it very hard to judge distances, but I was a long way away; at least 200 m. Don’t be fooled by the photos – they are heavily cropped.). Over the time I was there the eagle would fly a bit then settle in the nest tree 4-5 m above the nest, or in another tree and just sit and look around.

IMG_2460 small

At about 5:15 pm I decided to go while it was not there and took off my camo pants and collar. Just then, the eagle returned. It landed above the nest, then after a few minutes descended into the nest!. I watched it completely disappear from sight. When it had been out of sight for a while, I quietly and quickly left, and it stayed in the nest.

IMG_2469 small

IMG_2472 small

Thursday 15 September 2016

As I walked to the nest from the direction that usually allows an unnoticed approach, I was spotted by one of the eagles. I was still about 500 m or farther away and could not see the nest. The eagle seemed to float above me, riding the wind without the need to flap its wings.

img_2559-small

I walked to my usual bush and scurried under it. I quickly donned camo shirt, gloves, collar and scarf then covered myself with a 3 m piece of camo fabric. The eagle flew in large circles over the whole nest area, including sometimes over my hiding place. I heard  it make a few soft noises then saw the other one.

img_2576-small

They flew together for a long time, sometimes low, sometimes high. I didn’t know if they knew where I was or if they were checking to see if I’d gone. I stayed totally still, leaning against the trunk of the tree.

img_2579-small

One landed in the tree above the nest. I worried about both being off the nest so decided to go as soon as they flew out of sight. One soon saw me and flew around until I was more than 500 m away. They gave the appearance of watching what I was doing rather than defending their nest. Still, I may not be able to there any more, because I can’t risk having them leave the eggs or chicks for too long. I guess as soon as they see me, I’ll just turn around and go home.

Monday 19 September 2016

I decided to go towards the nest the first way I found, but stay completely under trees (and walk quietly). I think I got to the end tree, where I could just see the nest, without the eagles seeing me. I saw one fairly soon, flying over, so I donned my camo and clung to the tree trunk. I realised it was carrying something: a dusky moorhen. I had been wondering what this pair ate.

img_2597

I watched one, then the two for a long time. Sometimes one flew over and made a ‘cluck cluck’ sound. I didn’t know if it saw me (other birds had flown right past me at ground level without seeing me) or was just patrolling the nest area. If it saw me, I know where the saying ‘eagle eyes’ comes from because I was so still and under a leafy tree.

I saw a fast bird of prey that I thought was a falcon go past and a short time later I saw a light morph little eagle. It seemed to circle with them and they didn’t seem to mind it.

img_2613

I couldn’t get good photos because I stayed hidden. I could sometimes only see one eagle but didn’t know where the other one was. I didn’t see them go to the nest but loved seeing them fly together. I decided to leave early and came out of hiding so they would see me go. I got a few photos  – they are very lovely.

img_2625-small

img_2639-small

Monday 26 September 2016

I walked towards the nest completely under the trees but as soon as I got to the end tree, which is the first place I can see the nest from, an eagle flew from the nest tree towards me. I don’t know if it was in the nest because when they get into the nest they are out of sight. I still can’t see if there are any babies in the nest.

The eagle started to circle over my tree so I moved farther away. When I couldn’t see it, I stopped against a tree (300 m away?) and covered myself with my camo fabric. The eagle didn’t seem to know I was there and soon settled on a branch above the nest. All of a sudden the other eagle dived towards the nest, fast with wings pulled in, and landed on it.

img_2687-small

It flew off the nest again. I noticed it was carrying something.

img_2691-small

It looked like a little water bird, maybe a grebe.

img_2697-small

Both eagles started circling the nest area and I thought they knew I was still around. I decided to walk out into full view so they could see me leave and know I had gone. The eagle kept hold of its prey the whole time. It’s important that if there are babies, they eat all prey provided so they grow properly.

Friday 30 September 2016

Today I visited in the morning and I had some very exciting discoveries! As I began my walk across to the eagle nest, I noticed a dark bird leave a nest in a tall eucalypt. I wondered if it was a black kite, although I think there is only one official record of them nesting in our area. It came back and I saw that it was an Australian raven. I thought I heard a whistling kite, and about 200 m from the raven, I saw a whistling kite in a tree.

img_2762-small

I thought I saw a second whistling kite, but when I looked up, the bird that was flying was a black kite. I looked at the group of 6 mature eucalypts and there was a nest made of stout sticks with a black kite in it!!!!

img_2765-small

There may have been 2 whistling kites and 2 black kites: I’m not sure. The black kite nest was 4-5 m from the top of a tree that was about 35 m tall. The tree was on the edge of an open grassland.

I walked towards the eagle nest and saw an eagle start to fly towards me from the nest tree or an adjacent tree when I was about 230 m away (I’ve had a look on some maps so I can be more accurate with distance). I then saw the other eagle flying along the tree line where the nest tree is, carrying something in its talons. The prey was round and dark; I believe it was another dusky moorhen or similar.

img_2779

I also saw a nankeen kestrel! Looking on the map, I think I may have stopped at a tree about 150 m away. A magpie chased the eagle with the prey (smaller eagle, so male). A black kite and the female eagle came over every so often to look at me and flew around each other.

img_2831-small

There was some work going on in the new development, which I can see from the map is 300 m from the nest tree. It wasn’t very noisy, but 2 helicopters flew over while I was there. One of the eagles landed in the nest tree (top left corner) at one point. I hoped that it had accepted that I was no threat, sitting completely still against a large tree trunk. However, it flew out again, so I left, and checked out the black kite nest again.

img_2839-small

 

 

White-bellied Sea-Eagle nest 1

Monday 13 June 2016

I recently found a spectacular White-bellied Sea-Eagle nest. It is very large, and conspicuously situated in a tall eucalypt.

I found the nest totally by accident. As I was driving through a new development, I saw a pair of Wedge-tailed Eagles circling. Although they were quite high, I stopped to take a few photos.

IMG_0733 small

As I was watching them, I heard the unmistakable honking of White-bellied Sea-Eagles. I walked towards the sound and saw the huge nest. Then I saw the Sea-Eagles in a nearby tree.
IMG_0755 small

I will never forget my shock and delight at finding a nest. I have seen many Sea-Eagles over the years, including juveniles, but never a nest. I couldn’t believe my luck!

After spending some time in the nest, the Sea-Eagles flew to a nearby tree and started honking again.

IMG_0763 small

Then they mated. It was brief but I was stunned to have such luck.

IMG_0769 small

IMG_0770 small

IMG_0771 small

IMG_0772 small

IMG_0773 small

IMG_0774 small

Thursday 16 June 2016

I went to visit the nest late this afternoon. No birds, but nice light!

IMG_0810 small

Friday 24 June 2016

Another visit and no birds. I’m wondering if they have another nest.

IMG_0813 small.JPG

Saturday 25 June 2016

No birds in the nest, but I did see one flying over a nearby swamp. I heard them calling from the other side of it a bit later.

IMG_0816 small

IMG_0817 small

Saturday 9 July 2016

When I arrived, I saw the Wedge-tailed Eagles. I think they had been upsetting the White-bellied Sea-Eagles, who were honking.

IMG_0919 small

As I crept towards the nest, I suddenly realised that the White-bellied Sea-Eagles were sitting on a branch not far away. I sank down behind a post and watched them. They sat there for a good 20 minutes, just calmly looking around.

IMG_0931 small

Eventually they flew off over the swamp, which is in the opposite direction to the nest.

IMG_0933 small

Wednesday 13 July 2016

I was horrified when I went to check the nest and saw how fast things are being dug up and built near the nest. The eagles weren’t there.

IMG_1230 small

Monday 18 July 2016

I checked on the nest today and things had got much, much worse. My usual parking spot and route to my hiding place was fenced off and a tree had been cut down. One of the eagles was at the nest but was scared off by the continual driving back and forth of two large dump trucks on a dirt track only 100 m from the nest tree.

IMG_1312 small.JPG

After having a bit of a tussle with two magpie larks, the eagle settled back in the nest.

IMG_1326 small

But when a grader drove down the vacant land, it flew away and didn’t come back while I was there.

IMG_1335 small

Saturday 23 July 2016

This morning I dropped in briefly and was thrilled to see one White-bellied Sea-Eagle fly in to the nest. It stood there for a while, poked around a bit then flew away. I’m almost certain there was no change of parents.

IMG_1588 small

IMG_1597 small

IMG_1612 small

I went back in the afternoon to try and get photos in the lovely light, but the eagles weren’t there.

IMG_1629 small

Saturday 30 July 2016

The developers are there all the time now. I haven’t visited all week because the last few times I went, the construction vehicles were there in the early morning and didn’t stop until sunset. Today is Saturday and I visited the nest at about 8:45 am. I couldn’t believe it when I saw a bulldozer pushing soil and rocks around what used to be a grassy slope adjoining the land the nest tree is on. It was making an engine noise, a clattering sound like a jackhammer and an occasional beeping sound. It was persistent and intrusive.

I’m afraid human disturbance has caused the eagles to abandon the nest. I was there for about 1 1/4 h and watched the nest for the entire time. I did not see or hear the eagles. I feel particularly sad this week, because it is 47 days since I saw the adults mate. White-bellied Sea-Eagle eggs take 40-42 days to hatch. If things had gone well, baby eagles could be hatching right now in this nest, as they are in the Sydney nest.

IMG_1795 small

This story has a sad ending because developers want to make money and people want to build their dream homes. Years ago, two eagles built their dream home in a strong tree on open land. Now, they are being driven out by the noise and movement of people who are taking, taking, taking the land. The new homes are relentlessly moving forwards, like a glacier. Only the swamp will stop them.

Thursday 18 August 2016

I have been almost afraid to visit the nest but decided to do so after work today. I arrived at about 4:30 pm and parked on the nearest street, as the whole approach has been roped off by the developers. What I saw was truly horrific: great big diggers and water tankers driving up and down near the nest. It was the most graphic example of human disturbance of nesting birds I have ever seen.

IMG_1902 -numbers

I decided that the eagles had long since abandoned the nest, but continued to watch. Just before 5:00 pm, the heavy machinery finished for the day. All of a sudden I noticed a single eagle flying in wide circuits around the nest tree, with a persistent magpie-lark in hot pursuit.

IMG_1908 small

The eagle landed a few times in the nearest tall tree, then miraculously landed in the nest and disappeared into it!

IMG_1916 small

IMG_1917 small

I would have loved to have gone closer, but didn’t even consider doing it after all the eagles had had to endure during the day. They deserved some peace and quiet. I stayed in the car, then left feeling hope, not despair. Two streets away, I saw another eagle flying towards the nest. If only I’d stayed 5 minutes longer!

Saturday 20 August 2016

I dropped in to check the nest and was thrilled to see no heavy machinery and hear no noise. I could see more of what was being done to what was a grassy slope 2 months ago.

IMG_1925 small

It looked as if they were preparing to put in roads and a water supply.

IMG_1930 small

I put on full camo and crept around to the nearest place I could hide and observe the nest. I put a camo scarf on my camera and even covered most of my face. After a while, I noticed an eagle flying towards the nest. I lay back and stayed still, so I didn’t look like a person. The eagle landed on the nest.

IMG_1941

Then another one popped up and flew away!!! I was so excited. The one in the nest had been completely hidden. You can see the head of the one that flew in in the nest (on the right).

IMG_1946

The one that flew out seemed to sit on the air, moving forwards incredibly slowly. It landed on a dead tree and was set upon by a determined magpie.

IMG_1951 small

It took to the air again and was chased viciously. The other eagle joined it for a while.

IMG_1978 small

One landed in a bushy tree and one landed back in the nest. It snuggled down, then disappeared from sight.

IMG_1992 small

IMG_1993 small

IMG_1995 small

Sunday 21 August 2016

I had been so thrilled to see the pair in the nest that I popped in again this morning (although the sun is in the wrong place for good photos in the morning). After waiting almost an hour, I saw an eagle return to the nest area carrying what looked like a bunch of eucalypt leaves. The magpies were still annoying the eagles.

IMG_2037 small

I’m not sure if it was just bringing fresh material for the nest bowl or had tried to snatch something out of a tree. On the very first day I saw these eagles, I saw one fly to a tree and grab something, but could not tell what it was.

IMG_2040 small

It landed on a bare tree about 200 m from the nest tree and seemed to be looking over the swamp. I had to get home, so I left quietly. When I suddenly appeared, it didn’t respond to me (by flying over and circling me). When I got to my car, I glanced back just in time to see it land in the nest.

IMG_2053 small

The other one popped up.

IMG_2056 small

And then one left.

IMG_2057 small

Saturday 27 August 2016

As I was driving towards the nearest street, I saw one eagle flying towards the nest.  I managed to keep it in sight and saw it land on the nest. One eagle flew out almost straight away and flew away over the swamps. I was sure it was gone so I walked to a large stump that I could hide behind. The digging has progressed and some workmen came and went today, even though it was Saturday.

IMG_2107 small

I noticed that Little Corellas were nesting below the eagles (see the little white head in the hollow below) and I think I saw Rainbow Lorikeets going into another hollow.

IMG_2112 small

I waited for nearly two hours until the eagle came back. Before it landed in the nest, the other one popped up and flew to the lookout tree.

IMG_2134 small

The first eagle was chased by a magpie when it was about 50 m from the nest tree.

IMG_2141 small

It eventually landed above the nest.

IMG_2147 small

IMG_2152 small

After a couple of minutes, it descended into the nest and disappeared from sight. I wish I knew if there were eggs, or chicks, and how many. If only I could see in!

IMG_2155 small

IMG_2156 small

When I left, I saw the other eagle in the lookout tree, calmly preening.

IMG_2157 small

Sunday 28 August 2016

I arrived around 4pm and saw one bird on the nest. It flew out and was chased by the magpie. Eagles are BIG!

IMG_2200 small

I heard one honking on the other side of the swamp and the one in the nest flew over to join it. After a few minutes they went to the lookout tree.

IMG_2208 small

IMG_2218 small

I saw one go back to a tree near the nest.

IMG_2224 small

Then get into the nest. I love watching them slowly alight. I was lucky enough to see them come and go a couple of times in lovely afternoon light.

IMG_2225 small

IMG_2234 small

IMG_2238 small

Sunday 4 September 2016

I thought I wouldn’t get to see the eagles this weekend because of family commitments, and I can’t go during the week because of the people working on the site. I only had 30 mins, so I sat in my car, hoping to see something. After about 20 mins, I heard loud honking coming from the swamp. Soon I caught sight of one eagle flying towards the nest. It landed and the other eagle popped up. The first eagle (male by smaller size) had a fish in its right foot! This is the first time I’ve seen an eagle bring food to a nest.

IMG_2378 small

They stayed in the nest together for a little while. I could see them tugging at the fish but I couldn’t tell if they were feeding any young ones. The male soon moved to a branch and let the female eat alone.

IMG_2412 small

Saturday 10 September 2016

I arrived at around 4:00 pm and had to sit in the car for ages because there was a big increase in the number of people around: learners driving, people walking dogs, work cars driving down the construction site and families inspecting their slabs and the steel skeletons of their future homes.

img_2478-small

I was finally able to get to my hiding place in a ditch. I lay on my belly in the long grass – hoping no red-bellied black snakes would come by – and covered myself with a 3 m piece of camouflage fabric I bought online. I was so well camouflaged that many different birds flew as close as 1 m over me without responding to me.

The sun set and I began to fear that people had finally caused the eagles to abandon their nest. It was nearly 6 pm when I finally saw an eagle flying towards the nest. The one in the nest flew out, I heard some honking then an eagle flew back and settled in. You can just see its little head.

img_2494-small

Sunday 11 September 2016

I decided to go along again today, but just stay in the car. I took some photos of all the new temporary fences, dug up blocks, concrete slabs and steel frames. I’m so afraid that if there are babies, they’ll be scared out of the nest prematurely by the constant activity and racket.

img_2547-small

img_2549-small

Soon after I parked, an eagle flew out of the nest then got back in in about 2 mins. So they’re holding on.

img_2537-small

Saturday 17 September 2016

I decided to just look from the car today, so as not to risk disturbing the eagles. People were really annoying, wandering around looking at all the slabs and frames of rapidly growing houses.

After about 40 minutes, an eagle suddenly flew out of the nest, went about 200 m and settled in a tree which I could not see. I heard loud honking, which sounded like it came from 2 distinct voices. 4 people came and stood no more than 3 m from my car while I was waiting to photograph the eagle returning to the nest. Why there? Grrrr!

One eagle flew around the nest tree several times and eventually settled in the nest. I’m sure it had something in its talons but I cannot see anything in the photos. I’m too far away. The eagle disappeared into the nest very quickly.

img_2588-small

img_2589-small

Sunday 25 September 2016

I went out today after a heavy storm with hail. I arrived at about 4:45 pm and stayed in the car (there was a lot of lightning around and some more rain). A couple of times I thought I heard faint honking, but didn’t see an eagle. At about 5:50 pm, I finally saw an eagle fly into a tree about 250 m from the nest. There was a lot of honking – it sounded like two to me but I could only see one in the dim light. It stayed in the tree, so I don’t know how the nesting is going.

img_2663-small

The development is going full speed ahead. There are now seven partly-built houses on the eagle side of the nearest street to the nest, and many more houses on the other side of the street and on adjoining streets.

Wednesday 28 September 2016

I decided to drive by the nest this morning, although I mostly avoid it during the week. I didn’t see the Sea-Eagles, but saw several vehicles driving up and down 200-400 m from the nest.

img_2723-small

img_2729-small

I saw the Wedge-tailed eagle pair circling up high for the first time since early July. I wonder if they are nesting, or if their nesting territory is being destroyed too?

img_2732-small

I saw lots of tradies working on the various houses – including on the roofs, where the eagles would clearly see them – and heard chainsaws and other loud tools.

img_2742-small

img_2744-small

Another thing: I realised last week that a new road is being made and it looks as if it leads towards the nest. I thought the nest was just inside private land on one side but I don’t know all the boundaries. The poor, poor Sea-Eagles; it will be a miracle if the nesting attempt is successful. I’m so afraid there is a baby -or two- and it will be frightened out of the nest prematurely and die.

Friday 30 September 2016

I’ve been looking at a map and I’ve worked out that where I park is about 250 m from the nest tree. The nest tree is about 25 m inside a fence on the boundary of private land. The closest houses being built are about 200 m from the nest tree and heavy machinery is driving up and down the land all daylight hours 5 days a week between about 50 and 200 m from the nest. The eagles used to have it really good: they are only about 400 m from the start of a body of water and there were extensive grasslands, farmlands and swamps that were probably relatively undisturbed.

 

Productive nests

2009 – Whistling kites

In 2009, I discovered three nests in a tall eucalypt in a small park. At that time, I often saw two whistling kites in the surrounding trees. I did not see them in the nest, but on one visit I saw a dead one on the ground below. Looking back, I think it must have been a baby that fell or couldn’t fly.

P1050506email

P1050516email

2010 – White-faced herons

In 2010, I was amazed to see baby white-faced herons in the left nest, which is lower than the two shown above. They are very well camouflaged.

P1230162 small

P1210541 small

2012 – Brown falcon

In 2012, I went to check if the whistling kites were there. I suddenly got buzzed by an angry brown falcon!

IMG_2789 - Copy

Looking up, I saw a brown falcon in the top nest!

IMG_1520 - Copy

2015 – Brown goshawks

In 2015, I went to check the nest. To my amazement, two baby brown goshawks were hopping around in the branches around it.

IMG_1654 small

IMG_1630 small

2016 – No nests

Last weekend, I visited the park and was devastated to see no nests in the tree. I was afraid that people had cut the tree down. There were two stumps, and I wasn’t sure exactly where the tree had been.

IMG_1571 small

I took a photo of the nearest intact tree. Comparing the branches to the ones in the top photo, I think this one was the nest tree. There is no trace of the three nests, so I can only assume that the superstorm last year took them out.

IMG_1572 small

 

 

 

NEO 2015

Although I haven’t taken a photo every day, I am delighted to welcome a new cockatiel into our home.When Sparkles was nearly ready to leave the box, Num and Jo Jo started mating again.

Tuesday 8 September 2015 -1-5 pm. FIRST EGG! Both started incubating immediately

Thursday 10 September  2015 -1-7 pm. SECOND EGG!

Tuesday 15 September 2015 – THIRD EGG!

Friday 25 September 2015 – Middle of the day. FOURTH EGG!

Sunday 27 September 2015 – FIFTH EGG!

Tuesday 29 September 2015 – SIXTH EGG!

6 eggs IMG_2062

That was all, thank goodness! They’re so spread out, and Jo Jo was still feeding Sparkles on Tuesday 22 September 2015.

Thursday 1 October 2015 – Day 1 – A baby hatched! It could be the first egg 1 (late) or the second egg. The broken egg shell is visible behind Jo Jo.

IMG_2074

Friday 2 October 2015 – Day 2 – I got a good look at the baby.

IMG_2090

Sunday 4 October 2015 – Day 4 – Baby appears to be growing nicely.

IMG_2092 small

Monday 5 October 2015 – Day 5

IMG_2116 small

Wednesday 7 October 2015 – Day 7 – Baby has a huge crop

IMG_2118 small

Saturday 10 October 2015 – Day 10 – Sparkles has jumped back into the box with the baby. This would never happen in nature.

IMG_2143

Sunday 11 October 2015 – Day 11 – Baby Neo has grown a lot. I was worried because he seemed to be hanging his head a lot, but he is still with us.

IMG_2186 small

Monday 12 October 2015 – Day 12 – I can see Neo’s yellow crest starting.

IMG_2195 small

Tuesday 13 October 2015 – Day 13 –

IMG_2204 small

Wednesday 14 October 2015 – Day 14 – Neo’s eyes are red! He could be a lutino, like Jo Jo. There are pin feathers on the wings.

IMG_2214 small

Thursday 15 October 2015 – Day 15 – The bright yellow crop is much more visible.

IMG_2223 small

Friday 16 October 2015 – Day 16 – Yellow pin feathers are clearly visible.

IMG_2241 small

Sunday 18 October 2015 – Day 18 – Neo definitely looks like a lutino. All feathers are yellow or white. During the night a baby seemed to have hatched, but we found it dead and buried under the shavings.

Neo Day 18 IMG_2252 - Copy

Tuesday 20 October 2015 – Day 20 Neo’s feathers are starting to unfurl and there are faint orange spots on his cheeks (since yesterday)

12096428_10205132417259140_2029048002393615746_n

Wednesday 21 October 2015 Day 21 Neo’s orange spots are easy to see now

Neo 211015

Thursday 22 October 2015 Day 22 Lots of feathers are unfurling on Neo’s wings, back and tail. I think even the last egg is now too far past its hatch time

Neo 221015

Friday 23 October 2015 Day 23 feathers are unfurling more, eggs are scattered, I think the parents haven’t been too worried about them for the last couple of days. Time’s up

Neo 231015

Wednesday 28 October 2015 Day 28 Neo almost looks like a real cockatiel; he’s Jo Jo’s mini me

Neo 281015

Thursday 29 October 2015 Day 29 Neo is doing lots of wing stretching and his feet are getting stronger. Hard to write this with Sparkles perched on my finger

Neo 291015

Saturday 31 October 2015 Day 31 Neo has the lutino bald spot

Neo 311015

Saturday 31 October 2015 Day 31 Neo enjoys getting out and being cuddled
Neo 311015_2

 

 

Sparkles 2015

In March 2015, my husband made a superb nest box for our cockatiels Birdie Num Num – aka Num – and Jo Jo.

IMG_1272

Num and Jo Jo looked at the box when it was first attached to their cage, then seemed to ignore it for a few months. Then they started going in and making the nest bowl.

Friday 10 July 2015 – Jo Jo put a foot on Num’s back

Saturday 11 July 2015 – Jo Jo put a foot on Num’s back again

Sunday 12 July 2015 – Jo Jo put two feet on Num’s back

Tuesday 14 July 2015 – They mated at 2 pm! And later in the day

Thursday 16 July 2015 – They mated at 7:45 am and 4:30 pm

Friday 17 July 2015 – Before 2 pm. FIRST EGG! Both started incubating immediately

Sunday 19 July 2015 – By 4 pm. SECOND EGG!

Tuesday 21 July 2015 – Middle of the day. THIRD EGG!

Thursday 23 July 2015 – Middle of the day. FOURTH EGG!

… and that was all; a clutch of 4. The chicks will take 18-21 days to hatch, if the eggs are viable.

Friday 7 August 2015 – Day 0 – here are the 4 eggs. I didn’t get a chance to photograph them as they were laid because Num and Jo Jo sat on them all the time. I’m worried that they are unviable because today is 21 days for the first egg. Fingers crossed

IMG_1693 small

Saturday 8 August 2015 – Day 1 – a chick hatched before 7 am, 22 days after the first egg was laid. We are thrilled and so are Num and Jo Jo. The chick has quite a lot of bright yellow down

IMG_1714 crop

Sunday 9 August 2015 – Day 2 – Baby is noticeably stronger and can hold its head up for a little while. Both parents are feeding it. It can’t see yet

IMG_1717 crop

Monday 10 August 2015 – Day 3 – Baby is doing well. Terrible photo because it’s a dark day

IMG_1732 crop

Tuesday 11 August 2015 – Day 4 – No photo – parents didn’t come out together all day

Wednesday 12 August 2015 – Day 5 – Baby is being very well fed and has a huge crop. It’s growing quickly. It has cute little wings

IMG_1744 crop

IMG_1747 small

Thursday 13 August 2015 – Day 6 – Baby is growing stronger

IMG_1777 crop

Friday 14 August 2015 – Day 7 – Baby is so much bigger. The crop is scary-huge. I can’t believe it’s been a week. It doesn’t look as if the other eggs are viable

P1290085 crop

Saturday 15 August 2015 – Day 8 – Baby is doing well. Jo Jo is really pulling his weight. Num Num seems to sit in the box on Baby at night and Jo Jo sleeps on the top perch, then he takes a long shift in the morning

IMG_1799 crop

IMG_1805 crop

Sunday 16 August 2015 – Day 9 – I’ve just realised that Baby is going to have grey wings like Num (mum). Jo Jo is completely yellow. I think I can see pink pin feathers on the ends of the wings.

IMG_1808 crop

Monday 17 August 2015 – Day 10 – I can see a teeny yellow crest!  I can definitely see cream and grey pin feathers on the the wings. I think the eyes are starting to open.

P1290109 crop

P1290101 crop

Tuesday 18 August 2015 – Day 11 – Baby has a splendid yellow crest. The pin feathers have grown longer and there are more rows of them.

P1290120 crop

Wednesday 19 August 2015 – Day 12 – just look at Baby’s crest! It’s bright gold. I can see that there is grey on the upper back as well. I can just see the spiky pin feathers on the tail. The eyes are well open now. Baby is so big it has to lie beside Jo Jo

P1290165 crop

P1290168 crop

P1290154 crop

Thursday 20 August 2015 – Day 13 – Crest is more obvious, pin feathers on wings are longer and have more than one colour on them. There are pin feathers across the upper back and tiny ones under the chin. Baby is walking around a bit, but finding it difficult because it has such a big belly.

P1290184 crop

Friday 21 August 2015 – Day 14 – There are pin feathers all over now, including the sides of the face. The crest has a nice peak.

P1290207 crop

P1290213 crop

Saturday 22 August 2015 – Day 15 – Pin feathers are longer, Baby is taller

P1290236 crop

Sunday 23 August 2015 – Day 16 – We’ve removed the aspen shavings so Baby doesn’t eat them. He’s walking around much more. The white feathers at the ends of the wings are starting to unfurl. We can hold Baby – he’s so warm. This evening we removed the eggs. It’s 10 days past the 21 days for the last egg.

P1290247 crop

P1290254 crop

Monday 24 August 2015 – Day 17 – It looks as if Baby’s grey is going to be charcoal, not soft grey like Num’s. Charcoal wing feathers are starting to unfurl and I think I can see the orange cheek! We’re starting to hold Baby. I tried to get a sharp photo, but I still won’t use flash.

P1290266 crop

P1290273 crop

P1290277 crop

IMG_8702 small

Tuesday 25 August 2015 – Day 18 – Baby sometimes hisses and puts wings out when I open the box, but doesn’t mind being held. Num and Jo Jo don’t seem to mind us holding baby either. More wing feathers are unfurling. It looks as if Baby will have light and dark grey in the wings.  I think Num is removing the waxy coatings so the feathers can unfurl. Baby is standing up more; the belly and crop don’t look as big now.

P1290288 crop

P1290295crop

Here are Mum -Birdie Num Num aka Num – and Dad – Jo Jo. Num is a pied with soft grey wings with white edges and a grey barred tail. Jo Jo is a lutino and is pure lemon with no grey. Interesting to see all the charcoal grey appear on Baby! Neither parent has grey on the face.

IMG_3145 small

Wednesday 26 August 2015 – Day 19 – Baby is enjoying looking out the window now. Num is still preening the pin feathers. More feathers are unfurling, towards the front of the wings and on the tail, which is getting longer. The wings are really long when stretched out.

P1290318 crop

P1290320 crop

P1290330 crop

Thursday 27 August 2015 – Day 20 – Baby’s feathers are unfurling nicely. She seems to have a lemon wash through the white on her wings. We’ve decided to call her ‘she’ because we saw one banded feather in her tail (wild type females have bands on their tail feathers). Her tail has lemon feathers in the centre (the future long ones) and charcoal feathers on each side of them.

P1290344 crop

Friday 28 August 2015 – Day 21 – More and more feathers are unfurling, on the upper back, chest and crest. She can raise her crest and is stretching her wings out. She has some little stripey feathers near her legs too.

P1290347 crop

Saturday 29 August 2015 – Day 22 – Meet Tina Sparkles! More of the feathers on her upper back have unfurled and her tail is longer. Her crest feathers are unfurling and her crest is taller. The yellow and white feathers under her chin and on her upper breast are unfurling.

P1290351 crop

P1290354 crop

Sunday 30 August 2015 – Day 23 – Sparkles has a lot more feathers now, but Num sometimes tugs them out roughly. Sparkles has some stripy feathers at the tops of her legs and a yellow collar and grey breast.She can grip around a finger, although she’s slow to change legs. She’s starting to walk a bit more. She flaps her wings really quickly sometimes.

P1290359 small

P1290367 small

P1290369 small

Monday 31 August 2015 – Day 24 – Sparkles looks like a real cockatiel now! Her crest is fluffy, most of her feathers are unfurled and she is just exquisite. Her legs are getting stronger and she is practising flapping her wings and nibbling on things.

P1290382 crop

Tuesday 1 September 2015 – Day 25 – Sparkles looks as if she’s close in size to her parents – her head and body – but her tail is much shorter. She’s flapping her wings a lot and I keep finding the ladder knocked down in the box. Tonight when she was out Num and Jo Jo looked as if they were calling her to fly. They kept doing short flights, mostly together, from the lounge to the cage and they were talking to her and she was talking to them. It was like the galahs but the urgency isn’t there yet. Num and Jo Jo mated yesterday and today – Spring is here!

P1290393 crop

Wednesday 2 September 2015 – Day 26 – I walked out into the lounge room to check on Sparkles and she had climbed up to the entrance hole! While I was holding her she flapped her wings like crazy and made a nice cool breeze. Num and Jo Jo mated 3 or 4 times today and Num looked like she was trying to make a nest bowl. She was pulling at the paper towel in the nest box.

P1290396 crop

Thursday 3 September 2015 – Day 27 – I decided to take a photo of Sparkles in her box because she’ll soon leave it forever. Her wings are long, although her tail isn’t yet. She is gripping better with her feet.

P1290410 crop

Friday 4 September 2015 – Day 28 – Sparkles has started investigating things with her beak and tongue so I gave her some millet. She seemed to know how to eat straight away. I gave her some fresh grass seeds too. Sparkles balance has improved. she perches well on my finger. Num and Jo Jo are continuing to mate and arrange the paper in the box.

P1290422 crop

P1290427 crop

Saturday 5 September 2015 – Day 29 – Sparkles spent her first night out of the box in the cage with her parents last night! She did a few short flights yesterday and today. The day before she slipped off the box and fluttered to the floor. She loves perching on our fingers.

P1290441 crop

Thank you for your interest in Sparkles. From now on, I’ll just post an occasional photo, as Sparkles won’t change in appearance.

Tuesday 8 September 2015 – Num just laid an egg!!!!!!!!

ROSELLAS 2015

30 May 2015

Looking promising for 2015! Eastern rosellas, with galahs sitting only about 2 m away near their box

IMG_4252 small

29 October 2015

The rosellas are still around their box. I heard their babies yesterday, but still haven’t seen any.

IMG_0878 small

Friday 13 November 2015

Eastern rosellas have moved into their box! Here’s Mrs Rosella

IMG_7922 small

and here’s Mr Rosella

IMG_7932 small

 

Sunday 15 November 2015

I saw one of the baby eastern rosellas!

IMG_1412

Sunday 15 November 2015

Here is my baby eastern rosella with mum on the roof. This photo shows the yellow bill of the baby.

IMG_1441

Sunday 15 November 2015

Here is my baby eastern rosella with mum on the roof and dad on a branch nearby.

IMG_1429

 

 

 

Galahs 2015

27 March, 2015

It’s that time of year! Mr and Mrs Galah were sitting with their new box at first light

IMG_2511 small

5 April 2015

Our galahs have a wonderful new nest box for 2015. It has two baffles, on the west and north walls, to stop the box heating up so quickly. They took to it straight away.

IMG_2641 small

3 June 2015

Mr and Mrs Galah are loving their new box. They have been housekeeping for several days.

IMG_4466 small

27 September 2015

First time in 13 years that rainbow lorikeets have looked at our nesting boxes. Yet they’re in the yard every day. I saw eastern rosellas inside 6 1/2 weeks ago so they may finish nesting in the next couple of weeks. I’d love to have rainbow lorikeets nesting too.

Galahs 270915.jpg

25 October 2015

A little while ago I got my first glimpse of our galah baby 1/2015 aka Kevin. I wonder what they think the first time they drag themselves up to the entrance hole and suddenly see all the colour and movement outside.

IMG_0686 small

29 October 2015

I saw Mrs Galah munching on wattle seeds from the Queensland Silver Wattle I grew from seed.

IMG_0896 small

29 October 2015

Here is my newest precious baby, Kevin.

IMG_0882 small

31 October 2015

Kevin is looking good!

IMG_1110 email

31 October 2015

We know there are at least 2 babies because Mrs Galah just fed at least one baby in the box while we could see Kevin looking out. Here she is pushing past him to get out.

IMG_1132 small

31 October 2015

Beautiful Kevin

IMG_1098 small

12 November 2015

Presenting Baby 2/2015, Sheila.

IMG_1292

Friday 13 November 2015

Here is our first baby for 2015, Kevin, asking Mr Galah for a feed. Something amazing happened this year – there was such a big gap between Kevin leaving and Sheila leaving that Kevin returned to the nest tree with Mr and Mrs Galah! We saw the parents feed Kevin on a branch, then Sheila in the box and Kevin did some demo flights to show Sheila how to fly. And when Sheila left the box this morning, it was a group of 4, not three (Mr Galah, Mrs Galah, Kevin and Sheila) that flew away together.

Galahs 141115

Friday 13 November 2015

Here is our second baby for 2015, Sheila, who flew away at 6:32 am today. I haven’t seen Mr and Mrs Galah since or heard them feeding. They’re not sleeping at the box tonight, so it looks as if we only have two babies this year.

Galahs 141115_2

Friday 13 November 2015

This is a first – Mr Galah, Mrs Galah and sibling Kevin all waiting for Sheila to take her first flight (which she did 2 mins after this was taken)

Galahs 141115_3