White-bellied Sea-Eagle nest 1 August 2016

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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.


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).


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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The other one popped up.

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And then one left.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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It eventually landed above the nest.

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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!

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

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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!

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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.

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

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…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.

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