White-bellied Sea-Eagle nest 2 2017

Monday 24 April 2017

I went to visit nest 2 for the first time in 2017. When I crossed onto the grassland adjacent to the nest tree, I was met with a most horrific sight. There were white markers all over the land, with lot numbers written on them. I paced the distance from the nearest one to the nest tree: it was a mere 30 m.

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I looked towards the grassy slope that was my other access to the nest tree. A smooth graded road is now there.

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I thought this nest was safe. What are people thinking? They will drive another pair of White-bellied Sea-Eagles  – a Vulnerable species in NSW – away from their nest, right before/at nesting time. If this degree of development is being carried out all over the state, I can’t see the species lasting for very long. Needless to say, I didn’t see the eagles.

White-bellied Sea-Eagle nest 1 2017

Tuesday 10 January 2017

I haven’t been to Nest 1 for a long time but decided today to see how the development is progressing. The sloping land now has kerbed bitumen roads that I can drive along. It even has street lights and trees on the nature strips. There are two roads approximately evenly spaced between the dirt track 60 m from the nest and the road that I used to park on 330 m from the nest. I drove up to the place I used to walk to and hide.

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There are numbered lots all over the land. I think my hiding places will be people’s backyards. From what I can see, the back fences will be almost at the dirt track, only 60 m from the nest. I don’t see how Sea-Eagles could ever nest there again.

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Friday 28 April 2017

I went for a walk near sunset to see if the eagles were roosting. I didn’t see any sign of them. A new fence has been put up. More houses are being constructed in the same street – at the same distance from the nest – as last year. There are none closer yet. The roads are complete and the heavy machinery has all been moved to a site a few hundred metres away. I hope the lull in the noise and disturbance doesn’t cause the eagles to try to nest again, because they will be driven out when the house building  starts. I’m worried because it’s almost May and I saw them mating in June last year. I just hope they have another nest somewhere.

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Saturday 13 May 2017

On a whim, I drove to the nest after the sun had set today. I felt sad to see the nest and started to walk down the hill. I looked back and got a huge shock: in the dim light I was almost certain I could see the two Sea-Eagles roosting beside the nest! I didn’t have my camera, so used my phone, which makes things appear smaller than in real life. The photo is dismal, but I’m sure at least one was there.

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The developers have now completely fenced off my access from two streets at the top. The ground is being prepared for more damn houses.

I was so happy to see the Sea-Eagles, but I hope they don’t put their effort into nesting there, because they’ll only be driven away again when the house building gets going.

Friday 2 June 2017

I arrived at 4:30 pm and saw one adult Sea-Eagle roosting to the left of the nest. Although houses haven’t been built any closer to the nest than last year, the foundations for one are being made, and it’s as close to the nest as it’s possible to be (about 30 m).

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Diggers were working just uphill of this site.

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The Sea-Eagle flew away at 5:13 pm – 18 mins after sunset – and landed in a guard tree closer to the water. Either it or the other adult flew back at 5:15 pm and went right into the nest, out of sight.

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A car drove past me and the eagle flew out again, so I left. I only saw one adult at a time, so I don’t know if the pair is there.

Monday 12 June 2017

I accidentally deleted some photos I took about a week ago. I saw the pair at the nest, then flying to the guard tree, honking and mating in the late afternoon.

Today I arrived about 4:00 pm and couldn’t see the eagles. At 4:26 pm the pair flew in together and it looked as if the first one had something in its talons. I got a couple of photos of the second one landing.

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They both sat in the nest and appeared to be eating.

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One of the eagles flew up onto a higher branch and wiped its beak on the branch.

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Some people walked past my car, looked at the nest then walked towards it. One of the eagles flew out with the prey, which looks like a fish (tail towards me).

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The other sea-eagle stayed on the branch for 15 minutes, flew down into the nest – disappearing from sight for a minute – then perched on a lower branch on the other side of the nest.

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24 June 2017

I arrived at 4:37 pm and saw one eagle on a branch to the left of the nest. After a while it flew into a tree to the right of the nest.

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A little more had been done on the house site.

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I heard alarm calls and saw the other eagle flying towards the nest. It had plant material in its talons.

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The first eagle flew into the nest. They sat there looking out for a while then both disappeared into it entirely out of sight.

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One flew up to the high branch on the right and after it had been there for a while, I drove off. I glanced back and thought I saw the other pop its head up. Such big birds are surprisingly difficult to see without the camera.

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WHITE-BELLIED SEA-EAGLE NEST 2 NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2016

Wednesday 2 November 2016

Today I entered the nest area the bottom way at about 4:30 pm AEDT. One adult flushed from the nest or nest tree. It flew around me but did not cluck. It went, so I briefly went close to the nest tree to take some photos. I thought there may have been something in the top right of the nest, but I think it was just a wide strip of bark because it did not move.

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Thursday 10 November 2016

Today I arrived at the nest area at 5:00 pm AEDT. I was tired, so I decided just to walk towards the nest in full view and have a quick look for a juvenile. I was shocked that no sea-eagle saw me and flew over to me. This is the first time since I found the nest that I haven’t seen them or they haven’t seen me. I’m afraid they’ve gone and their nest has failed like nest 1. I could not see anything in the nest.

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Friday 11 November 2016

Today I entered the nest area the top way at 1:00 pm AEDT, walking in the open as I expected to confirm that the sea-eagles were no longer there. I was looking down for snakes when I saw a shadow. I looked up and saw a beautiful sea-eagle!

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I walked towards the nest tree. The adult circled me a couple of times fairly low but without clucking then left. I photographed the nest from about 100 m, then suddenly realised that there was a bump that may not have been a bough. I zoomed in and was ecstatic to see a juvenile white-bellied sea-eagle!

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I got several photos from behind a bush so as not to scare it, then moved further away to behind the trunk of a large gum tree. It stood up!

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It stayed so still I’m not sure that people looking at the nest would even notice it, even though it was so big. Its colour blended in with the branches and nest.

I walked over to check out the black kite nest and whistling kite nest, keeping a tree between me and the nest tree. Just as I decided to go home, I saw one of the parents up very high. It came over towards where I was and slowly got lower. It was carrying something long, but I couldn’t identify it – it may have been an eel or a stick.

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It landed on a bare branch and I think it pulled the thing up to eat it. Look at the talons!

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As I left, I saw the juvenile again (there appears to be one only). One parent flew around me fairly low and the other stayed very high.

Tuesday 15 November 2016

I visited at about 4:00 pm AEDT. The juvenile was standing on the nest. I took a quick look and left.

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Thursday 17 November 2016

I visited at about 3:30 pm AEDT. The juvenile was standing still on the nest. I took some photos and left. I saw one adult on a guard roost.

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Monday 21 November 2016

I crept down through the bushes (it’s so hard when the fallen leaves crackle so loudly) and saw an awesome sight: an adult on the nest with the juvenile!

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It flew away quite soon after this, but didn’t acknowledge me, so I don’t think it saw me.

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Thursday 24 November 2016

I arrived via the bottom way and noticed a thickened part of the tree. I suddenly had a feeling the juvenile had branched … and it had!! It was a couple of metres to the left of the nest.

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Friday 25 November 2016

I went back again to check that the juvenile was still okay. It was in the tree, but lower; about 3-4 m below the nest.

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The parents weren’t there, so I managed to get under a small tree and lie belly down. After about 10 minutes an adult flew in and landed near the top of the nest tree.

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Although I knew where the adult and juvenile were, I still thought they were incredibly hard to see. A person could easily miss seeing them although they are such big birds.

The juvenile did a poo, although it can’t be seen in the photo.

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It also had a stretch.

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I took some photos while the sulphur-crested cockatoos were screeching. I must have tilted the camera up and it reflected the sun or something because the adult suddenly flew over to me (after more than an hour of not noticing me). I left immediately.

Monday 28 November 2016

I didn’t visit in the weekend, although I thought that the juvenile may leave and I wouldn’t know where he was (I’m going to say he, although I don’t know the gender). I couldn’t see him on the nest or in the nest tree, but saw him on a tree that was about 50 m from the nest tree, about 10 m up.

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I hid behind a tree and watched a while. I saw him do a poo, then fly!!!!!!

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He flew in a slow semi circle behind the nest tree then landed in a taller eucalypt in denser bush.

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He was swooped by a couple of magpies.

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He flew again, down behind the bush behind the nest tree. I don’t know where he landed.

I drove around to the development on that side. I couldn’t see the nest tree and there looked like there was enough bush for an eagle to hide in. I don’t think people would walk from that side over to the nest tree. I saw one adult flying over the trees. I hope the juvenile is okay. He looked like a strong flyer, for a beginner.

Thursday 1 December 2016

I didn’t dare go for a walk because storms were threatening. Instead, I drove to the new development on the other side and saw an adult sea-eagle fly over the trees, maybe towards a place I used to go to see sea-eagles. I realised people can see the nest from there.

Tuesday 6 December 2016

I walked in the bottom way in full view. I didn’t see any sea-eagles so turned to leave. I thought I may have seen a glimpse of a sea-eagle (the juvenile?) flying from a tree about 30 m from the nest tree into the trees behind. I couldn’t be sure. About 5 mins later an adult sea-eagle flew straight towards the nest tree without acknowledging me.

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It landed in the top of the nest tree and was still there when I left.

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Friday 9 December 2016

I walked in the top way in full view, at about 3:20 pm AEDT. I saw one adult sea-eagle straight away. There may have been 2 but I only saw one at any given time. I didn’t see the juvenile. I thought I saw it, then realised I was looking at  a wedge-tailed eagle! I thought I saw it again, then realised I was looking at a second wedge-tailed eagle. The adult sea-eagle was not impressed, and dived at them, defending the nest tree area.

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I also saw the carapace of an eastern long-necked turtle under the tree the juvenile was in when I first saw it out of the nest tree.

 

WHITE-BELLIED SEA-EAGLE NEST 1 NOVEMBER 2016

Saturday 12 November 2016

Today at about 6:40 pm AEDT, I visited the nest, even though I have not seen the adults visit it for many weeks. There were diggings for roads/houses right up to the fence, about 60 m from the nest tree.

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I wandered down towards the swamp, and as I turned back I saw one sea-eagle in a tall gum tree (top right just after it forks on the bottom fork). I had not seen it fly in and did not see the other. However, for such a big bird it was hard to see in the foliage, so the other may have been in another tree.

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As I left, I looked back and saw this gorgeous sight.

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Sunday 13 November 2016

I had a brief look at about 1:00 pm AEDT but there were no birds in the nest or surrounds.

Thursday 24 November 2016

I stopped in at about 6:30 pm but there were no birds. A whistling kite was flying near the nest.

 

Comment

The White-bellied Sea-Eagle has recently been listed as a vulnerable species in NSW. This is why, this is why …

http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/threatenedspecies/determinations/PDWhitebelliSeaeagleVS.pdf

http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/threatenedSpeciesApp/profile.aspx?id=20322

Galah nest box 2016

Friday 29 April 2016.

Mr and Mrs Galah were at the box for several hours. They entered the box and made loud scratching sounds. One rubbed its face on the baffle facing north.

Monday 15 August 2016

Mr and Mrs Galah slept at the box.

Sunday 4 September 2016 – Chick(s) first calling

I heard our baby galahs for the first time! This is only two weeks and 6 days after I noticed Mr and Mrs Galah sleeping at the box, so they must have laid eggs a lot earlier (at least a week).

Wednesday 19 October 2016 – Norbert looked out

After work today, we saw Norbert, our first baby galah for 2016 (at about 4:30 pm). It is 6 weeks 3 days since I first heard them. He looked big and strong, so I think he may have climbed up a day or more ago, and we didn’t see him.

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Thursday 20 October 2016 – Saphira looked out!

This morning, while we were looking at Norbert, we saw Saphira, our second baby galah (at about 7:00 am).  It is 6 weeks 4 days since I first heard them.

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On Thursday evening, Norbert called to his parents and looked like he was thinking of flying.

Friday 21 October 2016

On Friday morning, and Friday evening, Norbert was definitely calling, and Mr and Mrs Galah were calling him and doing demonstration flights. He decided to stay, and looked beautiful in the evening light.

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Saturday 22 October 2016 – Norbert left the box! Puff looked out!

At 6:45 am AEDT (05:45 AEST), after only two minutes of calling and demonstration flights by his parents, Norbert flew out of the box. He had a little round tummy and trailing legs with curled claws. He flew to the south east, in a straight line without dipping down. Both parent swooped down and escorted him, one on either side. Good luck little one, I hope you have found a safe place out of the rain today.

Sunrise was at 6:04 am AEDT (05:04 AEST) today, so Norbert flew 41 minutes after sunrise.

10 minutes later, Saphira looked out, then 15 minutes after that we saw a third baby, Puff, for the first time!  It is 6 weeks 6 days since I first heard them.

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7:15 am Mr Galah came back alone, stayed for 5 mins then left.

7:30 am Mr Galah came back alone, stayed for a few seconds then left.

7:45 am Mr Galah came back and gave Saphira a feed from the perch.

The Common Mynas are a serious problem. They are harassing the babies and the parents. They sit on branches only 1 metre above the box, land on the lid and even stand on the perches and look in. I saw one land on the lid with a feather in its beak, as if it wanted to put nesting material right on top of the babies (and they have done that to our baby rosellas in the past). The brand new rosella box they got into was taken down last Sunday, and here they still are, 6 days later, harassing the galahs.

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It started raining heavily around 8:00 am. I’m worried about Norbert. Saphira decided to stretch out of the box and investigate the rain.

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Mrs Galah came back sometime after 8:00 am. I saw her feed Saphira while standing on the perches at 11:10 am. Puff was up there asking for food, but Mrs Galah only fed Saphira.

The night is very cold (80C). I’m worried about Norbert out by himself in the open without the box and his siblings to keep him warm. Mr and Mrs Galah slept here.

Sunday 23 October 2016

Saphira looks good and strong. Tonight was 70C.

Monday 24 October 2016

Saphira can lean right our but doesn’t seem as if she’s in a hurry to leave. Tonight was 70C.

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Saphira is calling but didn’t leave morning or afternoon. Tonight it’s warmer – 13oC.

Wednesday 26 October 2016 – Saphira flew

Saphira continued to call this morning but didn’t leave.

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Puff popped up every so often.

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Saphira got a pre-flight grooming from Mr Galah.

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Our 2nd galah baby for 2016, Saphira, flew away with her parents at 6:35 pm AEDT (17:35 AEST) tonight. Sunset was at 7:14 pm AEDT (18:14 AEST), so she flew 39 mins before sunset. We could see her for quite a while, as she headed east south-east,  flew a big sweeping curve around to the south then due west. She probably flew at least 1 km on her first flight. All the best my little one; I hope you’re cuddled up to Norbert in the creche while your mum and dad are sleeping here with Puff.

Tonight was a good choice – the minimum temperaure is 18oC

Mr and Mrs Galah came back at 7:15 pm. they fed Puff inside the box and 7:20 pm and 7:47 pm then slept at the box.

Thursday 27 October 2016 – Puff flew

I didn’t expect Puff to fly for several days. I had only seen her face and little white cap in the hole, even this morning. But when I came home from work at about 6 pm, she was sitting right up in the hole.

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At about 6:10 she gave her first ‘I want to fly calls’ (quack quack), and Mr and Mrs Galah answered and did a few short flights in front of her. It only lasted  couple of minutes and then they flew off. But when they came back at about 6:45 pm it was full on. Puff called so loudly and excitedly, and the parents did heaps of demo flights,; short ones in the tree and long slow horizontal circles even behind the box where Puff could not see them, but could hear them. One landed in a gum tree visible to the west and Mrs Galah landed on our roof.

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Our 3rd galah baby for 2016, Puff, flew away with her parents at 6:59 pm AEDT (17:59 AEST) tonight. Sunset was at 7:15 pm AEDT (18:15 AEST), so she flew 16 mins before sunset. She flew south-east, then flew a big sweeping curve around to the south then due west (almost the same path as Saphira took). We lost sight of her at the same big gum trees south of us where we lost sight of the others. She flew very strongly for a 3rd baby. Goodbye little Puff; the yard will be very empty without you all.

Mr and Mrs Galah came back at 7:20 pm, Mr Galah had a bite to eat then they slept on the perches of the box! I saw them there at 10 pm. They were gone on Friday morning, but they are mostly gone before sunrise.

Friday 28 October 2016

Mr and Mrs Galah came in for food and Mrs Galah slept alone at the box.

Saturday 29 October 2016

Mr and Mrs Galah came in for food and water. We took the box down after checking there were no more babies.

 

White-bellied Sea-Eagle Nest 2 July 2016

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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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White-bellied Sea-Eagle nest 1 June 2016

Monday 13 June 2016

Today I 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.

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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.
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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.

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

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Thursday 16 June 2016

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

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Friday 24 June 2016

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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2012 – Brown falcon

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

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

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Monday 5 October 2015 – Day 5

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

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

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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.

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

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Tuesday 13 October 2015 – Day 13 –

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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

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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

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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

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

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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

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

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