White-bellied Sea-Eagle nest 1 July-December 2017

1 July 2017

I visited the nest at 4:19 pm for 30 minutes, but did not see the sea-eagles.

17 July 2017

I arrived about 10 minutes before sunset (4:58 pm). I saw a single eagle fly from the swamp area straight to the nest. It may have had a stick or leaf in its talons.

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It seemed to crouch down but its back stayed in view. After 3 minutes it flew back to the swamp (5:01pm). I can’t discount that it was a changeover of parents on the nest, but I only saw one bird the whole time.

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21 July 2017

I visited the nest from 4:40 pm until sunset. I saw more house foundations being made, closer to the nest in between the 2 new roads. There was also a crane, water truck and excavator. I didn’t see the sea-eagles.

4 August 2017

I arrived at about 4:30 pm. I was shocked at how many new house foundations and fenced lots there were closer to the nest, in the middle section between the 2 new roads. Luckily, in the closest section they haven’t progressed the one house (which has plastic ribbons flapping nastily) or started any more.

A single sea-eagle arrived. It may have been holding something.

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It seemed to sit a while then leave after 4 minutes. I couldn’t tell if it was a changeover.

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Friday 18 August 2017

I arrived at 4:35 pm on a very windy day. At 4:45 pm an eagle flew to the nest. I think it was holding some smallish food in its right foot.

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The other eagle popped up out of the nest.

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At 4:48 pm the first eagle flew out of the nest, did a small circuit and landed back in the nest.

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It was being chased by a magpie-lark.

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The eagles appeared to be standing because I could see their backs. Their heads bobbed up as if they were eating. Every so often their wings came up as if they were being caught by the wind.

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The original one flew into a leafy tree to the right of the nest tree and stayed there for about 10 minutes. The one in the nest popped its head up every so often.

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The first one left at about 5 pm. It looked well fed. The other eagle settled back into the nest, out of sight.

Saturday 26 August 2017

I arrived at 4:32 pm and watched the nest from the car. Twice I heard one or both eagles but did not see them. Finally I saw them fly to a tree about 50 m from the nest tree at about 5:25 pm. They settled and appeared to bed down for the night. I  feel so sad for them. I don’t know what has happened but it was 15oC when I left at 5:45 pm  and getting colder. I don’t think eggs or chicks could survive for long without the parents.

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Thursday 14 September 2017

Time goes so quickly between visits. Today I visited for about an hour. At 5:38 pm I saw an eagle fly from the swamp in the direction of the nest. I think it landed in a tree about 50 m further into the private property from the nest tree.

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Soon after, I saw another fly in the same direction. I think they both went into one of the larger trees further in but it was almost dark and I couldn’t see them. They didn’t come over to the nest tree.

Friday 29 September 2017

Today I arrived at about 5:20 pm and at about 6:00 pm I saw one sea-eagle fly to the trees further in than the nest. At 6:05 pm I saw the other fly in with something in its talons. I don’t know if they are roosting in there or flying past. I stayed for another 10 minutes but didn’t see either one visit the nest.

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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 sea-eagles.

Monday 17 July 2017

I drove around the development that overlooks the nesting area. I could not locate the actual nest tree or see the birds flying. I did see another pair of raptors but could not identify them. It looks as if more of the land has been turned to soil/mud.

Wednesday 26 July 2017

I went to the eagle tree and saw more widespread clearing of the land.

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There’s no doubt that the developers are planning to cover all the available land with houses, irrespective of the nest right there. This time I found lot markers in the trees that are around and behind the nest tree. At the right of the photo below is the base of the nest tree (nearly half the photo) and in the middle to the left is a white lot marker with a pink ribbon around it.

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There was a lone bulldozer working. I didn’t see either sea-eagle.

Wednesday 16 August 2017

I walked down from the top entrance and there were no vehicles working on the site. The land was flat, smooth and dry.

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I saw 2 black kites, so I went over to the tree where they had attempted to nest last year. There was a small nest still there.

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They didn’t fly over to it but one was eating something red while on the wing.

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I saw a nankeen kestrel as well. After I had been there for an hour, I saw a white-bellied sea-eagle! It seemed to have something on its belly. I wonder if it is a brood patch. It flew over the area in general, including the nest tree, but didn’t land.

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Wednesday 30 August 2017

I arrived at about 4:55 pm and left at sunset at about 5:25 pm. I saw a whistling kite flying but no sea-eagles. I saw two lot markers about 27 m from the base of the nest tree on the cleared land.

A sea-eagle may have been in the nest, but the pair last year saw or heard me even if I was as quiet as I could possibly be, creeping through the bushes in full camo and more than 100 m away. They always flew straight over to me.

Wednesday 6 September 2017

I arrived at about 4:15 pm and left at about 5:10 pm. I didn’t see any sea-eagles but saw a pair of black kites around the tree they attempted to nest in last year. The site is quiet: no activity and all the heavy machinery is gone. Sulphur-crested cockatoos are nesting in the eagle tree.

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Tuesday 19 September 2017

I arrived around 4:00 pm and left at about 5:30 pm. I didn’t see any sea-eagles. There weren’t any vehicles or people on the site.

I saw the black kites in the tree in which they built the nest last year.

I also saw a pair of nankeen kestrels and I think they could be nesting in a tree not far from the black kite tree.

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Wednesday 22 November 2017

I went back a few weeks ago and was shocked to find I couldn’t get onto the site anymore at all. I went to my lower entry and the land was all dug up and trucks were working on it, right beside where the black kite nest was. I think I saw a black kite flying over the devastation. There was new built up soil from one end to the other.

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Today I went to the other side and looked across. I couldn’t see the nest tree so I don’t know if the developers have taken it out or if it is hidden from sight. There was no sign of the black kites and the soil goes right past their nest.

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The beautiful little nankeen kestrels that I thought were nesting in one of two trees in the middle of the site have had their trees – and maybe their eggs or chicks – removed.

I feel real pain and incredible sadness when I look at the site. If this is happening all over the country it won’t be long before many birds are finding it hard to breed at all.

 

White-bellied Sea-Eagle nest 1 January-June 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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12 March 2017

The developers have been working right beside the fence, only 30 m from the nest tree (top left).

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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

White-bellied Sea-Eagle Nest 2 October 2016

Wednesday 5 October 2016

As I walked towards the eagle nest, I saw a whistling kite flying, then the black kite in its nest. I can be 100 m away, hidden in a strip of remnant bushland full of lantana and she does not see me. I explored a different way of getting to the eagle nest, skirting along the bush then walking through it, staying inside and trying not to make the leaves crackle. I thought I had done it; I arrived under cover to a position 150 m away without being seen. However, an eagle suddenly appeared from behind me and obviously saw me (coincidence because it was going back to the nest?). Its belly looked a little grubby, I think from the nest. I left straight away and went back to look at the black kite nest. I saw both black kites flying around. One eagle flew over and there were some aerial battles with the eagle flipping upside down momentarily.

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While they were engaged, I slipped back to have a look at the eagle nest from a different place. I saw a bit of white. I was so far away – and my camera was doing its best – that while I think it looks like an eaglet, I can’t be sure.

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When I left, I went past the black kite nest again. As soon as I was back to my hiding spot 100 m away, the female got back on the nest.

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Thursday 6 October 2016

Today I just decided to have a look at the black kite nest. She was just sitting there, so I decided to try going deeper under cover to the eagle nest. I managed to arrive undetected and was thrilled when I saw an eagle land on the nest.

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It seemed to be checking or rearranging something.

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I risked a few photos while sulphur-crested cockatoos were screeching and kookaburras were laughing.

I went back to the black kite nest and watched for about an hour. I saw a swamp harrier, nankeen kestrel and 2 whistling kites sat in the tree 10 m in front of the black kite nest tree.

Tuesday 11 October 2016

Today, I crept through the bushes so carefully that I managed to get to a spot where I could see the nest (about 200  m away) without being seen. I arrived just after 4:00 pm and at 4:38 pm I suddenly noticed an eagle flying towards the nest at high speed, wings pulled in almost like a dive. It was carrying something large, which looks like a purple swamphen or similar but I cannot say for sure because my photo is not in focus.

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It landed in the nest and stood there – unfortunately mostly behind a branch – for more than 30 mins with its tail bobbing regularly. It could definitely have been feeding young.

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It went out of sight by 5:18 pm (40 mins after landing), and I didn’t see it leave, so it must have settled down into the nest. I left through the bush without attracting attention too!

Tuesday 18 October 2016

By very slow and careful walking through bush, I made it to a vantage point about 200 m from the nest without being seen. I was wedged in a lantana bush against a tree trunk. One sea-eagle was circling, but did not see me. I had been there for nearly an hour when I thought I saw a peregrine falcon. It is so far away, but looks more like a peregrine than a hobby to me.

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As I took a couple of photos, I suddenly noticed one of the sea-eagles and it noticed me. It flew straight towards me. I had been hidden for nearly an hour (first photo 3:57 pm, seen at 4:48 pm)!!! It circled my hiding spot and made a ‘cluck cluck cluck’ sound. I immediately showed myself and both sea-eagles circled me. I’m sure they are guarding an active nest. I walked away in full view so they could watch me go. My photos of the nest do not reveal any babies.

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One sea-eagle had a brush with a black kite.

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Thursday 20 October 2016

Today I sneaked down from the top access through the bushes. It’s very hard to walk quietly because of all the fallen leaves and twigs. Still, I was shocked to look up and see an eagle circling above the trees. They must have extremely good hearing. It kept above until I stopped at a tree then went to the guard tree for about 10 mins.

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I moved to under a better tree. After that I saw both flying around the general nest area but they didn’t seem to care about me. They went off then one came back and was being chased by a raven. I decided to let them see me leave and not wait for them to go back to the nest. btw I haven’t seen any chicks yet!

White-bellied Sea-Eagle nest 1 October 2016

Saturday 1 October 2016

I got to the nearest street at 6:50 am and stayed there in my car until 9:20 am (2 h 30 min). I just wanted to see if the eagles were still there. I didn’t see or hear the eagles all that time. Even more worrying, I saw a raven land in the nest for a minute or two.

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I saw a bird of prey flying above the nest and thought it must have been the Nankeen kestrel I’ve seen several times. When I checked the photo, I realised it was an Australian hobby.

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I went home thinking that the nesting had surely failed. I read some papers and watched some videos and learned that the parents may only visit a few times a day and only for a few minutes at a time when the babies are older and that some Sea-Eagles manage to nest successfully despite human disturbance and only small buffer zones around the nest tree eg only 50 m on one side.

I went back at 4:50 pm and set up a hide about 70 m from the nest. At about 5:30 pm  I saw one eagle fly over the nearest swamp and  land in a tree – where I could not see it – and honked. After a while it flew around the nest tree but did not land. It did not see me. It flew back over the swamp with a magpie right on it.

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I was wondering if something had happened to the other eagle. Suddenly, at about 5:50 pm, the other eagle flew past me from behind (without seeing me), at high speed and was also set upon by a magpie.

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This eagle was bigger – the female – and appeared to be well fed. The eagles flew around a bit together but neither was carrying food and neither went to the nest. I think they landed in a  tree closer to the water, about 100 m from the nest, but I couldn’t see them. So they are still around, but I don’t know if the nest is active.

Sunday 2 October 2016 (we have now started ADST Australian daylight saving time)

I went back again this afternoon and set up my hide again. The light was lovely and rainbow lorikeets were landing around the nest.

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As the sun was setting, one eagle flew to a tree about another 25 m further into the private land than the nest tree is. It had something in its talons, which looked like a bunch of leaves. Birds started harassing it, especially a magpie.

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It flew into a bushier part of the same tree and a short time later the second eagle flew in, also from the direction of the swamp, also landing on the same branch, also getting harassed by the magpie.

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I think they moved into the tree together. I could not see them but heard plenty of alarm calls, even from a sulphur-crested cockatoo. Then something odd happened: a large flock of magpie larks – probably at least 30 – flew over, alarm calling. Some landed on the nest tree. I’ve only ever seen them in pairs before.

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Noisy miners were also alarm calling and landed on the nest tree. There are 9 in this photo.

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Monday 3 October 2016

It was a long weekend, so I went again today from 3:20 pm to 4:30 pm. I hoped that if I went at a different time I might see the adults go to the nest. I didn’t. A raven landed on the nest for a minute or two.

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There were few human disturbances: about 4 groups of 2 people walking or cycling on the road 330 m from the nest (at different times while I was there) and about 6 single cars. When I left, I saw an eagle high over the main road, about 1.4 km from the nest (being chased of course).

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Wednesday 5 October 2016

I dropped in for 30 mins, between 5:30 pm and 6:00 pm ADST but did not see or hear the adults, or see any sign of babies on the nest.

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Friday 7 October 2016

Sydney White-bellied Sea-Eagle juvenile SE17 is 10 weeks old today.

Saturday 8 October 2016

I dropped in for 1 h, between 4:40 pm and 5:40 pm ADST but did not see or hear the adults, or see any sign of babies on the nest. There were few disturbances: a few cars, one lot of people inspecting their new house, 4 kids on bikes 100 m from the nest.

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Sunday 9 October 2016

I dropped in for 1 h, between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm ADST. I thought I heard some brief honking twice from near the swamp and once I thought I saw one or two eagles flying between trees for just a second. The sunset (7:00 pm) turned the trees an amazing raspberry pink.

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Finally, I saw an eagle fly in. It looked like it was carrying something. A magpie was chasing it as usual.

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I think it settled in a tree about 25 m from the nest. I don’t know if both were there. I saw the beginnings of another new road: this one will be less than 100 m from the nest.

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Wednesday 12 October 2016

I dropped in for 45 mins, between 4:40 pm and 5:25 pm ADST but did not see or hear the adults, or see any sign of babies on the nest. As it was a weekday, there were several heavy vehicles – water tanker, excavators, grader, utes – working 100 m from the nest. They finished at 5 pm.

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Saturday 15 October 2016

Yesterday the Sydney Sea-Eaglet SE17 was 11 weeks old!

Today I stayed for 2 h, between 5:10 and 7:10 pm. It was a beautiful day, but there was no sign of activity in the nest. An Australian hobby flew over, then landed on a branch above the nest (top right), where it sat for 5-10 mins.

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Noisy miners and Common mynas flew around the nest. Indian mynas landed in it.

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I heard alarm calls then saw a brown goshawk fly over the nest.

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A man in a 4 x 4 parked on the grassy slope and drank a can of something while he played with his 2 dogs. I think he saw me but didn’t come over and left in about 15 minutes. At 6:30 pm, 2 people on horses rode past with their dog. At 6:45 pm, I noticed that the moon was rising behind the nest.

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Four rainbow lorikeets were sitting at the base of the nest. I didn’t hear or see the adult Sea-Eagles.

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Sunday 16 October 2016

I dropped in for 60 mins, between 8:00 am and 9:00 am ADST but did not see or hear the adults, or see any sign of babies on the nest. I saw a whistling kite fly over, and it was attacked by the magpie.

Tuesday 18 October 2016

I dropped in for 30 min, between 5:55 pm and 6:25 pm ADST but did not see or hear the adults, or see any sign of babies on the nest. A couple came to my car window and asked if I was buying a house in the area. They went on to say that they had noticed my car parked there and had taken down the number plate because goods had been stolen from some of the new houses!!! They commented on my camera. I mentioned the nest but they vaguely repeated “the nest” and obviously had not even noticed a massive nest right in front of them.

Saturday 29 October 2016

I arrived at about 5:45 pm and stayed until after sunset (7:16 pm). I decided to walk out in full view as I saw no sign of the sea-eagles. I haven’t visited for 11  days, so I saw big changes. There are roads with kerbs laid our ready for bitumen. I think this one is less than 80 m from the nest and I’m guessing that houses will be built with their back fences on the boundary to the private land the nest is on, only about 60 m from the nest.

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I had absolutely no expectation of seeing the sea-eagles but at 7:01 pm; 15 mins before sunset, I saw one fly in and land in a tree about 200 m from the nest tree on the water side. It bowed its head several times as if it was eating and was swooped by two magpies.

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I walked out in full view and it did not respond, even though I walked past the nest tree (60 m). At nest 2, the sea-eagles circle me and follow me until I am at least 400 m away if they see me. The other sea-eagle was not in that tree and I do not know if it was in another tree.

White-bellied Sea-Eagle nest 1 September 2016

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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 60-150 m from the nest.

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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?

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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.

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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 330 m from the nest tree. The nest tree is about 50 m inside a fence on the boundary of private land. The closest houses being built are about 250 m from the nest tree and heavy machinery is driving up and down the land all daylight hours 5 days a week between about 60 and 300 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.

The Sydney Sea-Eaglet SE17 is 9 weeks old today. I think if there are babies in my nests they will be a similar age.

White-bellied Sea-Eagle nest 2 September 2016

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 150 m away (I find it very hard to judge distances, but have checked on Google Maps. 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.

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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.

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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 300 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 (150 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.

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

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

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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.

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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!!!!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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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