We’re away and eagle searching. I picked up James and Dave this morning and headed to Fiona Hume’s farm on the banks of the Derwent River at Macquarie Plains. James and Dave put a tracking device on young Eugene here before he fledged (flew off the nest). Unfortunately he died from a collision injury a few months later, possibly from running into a fence.
Where? Where? Wedgie! Day 1 : 01-05-2018
Nest with a view
When they put the tracking device on they also placed a motion triggered camera near the nest to see how the young Eugene and his parents behaved on the nest. As Dave was rigging the tree we looked up and noticed that the camera door was swinging open. It has a heavy latch so this was a surprise and a concern. Had a branch dropped and whacked it ajar? Had Eugene become sick of being spied in and used his beak to disable it? Had Dave forgotten to close the camera when installing it? Dave didn’t want the last one to be true. He climbed up to investigate as James and I watched on, hoping for the best.
You’ll see in the video the wonderful view from the nest. Fiona told us that the nest had been occupied by white bellied sea eagles until a couple of seasons ago when the wedge tailed eagle pair moved in. The sea eagles would’ve had a great view down to some juicy trout in the river below. Dave retrieved the camera and came down for inspection. We loaded the memory card onto a computer. Dave was relieved to see that there were hundreds of photos of Eugene and his parents on the nest before it had been jarred open - we still don’t know how.
I’ll get some of the pictures on tomorrow nights report. After a cuppa in the shearing shed we continued on to another nest site near Ellendale. This camera was on a nest 300 meters up a steep hill off a forestry road. It took a few shots to get the climbing line up so Dave didn’t get up there until close to sunset and we had to make our way down the hill to road with headlights on.
We pitched our tents next to the gravel road and decided it was a very successful first day. We haven’t had a chance to check the second camera for photos but getting them both to the ground was an excellent result.
Tomorrow we will drive to the Tasman Peninsula to collect the third and final nest camera. That means we’re going through Eaglehawk Neck!
Thanks to those who jumped straight into the discussion today. I’ll choose a student each day from Monday to Friday to receive a t-shirt. Selections will be based on consistency of use, quality of question/comment, following good netiquette and personal whim (that’s another good word of the day).
Today’s t-shirt winner is: I_cant_come_up_with_a_name
(T-shirt winners need to get a teacher or parent to email me email@example.com with student name, school and t-shirt size- we’ll send them out at the end of the expedition in early June.)
Each day I’ll update a map at the end of the report.
- What are some features of eagle nests?
- Cool, calm and autumn.
- What extra features would you add to a wedgie nest?