Today we found someone who spotted Wollowra and then we found* him ourselves. That means he is the first eagle spotted on the expedition. In the video James talks about the nest camera photos and describes an unsuccessful hunting attempt by a Brown Falcon.
*Note: As far as Wollowra is concerned he was never lost.
Nine of James' eagles checked in via text message at 9am this morning. They don't all check in every day because the eagle + transmitter needs to be in a mobile phone coverage to upload the data. Wollowra was one of the nine and he was hanging out near a road behind Huonville. We packed up from the bush camp and went to see if we could find him.
As we closed in on his last known location the sun was warming the ground and it felt like a good day to be flying, if you had feathers and a beak. The nearest we could get to spot on the map was a dirt road dotted with private properties. Taking a chance that we'd be met with a smile we knocked on a door. Carol and Stu met us with a friendly, if not slightly quizzical smile.
When James described his research Carol explained that just this morning they'd watched two eagles perched on a dead branch just next to their house... just over there! One of them was Wollowra and the other would have been one of the parents.
We left to see if we could spot them too. Taking the road on the other side of the valley we spotted three eagles soaring above the hill. Jumping out of the ute we watched them wheel and circloe in the distance and then disappear over the other side. Doing another test survey for 10 minutes James spotted a different bird of prey. A Brown Goshawk swooped into view and danced above the paddock before swooping away.
On a second test survey further up the valley we spotted a Brown Falcon diving out of the forest on the far side of the valley and glide quickly down to the grassy paddock. Perhaps it was eyeing off a little mouse. It missed and James watched with binoculars as it hopped around looking disappointed.
Maybe it was the location or the warm sunny day, maybe it was a bit of both or something else altogether, but today was a VERY raptory day.
It's been great to see all the comments and questions on the discussion boards and we're having lots of thoughtful conversations on how to answer many of the questions. It's a good idea to double check that your questions haven't already been asked and answered (I know there's a lot to wade through so we might do a commonly asked questions video over the weekend). It's also good to rememebr that we have students of all ages on the discussions and to keep any replies constructive and helpful.
Day 4 T-shirt Winner: Katniss-18and squwarminess for coming up with a good suggestion about Emma dust bathing. James raised his eyebrows and said, "I didn't think of that!"
Day 4 travels and points of interest:
Did anything surprise you from the nest camera photos?