Sunday, April 7, 2019

Eagle Check

It is a second fine day in a row.  I put in at Pilgrim Landing and head out into the main river noting that there is a new Osprey nest on the first rocky point.  I roundedg the bottom of Goose Island and then crossed the broad and shallow Goose Bay.  There were a few Buffleheads, a few Teal, more Common Mergansers and several Black Ducks.
New Osprey nest
The goal today is to head into the upper reaches of Lord Cove to observe an Eagle nest.  I follow the western side passages on the way in.  These side routes are usually not too interesting, but the government has come in and removed hundreds of acres of invasive and undesirable phragmites, a dense growing reed that chokes out other plant life and makes for poor habitat.  My past experience is that bird life will be far more numerous and diverse in this area as the year progresses.

I circle part of Coute's Hole and pass through part of it.  It's a near circular patch of open water in the middle of the marsh, geographically interesting on a map or satellite photo, but nothing in the least remarkable at the surface.  From there, farther in and up the final cove.
Eagle Nest
The Eagles in this nest are notable, in my book.  Most Eagle pairs manage to raise a single chick.  A good pair of adults might raise two.  This pair has managed to fledge three.  Both Eagles are present, and as the female is quite large, it looks like she is tending eggs while the smaller male is busy out of the nest.

A Red Tail Hawk sweeps through.

There used to be an Osprey nest opposite the Eagle nest in this cove.  I don't seem to be able to find it and it is possible that last May's windstorm brought it down.  Osprey reuse nest sites, but I noticed last summer a couple of pairs that rebuilt nests in new locations after the storm destroyed their original nests.
The rare albino Widgeon
I can't dawdle too long as the wind has been building and I have some open water where it will be in my face.  Following the treed east shore I flush two immature Bald Eagles, one still dark, the other beginning to develop white feathers.  I retrieve two decoys as well.

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