Author Topic: NSW - Charles Sturt University - 2018 / Xavier & Diamond  (Read 1070 times)

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Offline burdi

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Re: NSW - Charles Sturt University - 2018 / Xavier & Diamond
« Reply #75 on: November 20, 2018, 15:11 »
At least one of the fledglings has now made it back to the nest box, and is at the nest right now! Can't tell which one.

Yes, it was exciting to see juvie exploring every corner of the nest box!

Offline burdi

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Re: NSW - Charles Sturt University - 2018 / Xavier & Diamond
« Reply #76 on: November 20, 2018, 15:22 »
As Diamond entered the nest box on Nov 18 - she was attacked by a juvie - but she was quickly able to settle things down.

Diamond then left her nest box and the juvenile got to stay! Sheís such a good mom.

Video by TimR - https://youtu.be/qk-DC_3HBOI

Offline burdi

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Re: NSW - Charles Sturt University - 2018 / Xavier & Diamond
« Reply #77 on: November 22, 2018, 14:38 »

To and fro and mysterious light

Published 21 November, 2018 | By Cilla Kinross

The youngsters have been flying backwards and forwards between the tower and roost trees and doing every widening circles over the campus and beyond.  I expect they will start making their own kills soon and start to become more independent.

they have been using the box a fair bit, even spending the night in the box.  Otherwise they can usually be found in the dead near in the paddock to the south of the campus.  The light was very poor when I took the photos as rain was approaching ( and we even got some, about 8 mm last night, better than nothing).

     
Gaama on roost                                                         Xavier, on guard

We have also been seeing a mysterious light coming on in the trees, usually about 930 pm, 1 am and 4 am, but also at other times.  it seems to be on or near the entrance road behind the Girinyalanha Park, but it just comes on and goes off after half a minute.  No car comes or goes.  Much investigation and speculation has ensued and I even visited at night trying to see something (without success).  Itís not very clear on these imagesÖ  Will keep you posted.


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Offline burdi

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Re: NSW - Charles Sturt University - 2018 / Xavier & Diamond
« Reply #78 on: November 22, 2018, 14:44 »
Iím very happy that Cilla keeps checking on this family and sharing her great photos!

Offline burdi

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Re: NSW - Charles Sturt University - 2018 / Xavier & Diamond
« Reply #79 on: November 22, 2018, 14:58 »
Xavier and Diamond were frequently dancing in the nest box when their chicks fledged, but now that the box is often occupied Ö thereís little opportunity.

Offline burdi

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Re: NSW - Charles Sturt University - 2018 / Xavier & Diamond
« Reply #80 on: November 30, 2018, 15:58 »

Both juveniles visit the nest

Published 26 November, 2018 | By Cilla Kinross

Over the weekend and this morning, both juveniles have paid visits to the nest, as well as being sighted in and around their roost trees.  They are getting harder to photograph in the field as they have become more wary of my vehicle or person, but I have some from the box.

As youíve probably gathered, I have a Youtube account now, so you can go back and check on previous videos if you cannot find them here or on the google hangout.

The juveniles are getting to be large and strong Ė and very cheeky.  I originally thought this was Budhin, but when I look at the image from the ledge, I think itís actually Gamma. Anyway, this bird  is giving their mother, Diamond a hard time.

VIDEO https://youtu.be/eUJ8UxCn25k
 

And another view of this altercation: 

VIDEO: https://youtu.be/VosPtkPELaE


We had a visit from a juvenile starling.   A big rash, considering how often this species ends up as dinner.

VIDEO https://youtu.be/8K3epPNW3d4

Hello, anyone home? I think Iím lost!
 

I expect the youngsters to start spending a bit more time further from the nest and the roost trees, so it might be a bit harder for me to catch up with them, but I will do mybest. Last year, the male left the district after only 3 or 4 weeks (or at least I couldnít find him), but the female stayed around until late January.


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Offline burdi

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Re: NSW - Charles Sturt University - 2018 / Xavier & Diamond
« Reply #81 on: November 30, 2018, 16:49 »

Juveniles late afternoon

Published 27 November, 2018 | By Cilla Kinross

Some pictures from a trip around the campus yesterday afternoon:  Mostly Budhin (and Budhinís rear end).  Where the two birds are in the tree together, Gaama is on top and Gaama is also in the bottom three pictures on branches.  You can see the water tower behind the trees to get an idea of the distance.   These trees are called yellow box, Eucalyptus melliodora and are probably 300 plus years and now dying.  They need replacement, but it may not be easy in this location.

Eucalyptus melliodora - tower in background


Gaama (upper branch) - Budhin (lower branch)

Juvenile on roof of tower



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Offline burdi

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Re: NSW - Charles Sturt University - 2018 / Xavier & Diamond
« Reply #82 on: December 03, 2018, 15:06 »

Crispy snack time

Published 3 December, 2018 | By Cilla Kinross

Some of the peregrine juveniles, plus Dad have been helping themselves to the current explosion of cicadas on campus.   Easy pickings.   Here is Dad with his catch:


Both juveniles have been visiting the box over the weekend, mostly whilst in hot pursuit of a parent.  It is not known yet whether either has caught their own prey yet, although at least cicadas are a start.   But I would expect them to be hunting very soon.  Here the young male, Budhin is chasing Diamond.

On Saturday, we had the delightful sight of an Australian mapgie, flying down in a stoop, probably from the top of the water tower.   Perhaps he had been watching our peregrines!



And here is the original Ė Xavier, we think



Xavier is always  keen to start preparations for next year.  Little does he know that I will ruin all his good work when I clean the box in the New Year! 


Forecast is for fine all week Ė good think as we are all making hay this week.   Iíll be going down later this afternoon to see if I can catch the youngsters in their roost tree home.


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Offline burdi

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Re: NSW - Charles Sturt University - 2018 / Xavier & Diamond
« Reply #83 on: December 11, 2018, 13:52 »

Hot weekend

Published 10 December, 2018 | By Cilla Kinross

Orange sizzled over the weekend, with 30 C plus temperatures.  The birds are continuing to feast on the cicadas and I think that itís pretty good training for them, although Iíd like to think they are also chasing larger prey by now.

Here is Budhin chasing out Xavier, while clutching a little invertebrate treat:

Video: https://youtu.be/VCwJ5zgfL2c

And another, which I think is more likely to be Gaama.  Both juveniles are actually quite small and tricky to tell apart, although Gaama does appear to be a little bigger than Xavier.

Video: https://youtu.be/uVBP-6rfNcM 

But itís not all about insects.   Here Xavier is bringing in a bird prey (unidentified at this stage, but quite small).   Diamond assumes it is for her, but, alas, our Xavier is back to his old tricks and takes off with it again.  To be fair, itís probably a training tool for the juveniles and sheís perfectly capable of catching her own prey at this time of year!  Every night we see her come back to the box with a very full crop, so sheís not missing out.

Video: https://youtu.be/mYxOFkBH81E

Letís hope the birds take care as there is rain forecast for the next few days, as well as thunderstorms daily.   This can make hunting dangerous, especially for inexperienced birds Ė and it might make it a bit harder for me to do updates, but Iíll do what I can.

Incidentally, I was sent an interesting article on how people who watch webcams react when nature takes a nasty turn eg through siblicide (when youngsters fight etc.).  Itís worth a read. Iíll add the link in a comment below, and itís on the Google hangout.    We donít really interfere on this site, but weíve never really needed to.  The only action Iíve needed to take was to collect birds that have ended up in appropriate places (eg car parks) after fledging as these are man-made obstacles.  I put them in a tree and the parents always find them again.    I did feel sorry for our old, lame female Swift a few years ago and slipped her a galah or two when she was at her weakest (she leapt on them with gusto), but that was an exceptional circumstance (perhaps!).    I never interfere with hatching problems.  Iím concerned the birds might abandon the nest.

Iíll leave you while Iím watching the sky darkening; could rain tonight I think.


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Offline burdi

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Re: NSW - Charles Sturt University - 2018 / Xavier & Diamond
« Reply #84 on: December 16, 2018, 01:15 »

Wild weather and milestones

Published 14 December, 2018 | By Cilla Kinross

We had a very wet week, which was a great relief for this district due to looming bushfire season.   There was 61 mm in my rain gauge over the four days, about a monthís worth.  Bad news for the cherry orchardists, who always seem to get rain or hail just before harvest.

Here is short video of the storm we had yesterday, which was really quite wild.  All four birds have been seen since, I hasten to add.

VIDEO OF STORM: https://youtu.be/Y7xl-oYrANM

and a nice one of Diamond arriving after the storm, wringing wet with punk hairdo.

VIDEO OF DIAMOND, AFTER STORM. https://youtu.be/8jjP3t6CDlY

Meanwhile the youngsters, whilst still honing their skills on cicadas, who are still deafening the campus with their high decibel (90-95) calls, appear to be finally moving onto vertebrate prey.  Here we see one of the juveniles (we think Budhin) with a small passerine, that Iíve so far failed to identify.   Of course, it is possible that this prey was handed (?) to Budhin by one of the parents, but I have a strong suspicion this was his own catch.

VIDEO OF JUVENILE WITH PREY: https://youtu.be/aWCSi35u-gY

There has been considerable discussion about which juvenile is which and I agree that it is pretty hard.   Although there is a clear difference in size between the youngsters when you see them together on a tree outside, when they come to the box (separately), the differences are not that apparent.   One is as big as Xavier (Budhin) and appears to have a slightly more ragged tail band, and one is slightly bigger (Gaama) with a smoother tail band.  Neither are as big as Diamond, however, making me a bit suspicious of whether we in fact have a female Ė they should be larger at this age.  Your comments are welcome!

Sorry I donít have any stills.  Iíve either been without the 4Wd, or without my camera, or it was pouring with rain.   So here is a fairy-wren.  This was taken on the lawn just below the tower.  Heís fairly safe as they are tiny, but we do know falcons will take them for a snack!  the males are very territorial and faithful to their several wives.  The wives, on the hand, are little hussies, often sneaking off to mate with a more colourful neighbour, and then creeping back at dawn to their reliable, if duller, provider!

Superb fairy-wren, male
 


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Offline burdi

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Re: NSW - Charles Sturt University - 2018 / Xavier & Diamond
« Reply #85 on: December 16, 2018, 01:21 »
Thank you to Cilla for another interesting update and a very nice photo of that beautiful male fairy-wren!

Offline burdi

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Re: NSW - Charles Sturt University - 2018 / Xavier & Diamond
« Reply #86 on: December 16, 2018, 01:38 »
Diamond was sitting on the ledge for quite a long time today, then finally at 03:11:14 pm - her handsome Xavier arrived - she may have been waiting for him. After enjoying a very sweet dance, Xavier left the nest box at 03:13:53 pm. (Currently, it is still available to watch on rewind.)


Offline burdi

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Re: NSW - Charles Sturt University - 2018 / Xavier & Diamond
« Reply #87 on: December 18, 2018, 21:09 »
Thereís a new link for the nest cam. Scott recently put the new link on YouTube but hasn't (so far) revised it on the CSU site.

For now, Iím using the following links:
 
Nest cam (new link) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MUZP3HZCEk

Ledge cam - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36y9R0LxFxY

Offline burdi

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Re: NSW - Charles Sturt University - 2018 / Xavier & Diamond
« Reply #88 on: December 19, 2018, 01:59 »

YouTube feed interruptions

Published 19 December, 2018 | By Scott Banks

It has come to our attention that there are occasional current issues with the YouTube live camera feeds. Iíve received an email from one of our camera software providers who has noticed it as well. Apparently the problem lies inside YouTube. Theyíre apparently shutting off live feeds by accident! The software people are on to YouTube about it and hopefully thereíll be a solution soon. Lucky itís a quiet time of the year for us (up the Concrete Hilton anyway). With much hotter days here now the falcons are more likely to hide away from the heat should still be active thereabouts. Weíre lucky that the local subspecies isnít a migratory type, so we can enjoy them all year round.

Christmas to everyone!!



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Offline Alison

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Re: NSW - Charles Sturt University - 2018 / Xavier & Diamond
« Reply #89 on: December 20, 2018, 12:40 »

YouTube feed interruptions

Published 19 December, 2018 | By Scott Banks

It has come to our attention that there are occasional current issues with the YouTube live camera feeds. Iíve received an email from one of our camera software providers who has noticed it as well. Apparently the problem lies inside YouTube. Theyíre apparently shutting off live feeds by accident! The software people are on to YouTube about it and hopefully thereíll be a solution soon. Lucky itís a quiet time of the year for us (up the Concrete Hilton anyway). With much hotter days here now the falcons are more likely to hide away from the heat should still be active thereabouts. Weíre lucky that the local subspecies isnít a migratory type, so we can enjoy them all year round.

Thank you so much for all your updates, burdi!

Thank you also for the new link. I did try it, but it was not working. Now I know why.

I have continued to see a juvie return to the nest from time to time, and Diamond at the nest. I will not attempt to post photos, since all my photos are somehow being deleted.