Thursday, June 19, 2008

Day 163, Thursday, 6/19/08, Year Four Dancer & Daedee; Snow Falilng on Eagles

Hello Eagle Friends,

Today was one of the hottest days of this year with temperature in the low 80s, but I shouldn't complain when the west coast is being hit with 100-118 temperatures.

I had a late start today and spent the late afternoon and evening with nest 1 eaglets, Daniels Charlie and D'ODEE Brian Michael.
They were panting with their beaks open and wings draped down to help keep cool. I can only imagine how unbearable their nest gets with all the direct sun during the day.

As I was sitting there, in the windless chamber of quietness there was a knock on the ground, followed by a short series of puffing sounds. This time I allowed the deer in. I wanted to see just how close she would come if I didn't shoo her off.
I watched the grasses folding back and I could see her buckskin colored coat long before her gentle eyes met mine.

Suddenly, she knew I was there and leapt into the air, above the 7 foot grasses, and stopped about 20 feet to the west.
She snorted a few times, and stomped her foot. Still, I didn't move. I allowed her to come back in to my area. Her fawn was
with her. I didn't know that until about a half hour later when the grasses moved with little rustling noises.

The twins were watching the entire scene from their high view, to them we must have looked like little ants about to meet in a field of grass.

I waited until the sun was almost even with the bluffs and hiked out, knowing I'd need at least an hour and a half to cover the other eagle nests.

At nest 2, Terry Gail was sitting up on the nest and practicing her flights back and forth. Twice she leaned way over the nest looking down with such intense curiosity, that I am now sure that she did not fledge, as I had thought, on Father's Day.
From her antics today, there is no way this bird has left the nest.

Next she leapt up and tackled her food source, thrusting her 4 foot wings on each side forward and folding them over her "catch". Then she picked up the food and lifted up with it and tossed it forward--just like her parents have shown her over and again with each feeding.

She practiced until the sun did go down behind the bluffs, and I moved on.

At nest 6, the twins, Freedom and Soar were both on opposite sides of the nest facing one another. Darkness was fast approaching so I couldn't stay long.

On my way to nest 5, a huge snapping turtle paused on the side of the road. There were vehicles coming from both directions and all I could do is pull over, hope they would notice the turtle too, and slow down. The turtle sat taking its eyes off me and appearing to look at the approach of a sporty teal blue car heading right at him. A near miss, and another turtle saved.

Further ahead a ringneck rooster pheasant lifted his head above what can only be the last remaining dandelion in this valley.

At nest 5 the twins were up on the nest there too. The two of them spend a lot of time sitting together, a lot like Damian Danielle and Dorothy, the 2007 twins from nest 1.

At nest 3 Victory Bell was sitting up on the nest while I shot the video footage, but disappeared out of my view when I went to shoot the stills. Nest 4 was quiet.

I don't know if it was the stillness of the air, the buzzing of the damsel flies and dragonflies as they passed, I don't know if it was the smell of the marsh, or the mosquitos biting me, but when I looked at the perfect calmness of the water wearing the the pink and purple hues of the sunset but when I looked around the marsh by nest 3 it took me back 20 years. On this very night, I would have been finishing the dishes, wiping off the counter in the cabin waiting for dad to say, "Lisa, you want to go back out and see if we catch anything tonight?"

Maybe that's why I feel the need to remain so close to water and the sunsets in late June.

I'm looking forward to day 164.

See you on the journey--


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