Sunday, June 22, 2008

Day 166, Sunday, 6/22/08, Year Four Dancer & Daedee: Snow Falling on Eagles

Hello Eagle Friends,

Today was an exceptional eagle day in the valley. The temperatures were high 80s, with thunderstorm clouds moving in, but they
didn't produce only a passing sprinkle. The sunset was something to admire and take note of.

Dave and Em came with me for a family day. We found no activity on nest 7.

Daniels Charlie surprised us when he flew up from the nest and landed on the west perch. This a sign that he is ready to start exploring the other tree branches that
are closest to his nest.

Once he masters his flight on and off the west post, he'll likely go for the north limb as have all his predecessors.

D'ODEE watched his brother and he seems to be more of a thinker and makes his moves carefully, without much risk.

This next week will go fast with the twins exhibiting more pre-fledging activity.

As we were watching the dark clouds roll in, wondering if we were going to get soaked by a sudden storm, Daedee flew in.

The twins jumped up and almost knocked her off the nest trying to take the food she offered, a 8-10 inch turtle. I watched as Daniels Charlie stole the prize from her grip, hardly knowing himself, how could he?, that this was "The Turtle".

Four years in a row now, I have watched Daedee bring in "The Turtle" that has launched
the eaglets into their first flights when they lost balance standing on one legs trying to eat the turtle with the other foot.

Oddly, this turtle appeared to still be moving. Some of the shots I have the turtles feet are clearly pressing on Daniels beak, and in the other shots only one foot appears to be pressing off the beak.

He tried to swallow it hole, but it didn't go down. D'ODEE watched him but never tried to take it away from Daniels.

Daedee watched the twins from her Look Out Tree perch and watched us as we left for the night.

At nest 2, we found the nest empty again. I said to Dave and Em, "I'm not falling for that again." Just then, we watched Terry Gail being chased right past her nest by a red-tailed hawk.

I tried to find where she landed in the south grove, but I didn't find her. It's my honor to write, Terry Gail, the 77 day old eaglet of The Mayor and Judy, officially has fledged this June the 22, 2008, which makes her the first eaglet of 2008, the newest eagle of the valley.

At nest 6, Freedom and Soar were up on the nest, both 8 weeks old and I'm hoping to see more of them this next week.

At nest 5, I finally found the second eaglet, it was sitting behind a branch on the north side of the limb. I had thought maybe one had fledged, but instead it had just found a new perch. They are both 11 weeks old and will probably leave the nest this next week.

The colorful clouds of sunset appeared to be casting for roles in the mini movies going on in the sky tonight. I must have shot a hundred images of all the formations and colors.

At nest 3, Victory Bell was up on the nest. Nest 4 I found no eagles that I could see. Remember though, the foliage is very dense there.

Harry and Gary stopped by to say hello, and we talked awhile about where they had seen the wolves. I think this fall I will go back on my Wolves of Whitewater project.

They are by far the most elusive creatures of all critters in this valley.

On the drive out a long, skinny fellow met our path. He looked up behind his black whiskers and studied our move before making his. "Dave give me my camera." I reached for it, but the fast-moving weasel had already "popped" into the ditch.

This next week is supposed to be good weather in the valley, and well-deserved.

I'm looking forward to day 167.

See you on the journey--


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