Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Long Weekend - Part 1

This post begins on a very rainy Sunday of what turned out to be a great long weekend. It then travels back to Saturday, and ends with a couple of pictures from Friday evening.

Part 2, with pictures from Monday's walks, a visit with Dianne and Haley, a meeting with Mary and her dog, Sam, and a close-up view on Tuesday morning of an otter eating a fish, will follow soon.

Sunday's attempted "adventure day" was pretty much rained out. Bill and I had a plan to check out as many of the eagle nests as we could find on this map. We left at seven, driving to North Vancouver first, hoping to catch a glimpse of Lawrence before starting our nest search. He was away, and we shivered as we watched one seal looking up curiously. It ducked under water before I could get the camera out, and my attention turned to Jewel, calling insistently and persistently to Jonny. He, too, must have been off fishing. "My" lone seagull couple made an appearance, walking together down the tiny aisle of exposed shoal at low tide, as though they had decided to officially tie the knot. I snapped a quick photo of them before the rain really began to come down, and at that, we went for a latte at The Brazza, and then headed home. (Note that the reviews in that link for The Brazza are for its other location on Lonsdale Street. We went to the new shop on Marine Drive, and love it. )

For some reason, I wasn't really put off by the cancelled plans. It was the perfect day to catch up on some snooze time, and I think everyone living in my building must have done the same thing. Just before I fell asleep, this cat provided a little entertainment for Black Jack, as it climbed up the tree outside my patio after a squirrel.

The squirrel was long gone by the time it made it to the top.

I think the cat tried to save face by using the tree as a scratching post, before it finally left.

I woke up from my nap in a bit of a haze. Unlike Bill, I haven't figured out how to snooze for 10-15 minutes, waking up refreshed and full of energy. On the rare occasions when I lie down in the afternoon, I sleep as deeply as if it were night, and wake up groggy and disoriented. I finally pulled myself together, and enjoyed watching a You-tube movie Bill had received and forwarded on to me. It was about a penguin jumping into a boat to escape some orcas. I tried to embed it here, but failed. However, this link will take you to it. To spare you any undue stress, I'll let you know in advance that it ends happily. It is well worth the two minutes it will take to watch it.

Later in the afternoon, the rain slowed to a light mist, and Black Jack and I managed a short walk at Jericho. These baby geese were just waking up from a nap too. There must have been something in the air.

There was just time for a picture of this squirrel, when the "light" rain became a downpour, and we headed home.

In the evening, we went to our favourite cinema, Fifth Avenue, to see "The Secret in their Eyes." The link I've given you is a CBC review, not an entirely flattering one. Our reactions were mixed, with both of us finding the movie a bit disturbing. Still, I was glad we saw it, and overall, I thought Sunday, given the rainy weather, was a pretty fine day.

Saturday was a grey day, but the rain mostly held off, and this very plump robin was my first picture, as Black Jack and I walked in the morning at Jericho.

I decided to head over to see the eagle nest. Black Jack approved, as she watches for squirrels whenever I check on the nest.

One parent was sitting in the nest, and called to the other as a delivery arrived.

The delivery was difficult to identify, but I have the uncomfortable feeling it may have been a juvenile crow. The parent perched on the branch with it for a moment,

and then flew off, to bring it to the nest.

I missed this part of the delivery, except for the talons. I was going to delete the picture, but realized I could actually read several numbers on the band. (You will have to click on the picture to see that.)
It's difficult to get shots of eagles coming into the nest. The tree is very, very tall, and I am standing almost directly under it, for this one.

Here, the first parent moves to a branch, and the second is hidden, as it has settled down into the nest.

The first parent takes off,

flying over the nest,

closely followed by a very persistent and angry (I think) crow.

Soon, the crow is joined by a second, and eventually (not shown), by a third crow. They battle, high in the sky, for what seems like a very long time.
Meanwhile, the other parent feeds the chick.

A couple of weeks ago, I clearly saw two chicks in that nest, but on Saturday, as far as I could tell, there was only one.

In the afternoon, Bill, Black Jack and I checked on the eagle nest at Vanier Park. A parent was flying in, but seemed to be empty-taloned.

I missed most of the shots, but enjoyed the comical failures.

Again, where there had definitely been two, it appeared there was only one survivor. Perhaps, the second one was hiding. I would like to think so, but know that often, younger chicks are killed by their siblings. This chick appears to be just starting to navigate with those ungainly wings.

It toppled to the side,

and then immediately righted itself and glared at me, as if to say, "I hope you didn't take a picture of that!"

Bill is always incredibly helpful when I am trying to take pictures in trees densely covered with leaves. He walks, and often runs, around the trees (with Black Jack), trying to help me find good vantage points. Here, he found me the perfect view to catch both parents.

A movie at Fifth Avenue in the evening rounded out the day. I loved this one! Mao's Last Dancer has ballet scenes that took my breath away. There were a few soap-operish moments that were a touch annoying, and as Bill said, it could have used a judicious editor, but overall, it was a great way to spend a Saturday evening.

I am posting this on Wednesday morning, and time has run out. Just a couple of shots from Friday night before I head off to work: one of Jonny leaving the nest after delivering a fish to Jewel,

one of Lawrence with a fish,

and the lush green of Jericho Park during our walk as the sun was setting.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for Part 2.


  1. As always...very good photographs!
    We are a little concerned as it appears the nest of Lawrence and Olivia has been abandoned by the pair. Saw Lawrence yesterday on the other pole (eating a fish)but no sign of Olivia. Do you have any insight?

  2. I am awed, as always, at the wonderful window you provide for us to see the daily lives of the birds - I feel a bit like a peeping tom! The series of the eagle with its prey (yes, it does look like a young crow - no wonder the adult crows were pissed off!) takes my breath away.

    And the pantaloon-clad legs of the eagle in the "failed" shots gave me a chuckle to start my day.

  3. Fantastic view into regional “birds and beasts”, Carol. There is a twist to your storytelling that not only catalogues events but also allows “personalities” to immerge in a way that is typical of the best documentaries. I am pulled into the drama of their lives and look forward to Part 2.

  4. Thanks for the comment, Marianne and Bill. (I still have to check out your latest post. You are ahead of me!) My thought (and hope) is that Olivia will not stay on the nest until she is ready to lay her eggs. Since I saw them mating several times, I'm assuming all went well, and she will eventually have eggs to lay. Perhaps, she is hanging out somewhere close by in the mean time. Once she lays it/them, she will be completely tied to the nest until they hatch, while Lawrence brings her food and generally takes care of her. Let's hope I'm right!

  5. Jean, thank you! Funny, I sometimes feel like a bit of a peeping tom too, especially as I was watching the herons, and then both osprey pairs mating :)

    Penelope, you are kind. Thank you! I've been thinking lately about how much drama goes on in the wild. As to whether I interpret what I see correctly, the chances are probably about 50/50 at best:)

  6. I love the updates of all the nests! I would also have loved to have seen both of the movies you mention... one because I would like to practise my Spanish and the other because I love all things ballet...I taught aspiring dancers from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School for years!! Phyllis

  7. Hi, Phyllis. I almost missed this comment, but am glad to have found it. I hope we can see some movies together once you are settled in BC. Thanks for taking time to leave a message, especially after your wonderful family's visit, and all the work you have to do to prepare for the big move. Thanks also for sending me the heartwarming story of the dog and the motherless lamb. I loved it!