Little (cold) Visits: Dedication is Paying Off

Our local pair of Black-shouldered Kites go about the job of enlarging the species as though they are the only ones committed to the programme.

This past week has been constant rain, high winds and freezing cold conditions. But Belle has a job to do, and somehow through all that inclement weather she has stuck to the nest.

We too have been hunkered down. Looking out the door or window at the incessant rain, and feeling the cold creeping into the bones has not only been debilitating, but has dimmed any idea of being able to see how the Kites have been battling.

This morning, a look through the window, showed a few patches of blue-sky with no immediate rain. ” Let’s go see, and if it changes, we can always come home or go get a coffee,” EE said.

And as the good Banjo said, “We went.”

Mind, two people dressed for an Antarctic Expotition, or as a friend said the other day, Two Michelin Men, might not have been elegant, but at least kept the biting wind somewhat at bay.

At first it was all quiet, but then we noted that Belle was now sitting higher in the nest and there was white-wash on the branches below. So no doubt the young are beginning to grow.

In pretty quick succession Bronson arrived with first one, then two, a third and then fourth mouse. So he is doing his best to keep the high quality rocket-fuel going into little tummies and also keeping Belle satisfied.

In the end the Michelin men retreated to iAmGrey-heater turned on, and headed for coffee.

No doubt by the next time we can venture out, we might get the chance to see a tiny head or two.

Enjoy. And keep warm.

8 thoughts on “Little (cold) Visits: Dedication is Paying Off

    1. Hello Eleanor, I was once really worried about a Wlllie Wagtail nest in a run of several days of continual rain. As I paced up and down EE said ,”Why don’t you just take out an umbrella and stand with them!”
      They survived anyway. 🙂
      I think David Attenbro talks about “The Tyranny of the Egg” and the challenges that the process presents to each clutch.
      I shouldn’t worry, but….

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  1. Great to see, David! It hasn’t been weather conducive to heading out, so well done.
    Terrific images and wonderful to see the progress! It is amazing to see the clutches over the past 24 months! Or is that 36 months now?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello David, it took great fortitude to vernture out, and it was only because a trip to Hoppers Crossing was an essential.
      I am pretty sure that we did 12 months or more with them pre covid. so its going to be closer to 4 years. I think this is the 10th clutch that we’ve followed.

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  2. It’s very uplifting to see your beautiful photos and read the report on yet another successful breeding season for Belle and Bronson, David. I was quite sad to confirm that the Braeside couple had abandoned their nest after some disaster that none of the keen followers could identify. The cold weather doesn’t help me to cope with such events but knowing that your birds have a new clutch brings some light into the gloomy days here . Thanks!

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    1. Hi Adam, I do feel for you and the lose of the clutch. Perhaps they were first time birds and needed to work out the mechanics a bit better. Can’t imagine it would be food related unless someone is using rat poison or the like in the area.

      The weather is anything but kind, but recall that the last clutch they flew was in the middle of a week of gale force winds day after day, and the young seemed to grow quickly because of the need to work harder in the wind. So the conditions treat each clutch differently.
      Hope that the Braeside pair recover and get to have another go in the future. Hope so.

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  3. I always marvel at your action captures David, especially the mid air ones of mouse passing. Wonderful that you were able to get these in such weather. It just shows how devoted these birds are to their family. Thankfully we have had several days of reprieve from rain here and winter sunshine is the order of the day, but the mornings are cold. The is another cold front on the way. Stay warm and safe my friend.

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  4. Hello Ashley, I do have to say we are very fortunate with this pair and their aerial antics. the location has a manmade mound near the nest, so we get some height advantage and the area is open around the trees, so we also have plenty of warning that action is likely. And of course the female is always vocal about her and her clutch’s growing needs.
    This will be the 10th clutch we’ve seen so they are both very experienced parents. I guess they can’t control the weather so it is pretty amazing that she can survive on what is essentially a small stick nest among the top leaves of the tree.

    It is so hard as the old body can’t recover as quickly from the incessant cold. My problem is not that I can’t deal with the cold, but that I can’t get warm internally.

    Looking forward to a break soon.

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