Well this was certainly an exciting week. The highlight was definitely finding a pair clearly incubating on the Carl Peak nest on Saturday, but the rest of the week was pretty great too, especially since we got to welcome Amanda as our seasonal crewmember this year. She worked on the project a few years ago and has already settled back in like a pro. We’re very happy to have her back. :ok:
Here’s our week:Tuesday
We took the park boat out to the island, which is the standard transport for our project. What was different this week was that the boat stopped at West Anacapa to drop off park biologists for a multi-day vegetation sampling project. They were kind enough to keep their eyes open for eagles while they were out there, and reported seeing a pair of eagles at Oak Canyon. A big thank you goes out to them for letting us know. It is wonderful to be part of such a helpful network of island workers! Hopefully the fact that the pair is spending time near the old nest will mean eggs and chicks again this year. :X:
Here is a picture of Santa Cruz Island from our boat near Anacapa
And here are some pinnipeds checking out the boatWednesday
Wednesday Amanda and I headed out to the Sauces nest area to remove spare webcam transmitters for use elsewhere. We saw one of the Sauces pair on Kinton Point, a favorite fishing area of theirs, but it was way too far away for a good photo. After that we went to Mount Diablo to collect another spare transmitter. While on Diablo, we saw a distant eagle on the shoreline near Cueva Valdez, but again it was way too far for a photo or ID.Thursday
We went to the Chinese Harbor area and scanned the nest there for activity. We didn’t see any eagles at the nest, but we did see an eagle on a distant ridge. It was adult with orange tags, and in that area it was almost definitely one of the PH pair. We watched it until it dropped out of sight in the early evening, but it gave us no clue as to why the pair haven’t been visiting last year’s nest.
We tried to split up and cover more of the PH pair’s territory. Amanda went back to Thursday’s viewpoint while I went to a point off the Pelican Harbor trail. At first it seemed like we weren’t going to see anything, but then I moved a little bit (improving my view) and was soon rewarded with a sighting of K-10.
He was perched on a tree overhanging the water just east of Pelican Harbor. After a little while there, he flew east, landing in a group of trees east of Prisoners Harbor. He stayed there for an hour or so and then flew east again, this time landing on the same ridge as Thursday with a second eagle.
By this point the light was failing, so that was the last I saw of them, although just before dark I saw that they were no longer at that perch. It was exciting to see them at all, since they have been elusive the past few weeks, but it didn’t really give us any clues as to what their nesting situation is.
K-10 near Pelican
And further east (naked eye view)
Max zoom (you can just barely see him as a tiny bit of light, dark and orange)
Chinese Harbor at sunset