Title: Santa Rosa Island Update
Description: February 21-28, 2012
IWS Crew - February 29, 2012 07:38 PM (GMT)
Hello there eagle fans,
Even though this is a tour update for Santa Rosa Island we did pass by Santa Cruz on the way. So of course we were keeping an eye out for a couple of orange-tagged birds as we went by Pelican and Twin Harbors and did spot two birds at the west side of Twin Harbors. One of them had orange tags and we assume the second did too since they were close together, but we just didn't have a good angle to verify it. Anyway, there should be lots of news on the PH birds following the present tour, what with Helen, Amanda, Dr. Sharpe, and even Maria coming out to help for a bit. They are all on Santa Cruz right now. Something to look forward to.
As those of you know that follow the nest cameras, particularly at Catalina, the egg-rolling season is really starting to, well..., roll now. In recent seasons the Santa Rosa birds have been known to get things started as early as the Catalina birds so Kim and I have spent this tour out at Rosa checking on the status of things.
As you may remember, I was out here in January and noted that it looked like the birds over at Johnson's Lee (A-43 and, presumably, A-39) appeared to be reconstructing what was left of their partially fallen nest over near Lopez Pk. They seem to have succeeded in the overhaul and are now incubating an unknown number of eggs. :)
Unfortunately, the nest monitoring camera there is not working so we aren't able to monitor things quite as closely as we'd like, but hey, incubating is a great sign after last year's disaster..., and we didn't even have to find a new nest for them.
The other pair of note out here is the Trap Canyon pair so the next important task was to check on them. I had cleaned up their nest camera last time out and hoped to find a bird on the nest this time around. Fortunately the camera was still clear enough to see the nest, but no bird on the nest yet. However, I did find both the birds nearby which was a good sign, but what are they waiting for?
Here is one of the two.
It's a big island and there were other questions to answer so eventually I left them, for now, and went to the Orr's Camp area since we thought, if A-17 and A-60 were going to do something, they might do it in nearby Garanon Canyon. Kim was out on the west end of the island also looking for these two. My first sighting was actually of an untagged juvenile.
It joined another juvenile, which was too far away to be sure if it had tags or not, and they flew off to the south. But soon after I spotted another, very far off, juvenile and was watching it when Kim called on the radio to ask if I'd seen an adult fly around the point between her and I. I took my eye off the juvie for a quick scan around and, sure enough..., “hey, there's an adult”.
Can you see it? Out on that point, dead center of the picture.
This might help. It's A-60. Kim had been watching him around the corner when he decided to come pay me a visit. Awfully considerate of him.
Kim also saw a blue-tagged juvie near the west end that flew my way. Maybe the second one I saw?
She also saw San Miguel Island up close for a change.
Some nice red-tailed hawks.
IWS Crew - February 29, 2012 07:42 PM (GMT)
And a nice view of the northwest coast of Rosa. If you look carefully you can even see Santa Cruz in the far distance, left side.
Well, that accounts for A-60, but what of A-17? Turns out she's been over on Santa Cruz of late so we, still, aren't sure what is up with those two. However, the latest point we've gotten for her shows her back on Rosa's west end, and there is still plenty of time in the “nesting season”, so stay tuned.
We spent some more time surveying the area from Orr's Camp and eastward the next day, but the only sighting was of an untagged near-adult near the mouth of Tecelote Canyon. A bit far off for a picture, but it's there in the center just the same.
But the red-tails were, again, more accommodating.
We decided to make another check of the Verde (Trap Canyon pair) nest the following day, with Kim going to a lookout (“Limepoint”) to the east of the nest canyon while I tried the nest camera again. The view through the lens was getting almost useless again, but I was fairly certain no one was on the nest. Kim confirmed this when she saw the two flying around between our positions.
I'll save you all the details, but it turns out we aren't (just as well) going to need that camera anyway.
Now we know what they are up to. ;)
And even though there isn't a bird on it in the pictures, it had gotten startled off when Kim came upon it, they are incubating. We can't see into the nest bowl so for now it's another mystery as to how many eggs they have, but we are very happy to have found it. And don't worry, the bird was back on the nest within 5 minutes of Kim finding it.
Kim “celebrated” by hiking all around Carrington Point and “stopping to smell the flowers”. I chose a little less picturesque method and did ATV maintenance. We know how to party. :```:
IWS Crew - February 29, 2012 07:46 PM (GMT)
I wish she'd stay farther away from those edges though. :unsure:
I think we are up to Saturday morning now, half way through the tour. Take a break, grab a drink, shake it out. Ahh, that's better.
Okay, off to check the Lopez nest again, this time with a fully charged battery pack and the hope for a working nest monitoring camera. Doh! No such luck. :(
Oh well, at least we can get a look at this nest without disturbing the birds, even if we can't see much, especially with heat shimmer. (The first picture in this update is a good example.)
So we moved on. Kim to survey from areas near China Camp and I to check out Trancion Canyon. Kim had a couple of sightings, which may have been the same bird at different times, but no pictures (too far away).
But Jonathon Livingston was a wee bit closer.
And the beach action was hot and heavy with both current and future contenders.
While over at Trancion I had probably the most amazing “eagle filled” experience I've had on the islands yet. Let's just say that within less than 1.5 hours I took 103 pictures. Now many of them didn't come out well, what with trying to focus on eagles zipping back and forth around me, and not even getting a chance to take my helmet off for the first batch, but maybe this batch will give you some idea of what it was like.
A-68 and unknown friend
IWS Crew - February 29, 2012 07:49 PM (GMT)
"The eagle and the hawk."
200 MPH easy! Like a jet fighter..., or a Peregrine. Or..., :EGSM: :P
Top to bottom, juvie (A-74, I think), near-adult, and adult.
Near-adult and adult flew off northward together. A budding :Hugs:?
In case you missed it, believe me I had trouble following it all at the time, there was A-68, A-74, a blue-tagged adult I couldn't get the number of, an untagged near-adult, at least one untagged juvenile, though I think it was two, and a handful of red-tails and ravens thrown in for good measure. And all seen from the same viewpoint! Yes, it was something.
The next day wasn't nearly as exciting, but I got a lot of surveying and hiking in along the canyons east of Trancion. I did see what looked like an untagged juvenile early on, but it was very far away. Kim went to the Bee Canyon area to follow up on the sightings she had yesterday, but only had a very brief view of an eagle.
IWS Crew - February 29, 2012 07:54 PM (GMT)
Our last full day on Rosa and I stayed in to work on the computer :bam: while Kim went out and braved the cold winds :flk: and surveyed the east end areas like the Torrey Pine forest and Skunk Point. She was able to watch a blue-tagged adult for awhile, but never close enough to ID. She did get a couple of nice pictures of a Spotted Towhee...
and a Horned Lark.
There is also a nice lagoon out at that end of the island with Santa Cruz for a back drop.
And we hope the rainbows are a harbinger of “pots” of eagle eggs, our form of island gold.
I think that just about does it for now. We'll be looking forward to Helen and the rest of the crew's update on Santa Cruz activity as much as you all do. It should be a good one.
Be well all,
Don and Kim, and the Rosa Eagles :<<o>>: :<<o>>: :<<o>>: :<<o>>: :<<o>>:
amethyst - February 29, 2012 08:18 PM (GMT)
Don and Kim, Thank you! (Don you crack me up everytime... rofl) Loved all the pics, and yes...please stay away from those too steep places... :8O:
raycyn - February 29, 2012 08:34 PM (GMT)
Don and Kim, you are the best! What a wonderful report - so many eagles to see this time what a joy! Love the new nest built into the cliff side - that would be a hard one to cam! Thanks for the report, and all your humor and obvious joy in what you do. We so appreciate it!
Cindy in Oregon
ørn - February 29, 2012 08:36 PM (GMT)
It's always so exciting to read your update and all the information on all the eagle looks on your trips. Santa Cruz and the channel island looks so wonderful all these exotic vegetation and wildlife. Every time I read an update, there are always so many very beautifully pictures. Many thanks for that I share these experiences with us.
Maria dk :}^
Naturegal - February 29, 2012 08:38 PM (GMT)
Don and Kim - You really outdid yourself this time, outstanding update and photos. Thanks to both of you and of course to the Rosa Eagles for being so cooperative. :<<o>>:
freetosoar - February 29, 2012 08:44 PM (GMT)
Great Action pics of our island eagles and vistas.
Thanks again for all the work you do! :)^
Cumbrian - February 29, 2012 08:55 PM (GMT)
:}^ Don & Kim .... and Thanks for another super travelogue packed with wonderful photos.
103 Photos! Wow!
Super news about the Lopez Pair .... and great work finding the Trap Canyon Pair's New Nest.
Certainly a better start to the season than last year.
Stay safe out there.
jeannec - February 29, 2012 08:59 PM (GMT)
Don you always crack me up! Great update and ALLLLL those eagles - imports even!! :**: Love it. Thanks for your hard work and entertainment - and beautiful pictures! :)^
cindyzinaz - February 29, 2012 09:28 PM (GMT)
Don :)^ Super job as always, and how fun to see big brother Braveheart and his little sister Karana soaring in the same sky! <3
EarthMuffin - February 29, 2012 09:51 PM (GMT)
Don and Kim, as always thank you for a wonderful update! So great to see Braveheart (A68) from PH 2010 and his little sister Karana (A74) from PH 2011 hanging out together! Braveheart is one of my favorites. Thank you for all the work you do for the :<<o>>: :<<o>>: :<<o>>: .
klmeps - February 29, 2012 11:56 PM (GMT)
I don't post often but always look forward to the updates but this one has to be one of the best ever! I first found the web cams in the spring of 2010 and absolutely feel in love with A68. What a thrill to see the photos of him and also his little sister. Thanks for all your hard work and wonderful photos!
SoCal Lady - March 1, 2012 12:06 AM (GMT)
DON and KIM--Thank you for taking us along on your exciting excursions!!! SANTA ROSA EAGLES everywhere!!!! Fabulous sight!!! The Bull Elephant Seals gave you quite a show too. :><:
Sara Oh - March 1, 2012 01:50 AM (GMT)
Spectacular update! Thank you so much!
KarenTX - March 1, 2012 01:56 AM (GMT)
So happy to see Braveheart and Karana spending time together! Interesting to see several untagged eagles showing up in the islands too!
What a fabulous report! I enjoyed it very much. The pictures are wonderful.
Thank you so much for sharing them with us.
Patti - March 1, 2012 03:00 AM (GMT)
Wonderful news & great photos. Looks like those elephant seals (or whatever they are) know how to :```: party too. What a happy lot!
Have to go back and read it a second time and thank you so much for all the great eagle photos!
Artsy Mom - March 1, 2012 01:07 PM (GMT)
What a great update this week >O<
Looks like you were at the right place at the right time Don. How serendipitous to see both Braveheart (A68) and his little sister Karana (A74). Love all the great :clk: :clk: 's and the awesome find of the cliff nest :><: :><: :><:
Picture all the eagleholics rubbing their hands together in glee at the thought of the many new :^: :^: there will be this year. Thanks for keeping us entertained and for all you are doing IWS :<<o>>: crew to keep track of 'our' eagles :)^
quiltingal1 - March 1, 2012 02:43 PM (GMT)
IWS CREW----Soooooooo glad to hear of a A68 sighting !!!! Wonder what his brother A69 is doing and where he is...2010 was my first year of watching the nests and these boys were my favorites. Nice to hear about them :**: :**:
Thanks for a wonderful update
lovethebabies - March 2, 2012 12:34 AM (GMT)
Don and Kim, thank you again for another fabulous update. It was wonderful to see pics of our PH kids! You've had a busy week so really appreciate you taking the time for a fun report! Be safe! :Hugs:
LucyM - March 5, 2012 05:08 AM (GMT)
I have been thinking of Braveheart A 68 since, well, almost every day, wondering if he's ok, if he's happy - this update is the best news !! That picture of him soaring, proud and beautiful is the best thing I've seen in a LONG time. Thank you for an amazing update! And he's taken Karana under his wing! Words escape me. I am just so humbled by these incredible birds.