Stopped by the nest area at about 2:10 this afternoon (11-19) and saw BOTH eagles at the same time. One was sitting on the nest and the other was about 20' away perched on a branch of an Australian Pine to the E. By the time I picked up my camera and got it aimed, the brat flew away to the E. The one on the nest remained there for at least 30 minutes. I got into a conversation with a gentleman on a bike and missed seeing the one on the nest fly away.
I found a great place to see the nest. My car was parked on the N. side of the road about 8' to the W of the school sign and I climbed to the top of the car and sat there. This way, I could (most of the time, depending how the wind was blowing) get a pretty good view with binocs and camera of the nest and the bird on it.
It's not possible that there could be an egg there already, is it?
The best sign that an egg has been laid will be when one of the eagles suddenly begins incubating. Remember that, unlike many other bird species, incubation begins when the first egg is deposited, causing asynchronous hatching. Usually it will be the female that sits on the eggs the first day or so, but they may switch duties. In any event one bird will always be sitting deep on the nest after the first egg is laid. That observation has proven to be an accurate way to begin counting the incubation days for the past two nesting seasons.
Observers saw this happen on December 13, 2008 and the first egg hatched January 17, 2009. Then the next season the female began sitting low on December 18, 2009 and the first egg hatched on January 22, 2010. Both hatched exactly 35 days after the observed onset of incubation.
Great observations, Jill. Be careful on that car roof! Maybe we can rent one of those double deck buses from London.
Great news, I did notice there wasn't any signs on the south side preventing us from wandering over there. Maybe they just haven't posted them yet for this year. The old sit on top of your car trick...might have to try that if I get desperate. Cheers,
Now, the problem is that the nest is not really visible from the south side unless the wind is really strong and blows those trees in front of it to the side. It is too low on the south side, at least for a 5'4" person, like me. It would be great though if a bird were perched in one of the trees near the nest and the road, like the Australian Pines in the area.
I have been standing on the south side occasionally when PP police and sheriffs have driven by. They did not stop or even slow down to see what I was doing. I suspect that will change when there are multiple people there taking pictures and gawking through binocs.