Wind beneath my wings

What an exciting day! There has been so much action on the nest, I’ve hardly been able to take my eyes off it! As Tim reported yesterday, the three Manton Bay chicks are getting more and more confident with the use of their wings, and have been fervently flapping all day! They are eager to put their wings to use, now that they are getting better at controlling them. Today, they have been hovering higher and higher above the nest, and have often disappeared out of view of the camera – even the wide angle one!

S1's wingspan

S1’s wingspan

S1

S1

S1 bit higher

Up she goes

S1 getting higher...

S1 getting higher…

...and higher!

…and higher!

 

Now that they are fully grown, the nest is rather crowded, particularly when all of the chicks are trying to flap at the same time! Maya and 33 are spending less and less time on the nest with them now, although Maya is still feeding the chicks when 33 delivers fish. These days, the adult birds spend most of their time on the T-perch or the French perch. Here is a nice shot of them sitting together on the T-perch this afternoon.

Maya and 33 sitting together

Maya and 33 sitting together

Waiting for a fish. S3 is the same size as Mum!

Waiting for a fish. S3 is the same size as Mum!

 

It definitely won’t be long until the first juvenile takes to the air. Who will it be? Today, S1 and S2 have been the ones who have made the most effort with the wing exercising. S3 gave it a go, but she looked rather more unsteady than the other two. Here, you can see S3 flap her wings and wobble a bit, then S1 shows her sister how it’s done!

S3 has a go

S3 flapping

S1 looking ready to go

S1 looking ready to go

 

Here we have S2 having a go.

S2

S2

S2

S2

S2 has another go

S2 has another go

S2 getting higher

S2 getting higher

 

This afternoon, we got very excited, as it really looked for all the world like S1 was going to go! She sat right on the edge of the nest, leaning forwards and looking interested, then she took off and hovered above the nest at varying heights, and she stayed up in the air for ages!

S1 on the edge

S1 on the edge

S1 hovering

S1 hovering

 

Alas, it’s still too soon, and she didn’t quite do it. She does, however, keep on sitting on the very edge of the nest, facing into the wind, looking down… will she be the one to take that first courageous leap and fledge the nest first? She is looking the most likely, that’s for sure.

Nearly!

Nearly!

S1 is looking very much like she'll be the first to go...

S1 is looking very much like she’ll be the first to go…

 

 

2 responses to “Wind beneath my wings”

  1. Jodie Mellowship

    Fab clips! I was convinced that S1 was going to go this morning, with Maya flying around the nest, almost encouraging her to take the leap! It was heart in mouth to watch!

  2. Jodie Mellowship

    18:45 and Maya was mantling and threat calling and then she took off and a fantastic chase occurred on the wide angled view camera of her chasing an intruder and she was right on his tail!