After a quiet few days in Manton Bay, things have been very different today. After going missing for almost a week the young three year-old female, 00(09), is back and has made regular intrusions at both Manton Bay and Site B, culminating in an amazing few minutes just after lunch when she landed next to the resident female on the Manton Bay nest. Intruding birds are rarely allowed to land on the nest, but in this case the Manton Bay female seemed unsure of what to do. As the video below shows, a stand-off of several minutes ensued before she finally knocked the young intruder off the nest. It is fortunate that there were no eggs in the nest at this stage because this is exactly that type of incident that sometimes leads to eggs being broken.
It is really encouraging that 00 is behaving in this way because it demonstrates that she is eager to breed. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that one of the three 2009 males who were around last summer, return in time to nest with her this year.
00 hasn’t been back to Manton Bay this afternoon; and it’s just as well. At 4pm – not long after the excitement of earlier had subsided – the female stood up to reveal a newly-laid egg. Fantastic! Since then she and 5R have been sharing incubation duties – here’s a video of 5R protecting the egg a few minutes ago.
Having laid one egg the female should lay another two in the coming days. You can watch it all live on the webcam. Five-and-a-half weeks of incubation are underway!