Mountains 2016 Day 1

Got to the Great Smokies this afternoon. I made a quick trip (quick by cove standards) through Cades Cove. Saw a big male when we went in, right past the horses on the right. He was in a ditch surrounded by a thicket. 1/2 mile down the road, a mom and cub were right beside the road. My spotter (wife) was getting irritable from being in the car all day, I guess I’ll be riding solo in the morning, LOL.

As I was driving by a couple were getting their wedding photos shot. I couldn’t resist firing one off from my moving vehicle. LOL

I Stand Corrected

Yet once again, I have overwhelmingly been corrected. Both with photographic evidence and a unanimous decision from everybody with a camera, that in fact, Julia is gone (for now) and the other bird (spot) is new heir to the throne. I have yet to fully understand what is actually going on but I have some thoughts which I will not state until I have something more to go on.

This morning, Hiram (at least I think it was him) magically appeared in the nest tree. I think he flew in unnoticed from the backside. Then went to the end of Cloud Field and retrieved a stick. After careful placement, it was off to the river. Another stick was brought in the afternoon.  After sunset both birds flew in. Spot bird was first and landed in Pine. Hiram came shortly after, bringing grass and twigs. He then flew over to spot and mated. Shortly after, he was off to the river.

 

The Conspiracy Theory

My first post of 2016. I know, where have you been? I have been lazy and playing lots of Call of Duty – Black Ops 3 (its a video game). I have been to the nest a few times so I have kinda been keeping up with the nest activities. For those who don’t know, the webcam in the nest is working, but not online as of now. Also, there are no eggs as of right now. I normally don’t go a lot until the chicks hatch, I find it to be a little dull until then, but I heard from several people that Hiram was mating with another bird and that it wasn’t Julia. I have heard many things, such as Julia is missing and maybe dead, to Hiram has a new girlfriend and kicked Julia out. So today I had to go and see for myself. It was dark and deary day with misting rain, but I just had to go and see these conniving, cheating birds for myself. My pics are for reference only, due to non existing light at 4:00. Two birds flew into the nest tree a little after 4:00. One flew into the nest (Julia) and ate what was in the nest (pic 1). It jumped to the side (pic 2 and 3). Then Hiram went into the nest and finished it up. Then Hiram courted the other bird (Julia pic 4 and 5), then proceeded up to a higher branch where they did their business (pic 6 and 7). Afterwards they had a little pillow talk before Hiram flew to Alabama Oak. Then a juvy flew in and the other bird (Julia), chased it and then landed in the Alabama Pine to roost.

I haven’t been to the nest enough to know exactly whats been going on, but from what I saw tonight, I saw Hiram and Julia mate and I expect eggs anytime and 35 days later when the chicks come, I’ll be back.

 

The rest of the pics were some that were just on the camera that hadn’t been processed.