At long last I have found an osprey nest.
I have been, somewhat casually, tromping around lakes and wading up rivers around central Vancouver Island looking for something that is often conspicuous. When I found it, it was.
I had two leads to follow around Nanaimo – the Port of Nanaimo Assembly wharf and a cluster of trees just off the Island Highway.
I started at the wharf, a huge loading area for heavy industry right downtown and next to the Gabriola ferry terminal. I checked in at the commissionaire's office. Locked. No surprise on a Saturday.
So I drove on out passed the many 'NO UNAUTHORIZED PERSONNEL' signs until the guy in the green truck raced over with an amber light flashing and stopped me.
I find there is nothing wrong in these situations with using a little female charm and he led me to where a nest had existed earlier this summer. It was right at the water's edge, high up on a light standard with a flat platform on the top. An invitation to osprey.
He couldn't help himself. He told me how it had two chicks but that the parents abandoned them. They still saw the osprey around, he said.
What may have been seen as abandonment may simply have been that the chicks were ready to fly. I didn't get the whole story from him.
For now, there were no osprey around. I decided I could call back to learn more and continued on my search.