Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sitting on gold

Me and this female osprey nesting at the Esquimalt Graving Dock, a federal ship building and repair facility near Victoria, B.C.

Like the UVic osprey, this pair has chosen a busy place to arrange some sticks on a light standard. They live on an industrial dock where large vessels like cruise ships and ferries get hauled out of the water for welding, painting – you name it, it's happening while this female defends and feeds her young and the male delivers fish and hangs out on a nearby tower.

What struck me immediately about the graving dock, is just how clean it is. The Environmental Services Department takes its work seriously. They keep an eye on all the wildlife that transit through or live on the site. Measures are taken to keep green corridors open for the movement of deer, raccoon and otters. Great care is taken with the many hazardous substances used around the ships, to keep it from poisoning the water or land.

Everyone there seems pretty keen about the osprey and keep tabs on the nest with a security camera. Activities on the nest, used intermittently since 2006, are logged and staff want to do whatever they can keep the site suitable for osprey generations to come.

Meanwhile, I've got a boatload of pictures that I have to sit on until I have a market for them. But I can't resist sharing a few now.

Thanks to the Public Works and Government Service Canada people for putting me up in the air with the osprey.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Gorgeous photos, Heather.

I live not far from the graving dock, and about equidistant from an abandoned osprey nest on a light standard above a baseball field. Every time I went past the field, I loved trying to spot some action in the nest and occasionally I got lucky and spotted a parent coming in with dinner.
I miss having such easy visual access to a working nest, but I'm glad there's a family still close by. Also good to hear that the shipyard workers are looking out for local wildlife.