Drone photography disturbing endangered ospreys at iconic surf break .

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eddiewouldgo started the topic in Friday, 3 Nov 2017 at 6:55pm
middy's picture
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middy commented Tuesday, 7 Nov 2017 at 11:14am

So Blowin you are happy to accept roads and carparks (through the bush I presume)to your surf spot but that's it. Somehow signage will destroy the natural experience excluding the man made access that delivered you there. Your advice is to do nothing. Before access was put there the nest was occupied for centuries and successfully bred each season. The reason the nest sites have collapsed in SA is due solely to human intervention. Cummins Monument is next to the main road that sees more and more visitors and drones are only one more of these numerous pressures the Ospreys are under. I'm interested to hear some alternative ideas from you on how to solve the specific issue that actually might work rather than informing the numerous people who stop there. What would stop you from going for a walk along the cliff and have a look at the nest site if you stopped there. It would seem like a 'natural ' thing to do unless you were otherwise informed.

Middy

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Blowin commented Tuesday, 7 Nov 2017 at 11:28am

Are the people on the cliff disturbing the birds or is it the drones.

As you're asking , fuck the car parks and the roads too. A couple of minimalist wheel ruts is plenty. Less impactful and imbues a sense closer to the pristine environment we all need to be happy.

Signs , fences etc are a blight.

" Interprative " signage makes me want to scream.

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middy commented Tuesday, 7 Nov 2017 at 11:37am

Both. I can hear your scream from here. Stay on the tracks.

Middy

eddiewouldgo's picture
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eddiewouldgo commented Tuesday, 7 Nov 2017 at 7:58pm

Thanks for the input here...from some knowledgeable type people.
Am noticing more photos and drone footage is disappearing off instagram.... many of the links show up blank now so the next best thing you can do is search the hashtag #Cummingsmonument !
There is some non-drone pictures available still there.
Unbelievable Also... is how people are standing on a very sketchy overhang for a photo...yet in other pictures...people are 5 metres back from the edge looking worried !
And the photo captions say "too close to the edge"

A recently released international surfing clip "Shadow Companys -The Film" ...filmed in s.a. has drone footage at cummings monument featured.
That photographer has deleted his drone shots of flying over the nest on his instagram page.
The pictures online will probably continue to be deleted as awareness is raised...more than likely to stay off CASA's radar !
One of the instagram sites with lots of photos.....now removed... is a Bus tour advertising the spectacular lookout over the osprey nest as a stopping point with shots of people standing precariously on the overhanging edge...

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eddiewouldgo commented Tuesday, 7 Nov 2017 at 9:32pm

Yes Blowin, in a perfect world theres no signs of course.....but you have to understand its a tourist attraction... and is advertised on websites & brochures & tours...caravans not allowed...then caravans recommended on another site? There's no area to turn a caravan around in the small carparks....

Here are some things that some non surfing type travelers have to say about it....

'Our first stop along this stunning ocean drive is at the Leo Cummings monument lookout, for views of Point Drummond and the cliffs of Sheringa. The craggy pinnacle opposite the lookout is home to a family of osprey.'
From Sacred earth 9 day safaris tour guide.

Cummings Lookout Rest Area
OVERNIGHT REST AREA
This drive-through rest area is beside the highway and has no shade. The lookout is 500 metres off the highway. Caravans and motor homes must not proceed past the rest area section beside the highway.
Facilities include : Picnic tables : NO barbecues : NO toilets : NO water : Rubbish bins provided : Dogs are OK : Suitable for all sized caravans'
From HighwayTravelers guide.

'Cummings Monument Lookout
affords an uninterrupted view from Point Drummond in the south to the rugged cliffs of Sharinga in the north.
It is also home to a family of osprey, which nest on a craggy pinnacle adjacent to the lookout.
The lookout is serviced by a short, well-formed access road and carpark, with plenty of room for caravans. It is well worth a stop for tourists travelling the Flinders Highway.'
From Great Aussie holidays.

'We again set off for our next destination. This was Leo Cummins Monument that was erected to honour a very popular young and talented sportsman who died in a boating accident after getting into difficulties. This monument also required a lot of walking as it was necessary to climb a big hill to the monument and also to a lookout with great views of the cliffs and sea.'
https://www.australiancaravanclub.com.au/index.php/51-myblog?start=42

https://www.caravancaravan.com.au/entity/cummings-monument-rest-area/sa

There are lots of comments on social media about the dangerous looking overhang...one IG site it says 'too close to the edge' on every picture...and theres lots of them. This is one on Twitter.
https://mobile.twitter.com/southaustralia/status/676514515274432512

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Gary G commented Wednesday, 8 Nov 2017 at 1:40pm

If you're interested in watching things without being seen yourself, Gary G is your man. Gary has quite a history of bird watching - male or female - Gary is all about watching for watching's sake.

With all those craggy cliffs around the area, there would be plenty of little coves, or Glory Holes as Gary calls them, to stuff oneself into and observe the action from afar.

Gary can however sympathise with the desirability of the bedroom-ceiling-mirror perspective offered from the drone, although not if it's overly intrusive.

I'm high on the hill, looking over the bridge,
To the Gary-G.
And way up on high, the wave I can see,
is a sweet facey

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eddiewouldgo commented Wednesday, 8 Nov 2017 at 4:29pm

This photo dated 15-10-17, seems to be of Osprey occupying the nest with new season chicks.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BaoEPXDDgiJ/

Standing on a dangerous unstable
cliff overhang together in group overlooking the nest.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BarLLCrhXNy/

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tubeshooter commented Wednesday, 8 Nov 2017 at 8:33pm

As for an earlier post query , yes,, the osprey ripped the bird apart, on top of a light pole not far from it where it snatched it ,, and they will attack rodents, if they have to put food on the plate . All well documented .

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eddiewouldgo commented Wednesday, 8 Nov 2017 at 9:32pm

Tubeshooter that sounds like a rare occasion...in Sa they seem to only eat fish.
The information in this forum linked below... people say they will eat birds etc...when desperate perhaps? Although some people did not agree... they said that the osprey Only eats fish !

https://ambergriscaye.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/403462/Osprey_diet...

Wikipedia.
'Fish make up 99% of the eastern osprey's diet. It typically takes fish weighing 150–300 g (5.3–10.6 oz) and about 25–35 cm (9.8–13.8 in) in length, but the weight can range from 50 g (1.8 oz) to 2 kg (4.4 lb). Virtually any type of fish in that size range are taken.

Ospreys have vision that is well adapted to detecting underwater objects from the air. Prey is first sighted when the eastern osprey is 10–40 m (33–131 ft) above the water, after which the bird hovers momentarily then plunges feet first into the water.'

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middy commented Wednesday, 8 Nov 2017 at 9:32pm

That would be the Eastern Coastal Budgie Smuggler. Ask Gary he's recognised in this field

Middy

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Gary G commented Thursday, 9 Nov 2017 at 11:08am

The eastern coastal budgie smuggler most often located around the Victorian coastline: and whilst the creature is rarely sighted on the southern coast it is known to be always watching. There have been no confirmed sightings of the budgie smuggler in Victoria since the closure of the Stereosonic festival, it's last known urban habitat.

Displaying its full plumage during its annual transit to Schoolies week on the gold coast and occasionally as far away as the island of Bali, it is attracted by the smells of fake tan, coconut oil, and Guava Vodka Cruisers.

I'm high on the hill, looking over the bridge,
To the Gary-G.
And way up on high, the wave I can see,
is a sweet facey

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tubeshooter commented Thursday, 9 Nov 2017 at 9:19pm

haha... classic
but yes , they are fisho's by trade and hence one of my favourite birds. I don't pretend to know jack about the south oz population , but I have spent a fair amount of my working and normal life around harbours and wharves etc on the east coast to have seen a thing or two. Part of my job as a mullet/bait fisherman was to sit on the same breakwalls , headlands etc as these guys , hunting the same fish.Endless hours spent sitting and watching , often taking advantage of their, and other birds superiour spotting skills .Seen them nailing crabs of the rocks , small rats and pidgeons and even a lizard, although I agree its a bit of a rarity. Most areas where they on the east have a lot of man made structures like bridges , jetties ,etc to attract enough small fish to keep them happy, .Lived and worked on boats all over the coast , and often we'll hold a fresh fish in the air ,and it's a bit of a test of nerve , as the osprey flies down and grabs it at top speed from your fingers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8F6nIT0Hpdw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6v-EUYmQv_U
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek9jzk2EAzA

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freeride76 commented Thursday, 9 Nov 2017 at 9:33pm

I just found a rat in the chook pen.....I tried to belt it with an axe handle as it ran out and slipped and landed on my arse in the mud.

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eddiewouldgo commented Monday, 13 Nov 2017 at 8:34pm

Drones misbehaving again !

'Police are yet to find the offender, and some of the women have told the ABC they are living in constant fear of another visit which usually happens late at night or very early morning.
One of the women, who like the rest of the group did not want to be identified, was asleep and alone at home on her relatively remote hobby farm.
She was woken by a bang on her bedroom window and when she looked out into the darkness was confronted by a camera attached to a drone, hovering within centimetres of her window.olice are yet to find the offender, and some of the women have told the ABC they are living in constant fear of another visit which usually happens late at night or very early morning.
One of the women, who like the rest of the group did not want to be identified, was asleep and alone at home on her relatively remote hobby farm.
She was woken by a bang on her bedroom window and when she looked out into the darkness was confronted by a camera attached to a drone, hovering within centimetres of her window.'

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-02/drone-stalking-several-women-in...

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tubeshooter commented Tuesday, 14 Nov 2017 at 7:28pm

Forgive me for saying Eddiewouldgo , but I think this transgression from Ospreys to stalking women leads to a deeper hatred of either drones or drone users , don't get me wrong , I don't own one, but I know few people who do , and they don't swing that way.

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eddiewouldgo commented Thursday, 16 Nov 2017 at 7:29pm

A survey of osprey and sea eagles is taking place at the moment along the sa coastline.......Numbers of Osprey are down so far... this is bad news for an already endangered listed species.
Sea eagles may have held out in numbers without much decline...
Everyone who frequents the areas of osprey nests need to be aware....
Don't disturb the Osprey or sadly they might not be there in future.

Ospreys being disturbed as seen by a drone viewpoint on youtube
https://youtu.be/CjXK32Z1ouc

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eddiewouldgo commented Friday, 17 Nov 2017 at 3:04am

Surveys Conducted
'In South Australia, opportunistic and targeted surveys were conducted from 1977–2005, including: ground searches of western Eyre Peninsula coastline and offshore islands from 1977 to 1983 and opportunistic surveys of the same areas between 1995 and 2002; a systematic survey of western Eyre Peninsula in 2003; an on-foot excursion from Point Adieu to Wilson Bluff in 1994, plus follow-up point surveys in 1995 and 2001; visits to offshore islands of South Australia between 1995 and 2005; and surveys on Kangaroo Island from 1983 to 2003 conducted concurrently with systematic monitoring of breeding sites from 1985 to 2001 and in 2004 (Dennis 2004, 2007a, 2007b).

The breeding population in South Australia was estimated at 52 pairs in 2005 (Dennis 2007a). The population suffered a sizeable contraction in range and a possible concurrent decline in population size during the 20th century. Eastern Ospreys bred at Spencer Gulf (including Port Germein, Mambray Creek, Port Broughton and Corny Point) in the early to mid 1900s, but each of these sites has been vacant for more than 50 years. Pairs also formerly bred along the lower Murray River, with the most recent records of breeding activity from near Waikerie (breeding sites occupied in 1974 but deserted thereafter) (Dennis 2007a) and near Nildottie (breeding recorded in 1980) (Robinson 1980). In South Australia, some breeding sites on Eyre Peninsula and Kangaroo Island are considered vulnerable to human disturbance (Dennis 2007a).'

http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicspecies.pl?taxo...

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eddiewouldgo commented Friday, 17 Nov 2017 at 3:31am

Pandion cristatus — Eastern Osprey

Help the conservation of the Eastern Osprey,
Protect the breeding habitat by establishing a buffer zone around the nest site...
Ensure consideration of the species and its habitat requirements in planning processes...
'Increase local and surf community awareness of the species and its requirements through initiatives such as media releases, brochures and signage.'

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Craig commented Friday, 17 Nov 2017 at 1:49pm
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tubeshooter commented Friday, 17 Nov 2017 at 4:58pm
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John Eyre commented Saturday, 18 Nov 2017 at 5:26pm

Hey Middy, you summed up the situation well here when you said this :
"They have been exposed over two hundred years to human interference resulting in very few breeding pairs now left in Southern Australia specifically Western Eyre Peninsula.
In terms of surfing some of the best waves are at the base oh these Stacks and results in interactions but for the most part the nest sites have survived due to the activity being below the nest sites although increasing numbers, car parks etc do put pressure on these sites. Drone photography has come on so quickly that I'm sure operators have little idea of how critical a threat this activity is to a predator that relies on holding the high ground, is.
There is really no middle ground with Drones around the few remaining active nest sites left on the Eyre Peninsula.
I'm sure photographers have the best intentions in recording the coastline but they need to accept that this could literally be the last straw for the cumulative human negative interactions over Two Centuries.
Surfers also have a positive role to play by organising and informing the wider community and themselves and look for a way forward in protecting these magnificent birds.
We are custodians as we share their habitat."

The future of these wildlife creatures is in trouble, for example the whale observations at the head of the bight and all the traffic on land and Air has scared the raptor birds of prey away from that area. The birds nest below the cliffs and when humans drive along the cliffs there the birds move away . Lets look after the remaining ospreys at monnies and share the territory respectfully .

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John Eyre commented Saturday, 18 Nov 2017 at 5:35pm

Middy do you think that the nest there is centuries / hundreds of years old ?

This is well said here Middy, so very interesting and informative knowledge:

"Before access was put there the nest was occupied for centuries and successfully bred each season. The reason the nest sites have collapsed in SA is due solely to human intervention. Cummins Monument is next to the main road that sees more and more visitors and Drones are only one more of these numerous pressures the Ospreys are under. I'm interested to hear some alternative ideas from you on how to solve the specific issue that actually might work rather than informing the numerous people who stop there. What would stop you from going for a walk along the cliff and have a look at the nest site if you stopped there. It would seem like a 'natural ' thing to do unless you were otherwise informed."

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middy commented Saturday, 18 Nov 2017 at 8:24pm

Yeh John Eyre Mathew Flinders sailed West to East to map Australia's coastline in the early 1800's. He had on board Austrian Naturalist Ferdinand Bauer one the greatest artist in this field of all time. He recorded all the flora, fauna and landscapes of this voyage of discovery. There are drawings of Osprey nests on Kangaroo Island that are still there to this day. Their size and structure are similar to some on Eyre Peninsula including the one on Cummins Monument Sea Stack. Coastal Raptors have territories and nest sites that when left undisturbed are used by succeeding generations to breed. Sea stacks are probably the last safe places rather than Cliffs since the introduction of feral species particularly foxes and cats with the coming of Europeans. So they are very specific sites and also much fewer in numbers compared to the broader habitat than their East Coast cousins.

Middy

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tubeshooter commented Saturday, 18 Nov 2017 at 9:06pm
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eddiewouldgo commented Sunday, 19 Nov 2017 at 12:02am

Thanks for that article Craig.... thats great how they setup the nest for the Osprey......more of those nests would be the way to help the species survive.

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-17/osprey-struggle-captured-on-cam...

'Sibling rivalry has nearly claimed the life of an osprey chick which belonged to a family of endangered raptors that has attracted a cult following online.
For three years, a camera has been monitoring a nest of eastern ospreys on a pontoon near the coastal city of Port Lincoln in South Australia.
But tensions boiled over on Wednesday, when a larger, more dominant chick managed to eject its smaller sibling - prompting an urgent rescue by an anxious group of people, who watched the drama unfold on a live video feed.
It has now been flown to its new home at Kangaroo Island's Raptor Domain with the blessing of South Australia's Environment Department.
"They leave the nest, fly over the Port Lincoln Marina, and it's surrounded by houses," she said.
"[The male osprey] sits on the light pole on the bridge, looks at the fish, and dives down and catches them - a lot of the local photographers are over there waiting to see when he comes in.
"It's really good for the people in the town that are interested in birds to be able to see them like they do."
In 2005, it was estimated there were as few as 52 breeding pairs of eastern ospreys in South Australia, but numbers nationally are thought to have increased in that state and New South Wales.'

Well..... they haven't increased in numbers in South Australia.... in fact they are declining.
Interesting story nonetheless..... with the cctv security footage experiment for the Raptors Cult following !

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eddiewouldgo commented Sunday, 19 Nov 2017 at 12:08am

Hey Tubeshooter , would you please inform us what the links are?
dont usually click a link if it has no information about it.....dont like those 5 minute pdf downloads unless it necessary.....you know whatta mean ?

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eddiewouldgo commented Sunday, 19 Nov 2017 at 12:52am

Another great picture from a drone above the ospreys nest.... and its cleverly mirrored....

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRxdUhqBfn7/