sunrise beach and reserve 2

Morning Run. Pure Sunrise Magic.

Good morning! You up already? I’d like to invite you on a sunrise walk this Saturday morning. We’ll follow one of my regular routes, if that’s ok.  And jog or run a little too.

We’ll take the walkway from the garden to the beach. Right away we’ll see the magic of sunrise: the usually white sand now has a pretty pinkish hue.

on the beach at sunrise

And the ocean is bright blue. We jog north towards the nature reserve. The sand is packed tight by overnight rains. It’s easy on the foot, we start running. Over a long stretch of sand leading to the park, we turn around and take a funny selfie. Nobody is tiny this early in the morning.

Tiny sunrise walk

The sun is rising over the tall trees (featured image), and we jog into the park at the west end of the salt marsh.

nature reserve at sunset_tonemapped

This little path, a shortcut, is flanked by cheerful wild flowers and takes us right to the water.

nature reserve morning_tonemapped

It’s completely still. And the morning air is fresh.

sunrise salt marsh_tonemapped

The first rays reach above the tall trees and paint the grass and the water in beautiful hues. Most birds are still sleeping.

blue heron at sunrise2_tonemapped

But we find that the Great Blue Heron is an early riser. He prefers to hide in the high grass and doesn’t want to pose for pictures. So we continue our walk. We’ll actually run for a little while.

roseate spoonbill 2 at sunrise_tonemapped

And stop in our tracks when we see the only other early bird in the marsh.  A Roseate Spoonbill. She looks like she’s just waking up. Maybe trying to decide what she wants for breakfast.

SUNRISE AT NATURE RESERVE 2

We then continue to the east end of the marsh, now half lit up by the rising sun. Beautiful, right?  We stop for a little while to enjoy the painting. We take a few deep breaths. And a sip of water. But we must continue if we want to get breakfast at some point. And coffee. So we decide to take the fastest route back home, the street.

birds at sunrise all varieties 3

We now jog south on the bay-side. On a street light next to the Sailing Center, we find a dozen smaller birds of several varieties worshipping the rising sun. And enjoying the quiet of the morning. It’s going to be a busy day on the beach and on the bay too.

We’ll be home in another ten minutes. Thanks for keeping me company this morning. Take care now and have a great weekend.

 

 

portrait of papa osprey 826

Congested Airspace. Papa Osprey in the Control Tower.

Yesterday was the liveliest air traffic day in the nature reserve so far this year. Everybody was flying somewhere. At whatever altitude. Papa Osprey perched on the corner of his nest and watched the skies, much like an air traffic controller.

papa osprey alarmed watching the skies
Papa osprey watches the skies…

He was busy shouting instructions on when and where to land. And, in some cases, not to land at all. He was very clear about that. And loud. Landing permit denied.

papa ospey's warning calls
Papa Osprey controls his airspace…

The two gentlemen in question were ospreys. He saw these guys zooming into his airspace like fighter jets, one chasing the other.

two ospreys flying
Two ospreys zoom in…

The pursuer also had some questionable cargo. A half eaten fish was dangling from his talons.

other osprey or who
One osprey has become the hunted…he flies towards the ocean
another osprey with half fish flying
Another osprey with his meal in tow…is chasing the first one.

Papa Osprey must have concluded that something fishy was going down. Maybe the hunted, who strongly resembled the other guy hanging around the area, had tried to steal the cargo. And now had to flee to avoid punishment.

the cause for alarm the other osprey
Full circle, now flying towards the bay…
osprey with half fish
The pursuer doesn’t let up the chase…

They flew a couple of rounds above the nature reserve. You know, as in circling the airport. But got no permit to land from Papa Osprey. So off they went to settle their dispute on the bay-side. I could see Papa Osprey relax just a bit. But the congested traffic pattern continued. A Great Egret was taxing out and took off at the other end of the salt marsh.

Egret flying
A Great Egret jets by…

She reached her cruising altitude in no time and was shooting away like a small jet in the general direction of the bay.

egret landed
A Snowy Egret lands in the high grass…

In another part of the salt marsh, a Snowy Egret had a rough landing on a small island. She missed the airstrip and landed in high grass. Almost simultaneously, a Roseate Spoonbill landed on the neighboring island. Dangerously close to an Ibis waiting on the taxiway. But so far so good. No accidents to report.

A Roseate Spoonbill lands on a neighboring island...
A Roseate Spoonbill lands on a neighboring island…

In the meantime, the island hopper, a Great Blue Heron, took off from the runway closest to the ocean.

great blue heron bird taking off
A Great Blue Heron takes off…

He flew extremely low. Like trying to fly stealth under the radar.

blueheron flying 826
…and flies over the water, under the radar…

I’m sure Papa Osprey detected him anyway. But he let it be.  It was a short domestic flight from one island to another.  Soon the heron landed safely at his destination.

Blue Heron landed safely
The Blue Heron lands safely…

After that a pelican passed over the salt marsh at an unusually high cruising altitude. I guessed he was going on a fishing trip in the ocean as the landing gear was still up.

pelicAN IN FLIGHT

Then the traffic finally calmed down. The skies were empty and peaceful again. Well ahead of the Labor Day weekend. Papa Osprey took a well deserved break.

papa osprey says hi 826

Be well now…and if you’re going somewhere for the long weekend, please stay safe in air, on the road and in the water.  <3 Tiny

 

dark large duck with red wattle around the face

New Duck on Papa Osprey’s Block. And a New Rival.

It’s been a lively week in the nature reserve. And I’m quite proud to say that I’ve run there on five days out of seven. In 90 degree weather. My reward has been that I don’t walk like a duck anymore. Although there’s nothing wrong with the walking style of this new resident, a male Muscovy Duck. Duck walk fits him perfectly.

Only small populations of this duck, native to Mexico, Central and South America, have established themselves in North America. It makes his company quite special. And I’ve seen him around on every run. Just like I’ve seen Papa Osprey. On Monday he was eating his lunch at noon on the top of his favorite dead palm trunk. The big fish got all his attention.

papa osprey having lunch 818
A large fish for lunch…

The next day he was having lunch, again around noon, on the top of a street light next to the bay.  When I arrived, he was just about done. And greeted me with an expressive look. I wonder what that means.

osprey finishing his lunch
Howdy…I had a good lunch…

Since Thursday, he’s been perching on the corner of his nest every morning. And on some evenings I’ve seen him there (from my terrace) close to sundown as well. I’m not sure whether he just likes to rest there, do some maintenance and plan for the upcoming nesting season, or whether he’s protecting the nest from the new male who appeared in this area mid July.  He might be making sure the other guy knows who has the leasing contract on the nest.

Papa osprey looks at tiny 822
Yesterdays greeting…
PO say hi 823
Today’s greeting…

This morning I could sense some tension in the air when the other osprey suddenly flew right over the nest,  and then settled on the top of a cypress tree nearby. In Papa Osprey’s park!

the other osprey flying over park 823
The other guy flying over the nest…
the other osprey on a tree top
I’m just sitting here…

They were not saying a peep, but clearly kept an eye on each other. It’ll be interesting to follow these dynamics in the coming days.

I have seen many other birds as well this week, but want to share only one more picture with you today.  We have Moorhen chicks again! What a nice surprise. I love these black fuzzy babies. Do I get an awww?

I'm following Mom...
I’m following Mom…

This time the nest is in the middle of the salt marsh, where they have lots of long grass to hide in.  Yesterday I saw two chicks from a distance when Mom Moorhen took them for a short swim. Today no such luck, but something to look forward to…

With that I wish you all a wonderful weekend. Peace. <3 Tiny

 

Hold On.

osprey clearwater Florida
Papa Osprey holding onto the top of a palm trunk…by Tiny

Climb high

Above your daily grind

To a place where you can see

Life’s bigger picture

Where light is yours to touch

Worries dissipate

And solutions become visible

Then you just hold on

Until you are ready

To spread your wings and fly.

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