It’s Complicated.

I am puzzled. I’ve visited the osprey family four times in the last one week. I had expected to see the young lady do frequent flying practice, but that hasn’t been the case. Regardless of the timing and length of my visit, I’ve found mama osprey and the nestling sitting tight in the nest. Deeply involved in discussions.

Do you hear me mama?
Do you hear me mama?

I’ve witnessed a wide array of vocalizations, from pleasant discussion tones to loud shouting matches between mom and daughter. To the point that I’ve rummaged the internet for a rosetta stone version in osprey language. No luck so far.

Shall we talk or shall we fly?
Shall we talk or shall we fly?

The other day both mama osprey and the teen did some wing exercises in the nest. The nestling was flexing, but did not fly, and mama osprey did some Pilates. Lots of stretching going on, and lots of communication.

Mama osprey doing Pilates..streeetch...left, right
Mama osprey doing Pilates..streeetch…left, right

On the top of that, papa osprey has not shown up during any of my visits since more than two weeks back. Last time I saw him, he came empty-handed and mama osprey flew away immediately. Is there a rift between the parents? Papa sleeping on a couch somewhere? Or did something happen to him? I have no way of knowing.

My latest picture of papa osprey on May 11
My latest picture of papa osprey on May 11

This morning I went to see them much earlier than I usually do. First I saw only mama osprey. I was hoping the nestling had finally gone out for flying practice, but then I saw the breeze lift up a few feathers and discovered a brown back in the nest. The youngster was still sleeping! At 10:30 in the morning.

Mama osprey guarding her sleeping nestling
Mama osprey guarding her sleeping nestling

Soon the teen woke up and slowly stood up.

The osprey teen is waking up...
The osprey teen is waking up…

The dialogue they have been having every day since last Sunday started almost immediately. I waited and waited. No flying practice this morning either. But I noticed many new decorations hanging down from the nest. And the balcony flowers were still alive and well.

Osprey discussion...on the loud side this morning
Osprey discussion…on the loud side this morning

I started to get worried and wondered if something was not right. I decided to check on them more often from my terrace (using our strongest binoculars) to see if the youngster would fly at all during the day.  To my delight I saw her flying two short rounds fairly close to the nest late this afternoon! She didn’t soar high like her mama as yet, but at least these practice rounds were a bit longer than what I’d seen her do earlier, a few minutes each. So I’m hoping everything is alright. And that fishing lessons will follow. Family life can be complicated indeed.

Tri-colored heron in the reserve
Tri-colored heron in the reserve

I have to tell you something else. The other day I saw yet another bird I haven’t seen in the nature reserve before: a tri-colored heron!

And today I witnessed a “crowd” of four different birds on a little island in the marsh. The vacation season has started. Lots of demand for prime real estate with water views.

Four different birds on an island: small blue heron, small white egret, roseate spoonbill and two ibis.
Four different birds on an island: small blue heron, small white egret, roseate spoonbill and two ibis.

Will keep you updated on developments. Hope your week is going great.

You Made Me Feel Great. Phenomenal.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

“Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.”

(from Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou)

You were so right.  You were phenomenal.  And so are we. Thank you Maya Angelou.

A Day on the Beach

Memorial Day weekend always marks the start of summer, kind of. Many visitors come to our beach to enjoy the warm waters and the sunny weather. I thought I’d invite you too…for a virtual vacation day right here on the beach.

We’ll walk to the beach through the nature reserve. On our way we can observe many different birds, some of them rare, and enjoy the beauty of the marsh and the park.

Once on the beach we’ll make ourselves at home. If you prefer, we can just relax, walk on the beach, collect shells, build sand castles, watch the birds and enjoy the sun and the water. The little “beach café” will stop right outside our “home” in case we forgot to prepare supplies for the day. If we prefer a bigger meal, the tent café is right next to the park.

Or if you want to be active, we can “do” stuff. How about kayaking, parasailing or a nice dolphin tour? Or just speeding on a wave runner? Dolphins might come to greet us! It’s happened to me once or twice. Or we could go for deep sea fishing or be brave and meet the pirates? If we don’t want to be on the water, we can always fly kites on the beach! As you see, there’s lots to do…

And when the evening comes, we can kick back and enjoy the golden sunset over the ocean…before we head back home.

I hope you enjoyed the day on the beach. Have a wonderful long weekend!

 

 

Purpose

Reposting one of my early poems in honor of our newest family member, my granddaughter, who is one week old today 🙂

TINY LESSONS BLOG

 Your precious foot prints in the sand of time

visible for a short while on the shores of life

small first, innocently running toward the future

then bigger, walking the trail of everyday routine

finally heavier with keen observation, purpose

they remain to be seen, followed by others

admired, learned from and treasured

until the waves of infinity gently erase them

sparkling and clear, the shores of life remain.

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I Have a Surprise for You, Tiny!

After returning from my trip this morning, I headed out to see the osprey family. Before even unpacking my suitcase. About a week ago, I’d seen the youngster take off for a short flight above the nest, and I was excited to see if she would fly out of the nest today.

Im flying look mama osprey nestling 513
Last week’s achievement!

You noticed I said “she”? I’m now almost sure it’s a girl.  She is much like her mama. Just look at them side by side, the decorations on her breast are quite marked, like an elaborate “necklace” typical for female osprey.

mama osprey and youngster watching tiny ed
Mama (on the left) and youngster last week

When I arrived in the nature reserve, mama osprey was keeping an eye on the youngster, as usual. Papa osprey was nowhere to be seen. I assumed he was on fishing duty. I took my position under the trees and observed the two quietly for about 15 minutes. As there were no signs of anything much happening, I relaxed, put down my camera and just sat there lapping the morning sun.

The youngster is checking out something in the marsh
The youngster is checking something in the marsh

Suddenly the youngster turned, looked down…and just “fell” from the nest spreading her wings. She took me by total surprise! I had expected to see some wing flexing, but she just went over the edge and eased into flight! Of course I didn’t catch that very moment with my camera, but caught up a few seconds into her flight.

osprey youngster flying 521
Hello fish…I see you!

She was flying really low, close to the water. I’m sure she had seen some fish close to the surface and wanted to check it out. Since I was way back from the marsh, I could only see her a few times above the brush and the trees.

osprey youngster flying 3 May 21
Here I come!
I’m coming back mama!
osprey youngster back in the next
I made it!!

It was fantastic to see her fly. Her wings flapped a lot and were not yet perfectly synchronized, but she was in the air on her own flying about 2-3 minutes above the marsh! Then she soared upwards and made a successful, if not perfect, landing back into the nest. I’m sure you noticed how mama osprey was leaning outward to make room for her flapping wings.

Back in the nest waiting for lunch
Back in the nest waiting for lunch

I stayed with them for a while but there didn’t seem to be more practice sessions planned for this morning. I assume that the young one needs a little more flying practice before the diving and fishing lessons will start. I will try to keep a close eye on developments.Juvenile AND PAPA OSPREY 521

Before I left them, I noticed that mama osprey’s balcony plants are still green with some white flowers – after three weeks! I have to admire her gardening skills, among other impressive stuff I’ve seen over the last couple of months.

Hope your week is going great!