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.


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.  ❤ Tiny


26 thoughts on “Congested Airspace. Papa Osprey in the Control Tower.”

  1. OH, Tiny, I laughed all the way through this and was amazed as well at your photographs!!! Boy, was it ever a busy day at that air space!! Good thing Papa Osprey was awake and alert!!! Great post! I really enjoyed it! Love, Amy

    1. I laughed too when I wrote it and remembered how all that traffic was quite overwhelming for me to photograph 🙂 Always had just put away my camera or it was not on the right settings…phew. The ospreys came literally “out of the blue”….

      1. Well, you really did an awesome job then, especially if most of the photos were OH MY GOSH DO IT NOW photos! GRIN!! I had that experience with the Blue Heron who showed up in my backyard, with my hands fumbling all over the place, my brain racing WHAT SETTIINGS???, my eyes peeled on that Heron …. and hoping that my light meter comes out balanced when all is said and done. LOL I really and I mean really enjoyed this post. Thank you!!!! xx Amy

  2. Poor Papa Osprey, he just has to keep watch all the time and direct things. My goodness if it wasn’t for him we could have an air disaster! lol
    Wonderful photos my friend. ❤

    1. Thanks Jackie! PO is definitely my favorite air controller, no doubt 😀 You should have heard him when these two other ospreys showed up. I’ve never heard that “song” before! Hugs!

    1. They do! I’ve never seen any mishaps around the salt marsh despite the many types of different wings that fly there every day…the only questionable landing I’ve witnessed was when the just fledged young osprey landed on one foot… almost on her mom 🙂

  3. That must have been a lot of excitement for you, too. You captured some awesome shots!! And I so love your wonderful storytelling. It seems there is never a dull moment in the Nature Reserve for stimulating your great creativity! Love being a spectator through your eyes!! Have a great weekend, Tiny!!

    1. That was an exciting stop at the salt marsh. I was trying to ID the two ospreys from my photos, but can’t figure out who the one with the fish was. I didn’t capture the markings clearly enough. But there’s one more adult present around here now, unless it’s Mama Osprey… Thanks for your kind words Cyndi and have a great weekend!

  4. WOW! What an amazing post! I can’t believe you were able to catch all of that & with such clarity & amazing shots. Fabulous post – as always!

  5. Birds always seem so stern–but then again, I suppose they have to; it’s tough.
    Ahhh, Labour Day weekend. Son #1 will be moving to Calgary for 4 months on Monday. Right now Sons 1 and 2 are planning to visit a concert downtown tonight. Son 3 is out of town camping with his friends. Maybe We other three will get out of town for the evening. Have to love the long weekends, though.

  6. I agree that birds tend to look stern, but then it’s difficult to smile with a beak like Papa Osprey’s. I’m sure he would if he could. This long weekend is great for some family time. And around here it’s one of the liveliest weekends of the year as many visitors from near and far will come to enjoy the beaches before their fall truly kicks in. Have a wonderful one!

  7. Great air traffic controlling going on there with Papa Osprey. Sweet Tiny there are not words to describe to you how utterly amazing I think these pictures are…what fabulous photography my friend! Hugs

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