Cold Front. Huddling and Hiding.

I came back home last night to the tune of strong winds and a passing cold front. By this morning, the wind had calmed down a bit and the skies were blue again, but it was cool.  I would say cold, but I don’t want to offend anyone. Anyway, I felt the need to get moving again this afternoon so I went out for a walk to check on my feathered friends.

Two Willets and one pair of feet...
Two Willets and one pair of feet…

The beach was quite stormy. And completely empty, apart from a few Willets. When passing the salt marsh,  I found the birds hunching in the grass or hiding in the trees. Even Papa Osprey and his friend Stanley were not perching upright as they usually do. That’s what a cold front does to you.

blue heron CF2
A Blue Heron hunching by the water…
snowy egrets and an ibis huddling CF
Two Snowy Egrets and an Ibis huddling together…
black crowned night heron and juvenile huddling CF
A Black-crowned Night Heron and a juvenile hiding in the bushes…
reddish egret CF
A Reddish Egret hunching in some bushes…
yellow crowned night heron freezing CF
A Yellow-crowned Night Heron hiding in the tree…
A Great Egret huddling in the shelter of some bushes...
A Great Egret huddling in the shelter of some bushes…
A Wood Stork taking shelter in the long grass...
A Wood Stork taking shelter in the long grass…
osprey stanley huddling CF
Stanley perched on a lamp post next to the park…
papa osprey CF
Papa Osprey at his nest…

The birds were clearly feeling the chill. Winter has arrived to Florida. And that means the start of the nesting season for many residents in the salt marsh.

Speaking of nesting, I have to tell you something I discovered later this afternoon. I saw Papa Osprey flying together with another Osprey.  And singing. I took some pictures of them on the run and when I enlarged them, I saw the other Osprey also had a “necklace”. Stanley and Steve don’t have one, but Mama Osprey does. Couldn’t be sure though it was her so I leave it like that. We’ll see soon enough.

I hope your week is going great!

28 thoughts on “Cold Front. Huddling and Hiding.”

    1. I, too, hope it’s her…she might have returned to the area but not yet to the nest. Last year I spotted them mid January doing nestorations, but then I didn’t really keep a lookout. It will warm up again here sometime next week, but the winds are calm now and it feels warmer.

  1. They do look like they are hunkering in! Great photos Tiny.
    Where are you in Florida? I’d love to live near a preserve … rather than a golf course … if we retire south!
    Val x

    1. We are on Sand Key (a barrier island) close to Clearwater in the greater Tampa Bay area. My park here is too small to be a real preserve, but it’s a protected habitat. We have many parks and preserves right here in the surrounding area on the mainland.

    1. Thanks Sylvia! Yesterday was a chilly day, suitable for a “hunching bird” series. Today seems to get a bit warmer, and the wind has calmed down. I’m sure it’s the same for you.

  2. Fabulous pictures sweet Tiny. I am still in awe of how those birds stand on such skinny legs and to stand on one of them…wow! Love that first shot. Hugs!

    1. Thanks Mag! I like the first shot too. Two birds but one pair of eyes and one pair of legs visible. When many of these birds hunker down they seem to stand on one foot and pull the other up 🙂

    1. Here we’re huddling a little less today as the wind has died down, but the warm weather is only to return next week, I heard. I’m now keeping an eye for Mama Osprey…it might have been her yesterday. But it’ll probably be another 3-5 weeks before they start restoring the nest.

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Otto. I just started photographing birds this year so I’m still very much in a learning mode. But I’ve definitely been bitten by the “bug” and strive to improve my photography skills and artistic expression, learning from the pros like you and others.

    1. Oh, I’ve seen many snowbirds of both species here lately! More activity in the salt marsh and in the grocery store 🙂 I’m hoping for a few more winter guests in the marsh…

  3. Poor birds, they are being affected by sudden cold days but it’ll be only temporary. Great captures Tiny! Don’t stay too long exposed to cold wind! Thanks for the post! 🙂

    1. The birds are more quiet during the cold spells, I’ve noticed…but next week we’re supposed to be back in the low seventies again. Luckily the wind has calmed down already. Tomorrow a new trip planned 🙂

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