That Was a Blast. Right Next to the Salt Marsh.

Yesterday, on New Year’s Eve, we watched fabulous fireworks right here on the beach. I mean they were truly fabulous, but the thick fog over the ocean prevented us from seeing all of it.  I didn’t mind. But while I watched whatever we could see, I was getting worried. The loud blasts were coming from the north end of the beach, right next to the salt marsh where the birds live.

fireworks 4
A low “sparkler”…

While taking a few photos of the foggy fires from my terrace, I was hoping all of my feathery friends would be safely tucked in for the night in their sleeping quarters. With ear plugs. And not flying around in the area.

fireworks 3
All we could see below the fog…

So this morning when the sun half-heartedly peeked out, I took a walk to check on them. The first one I spotted was a Snowy Egret. She was cleaning her white dress. I assumed it had gotten dirty at last night’s swing about.

snowy egret grooming Jan 1 2015
A Snowy Egret dry cleaning her dress…

Why do I think there was a swing about? That was quite obvious when I spotted a male Snowy Egret doing exactly the same thing in a nearby tree.

male snowy heron grooming on new year
A Snowy Egret dry cleaning his traditional dress…

Just when I could see Mama Osprey’s empty nest from afar, she flew in.  Phew! You see, a couple of years ago an osprey was killed by fireworks in a nearby town, so I was relieved and happy to see her alive and well.

papa osprey lands in the nest new year 2015
Mama Osprey arrives just when I was getting worried…

I got a charming nod for Happy New Year, and also noticed she had continued to work on the nest in anticipation of Papa Osprey’s return. Many more heavy branches and twigs were sticking out of the nest now.

papa osprey says happy new year
Mama Osprey says Happy New Year…

After a while I continued my walk. And spotted a very sleepy Yellow-crowned Night Heron. He opened one eye when I approached. Just like hubs did this morning.

night heron sleeping one eye open on new year
A sleepy Yellow-crowned Night Heron shows little interest…

On a little island nearby, the always curious Muscovy Duck was sound asleep. I found a feather in his iridescent green color on the ground, it must have been a wild night for him.

muscovy duck sleeping on new year
Mister Muscovy Duck is sound asleep…

Then something interesting happened. I heard Mama Osprey sing. And sing. And sing. It was a beautiful tune! My tired head finally realized he didn’t sing just for my enjoyment, and I looked up. An osprey was flying high up above the nest.  It could have been Papa Osprey!

Last year I spotted them in full nest restoration mode on January 16th. And ospreys tend to keep their timetable from year to year. So please stay tuned for breaking good news 🙂

Happy New Year to all of you from all of us in the salt marsh!

Ps. This post has been edited after publishing when I discovered that Papa Osprey (PO) actually was Mama Osprey.