Breakfast on the go. Morning Meditations. And Gardening at the Salt Marsh.

She is a very good gardener, Mama Sandy. She “planted” some greens in the nest about 10 days ago, and they are still green, in fact in great condition as of this morning. And standing tall despite some breezy days in between.

female osprey babysitting the decorated nest.I’d like to know her secret, but she’s tight-lipped, as always. She and Papa Stanley are still molting, but start to look more put together day by day. They both even posed for a portrait photo last weekend.

female osprey sand key park clearwater floridamale osprey sand key park clearwater floridaSandy in the nest and Stanley close by at his resort. But he didn’t look as representable this morning when I caught him coming fresh from the bay with his carry out.

male osprey caught a fish sand key park clearwater floridaI took a swing to the bay side and saw a beautiful Great Egret in the middle of his morning meditation, and several Brown Pelicans flying back and forth in search of breakfast. They seemed to be quite successful.

great egret at clearwater bay floridabrown pelican takes off clearwater floridapelican eating a fish clearwater bay floridaWalking back to the salt marsh, I spotted a Northern Mockingbird. I love their brilliant medley performances, and have smiled many times  at their Osprey imitations. But she didn’t sing for me today. She had something else on her mind.

northern mockingbird sand key park clearwater floridaI stopped to have a gulp of water and saw this little fellow in a tree right behind me. He looked at me suspiciously when I raised my camera, and then ran away.

squirrel sand key park clearwater floridaThe migrating birds have not yet arrived in any big numbers, but the salt marsh was spotted with white birds, lots of Snowy Egrets and White Ibis.

ibis and snowy egret hunting sand key park clearwater floridaI also saw a new juvenile Night Heron busy grooming herself, and an Anhinga stretching out on a branch.

juvenile night heron sand key park clearwater floridaanhinga sand key park clearwater floridaFor those of you, who’ll wonder about the Mayor, I can tell he was there too. But it seemed he was taking an after-breakfast-nap in the high grass, so I didn’t get a picture of him this time. I walked home through the beach and the trail was surrounded by wild flowers, brilliant colors from yellow to purple to pink.

beach wild flowers ud 24wild flowers 2 on the beach ud25The beach was lively, as usual, but I’ll just leave you with a couple more pictures. A Sandwich Tern, who shows us how best to get breakfast on the go. Just dip your bill into the water in mid-flight and you’re good to go.

gull eating on the fly sand key clearwater floridaAnd a Oystercather who was half asleep and let me walk fairly close to take his portrait.

oystercatcher sand key clearwater floridaWith that, I’ll wish you all a wonderful upcoming weekend. Cheers from all friends at the salt marsh ~

69 thoughts on “Breakfast on the go. Morning Meditations. And Gardening at the Salt Marsh.”

  1. Another beauty, Tiny!!! How glorious to come here to have a peek at your world. Thank you so much for showing me birds I normally do not see. And now Mama Osprey planted those greens is wild!! How on earth did she do that? Great post, my friend!!! ❤

    1. Happy you enjoyed the walk, Amy! I’ve been wondering how Sandy planted the greens as they stand right up and are not flying away even during thunderstorms. Sometimes she’s brought flowers and they have bloomed for weeks in the summer heat. She must have a green talon 🙂
      Have a wonderful weekend ❤

  2. Wonderful pictures and great story telling, I love the way you do your blog, and chuckle with delight at your commentary. I love seeing the wealth of wildlife where you are, and the beautiful birds, though similar in specie, quite different in array. The Brown Pelican looks quite beautiful in the light, I did not realise this before. I always love to know how your Osprey family are going, wow and now their into gardening, how clever! Have Great weekend Tiny:-)

    1. Thank you! I’m happy you like to see our birds as I like to learn about yours. The commentary is often born directly on the spot when I take the photos and I try to remember “what the birds said” when I get home and look at the pictures. Even the Brown Pelican is quite beautiful, in the first morning light, like in these pictures. They fly long distances just centimeters above the water, rise and dive, then sit down and eat. The nest gardening is still a mystery for me. I don’t know how Mama Osprey does it, but her plants always last very long 🙂 Have a beautiful weekend!

    1. Thank you Sylvia. I love trying to catch the pelicans against the light in the morning on the bay. I agree about the osprey couple…and have been delighted they both stayed close to the nest the whole summer, and seem to be doing fine. Only three months or so until the nest building will start again 🙂 Have a peace-filled weekend.

    1. These squirrels also live in the park, but since many of the trees are so huge and leafy, I don’t see them like this very often. Thanks Susan, have a beautiful weekend.

  3. Another lovely walk along the salt marsh. Who knew ospreys were into gardening? Great pictures as always, Tiny! I have to admit I am a little jealous of your oystercatcher portrait. We had a pair of oystercatchers nesting on the rocks at our beach in the summer of 2014 but even with my telephoto lens I failed to capture such an amazing picture.

    1. I knew from before that Mama Sandy is very good at planting greens, but hadn’t seen it for a while now. That oystercatcher was still half asleep and I could quietly go closer, but then a little boy came running on the beach at quite a distance, and that was it…he was gone 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend, Barbara.

  4. What a pleasure it is to see all the detail in your photos, Tiny. I am amazed by Mama Sandy’s gardening talents. I read here that ospreys are beachcombers. It was interesting to read the difference between a 19th Century and a 20th century osprey nest. Perhaps in the 21st century ospreys are catching on to our human ‘green’ trends. May also be a sign that some of our osprey areas are cleaner than they used to be.

    1. That was a very interesting article! Thanks so much for sharing. Times change, and at least here the area is quite clean. Sandy is definitely into the greens and brings something new every now and then. As you remember, we have only seen one blue rope with some wooden rings on it hanging down from the nest when her kids were small, and some of it is still there. But who knows, there might be some treasures in the nest that can’t be seen from the ground or from my terrace. Have a beautiful weekend!

        1. They are! And that’s why I think Sandy is “babysitting” the nest very much also during the “off season”…there could be other takers.

    1. Thank Nancy! I love trying to catch the pelicans in action and sometimes I get lucky. Right now they are more numerous here than usual so there’s plenty of action.

    1. Happy you enjoyed the photos, I love taking them…and get 1.5-3 miles of exercise as a free bonus. Mama Sandy has some gardening secrets that she’s yet to spill out. If I put greens on my terrace where the sun reaches them, they are gone in a couple of days… so she knows something I don’t 😉

    1. Yes, the Oystercatcher has this peculiar red ring around his eyes, and a strikingly red bill that he uses to catch oysters. Have a great weekend!

    1. It is soothing. Every time I’m frustrated or anxious about something, I just want to be out there. It helps to put things in perspective. Have a beautiful weekend 🙂

    1. Thanks Joanne! It’s funny how the pelicans can fly long distances just inches from the water. I thought this one looked like he was levitating 🙂 Have a good one too!

  5. Hi Tiny! Lovely post, it was a treat reading it this morning. As usual, I really enjoyed your beautiful pictures. I’m impressed with how you can identify all the different species of birds. Wow! Have a great weekend! 😀

    1. Happy you came to visit and liked it, Vashti! I know these birds fairly well, but I see new ones every now and then…and need to look them up. Have a great weekend, too 😀

    1. Mama Sandy is a great gardener. She planted the greens almost three weeks ago, and they are still green and standing right up. Now we only have about three months until Papa Stanley proposes again…and they’ll start remodeling the nest..

  6. Mama Sandy is quite the home decorator! Loving what she’s done to the place! Your photos and stories make me wanna move to the marsh! I will do my best to have a great weekend. I hope you do the same! Take care Tiny! Koko 🙂

    1. I think Mama Sandy has read all your posts, learned from them, and become really good at making her place cozy 🙂 I have a feeling the rest of my weekend will be a bit special…getting a year older on Monday. Have a beautiful one, Koko XX

      1. I’m going to wish you the happiest of birthdays ever! Well until the following year and then I will wish you the most happiest and so on and so on! Hahaha. Mama Sandy is precious and I thank her for her support! I too have learned so much from her and I thank you BOTH. Happy Fall Tiny and enjoy you special day! Hugs, Koko

  7. Such vibrancy beautifully captured Tiny 😊
    The brown pelican shot is thrilling!!
    Mama Sandy is looking quite regal these days. She deserves to have a more comfortable palace to nest in.

    1. Thank you Val! Mama is looking good, but the nest platform is no longer in good shape. I’ve urged the park people to do some repairs 🙂 The pelicans are very active right now here, and I’m hoping for some more action pictures this coming month. Great to have you back!

    1. I’m glad you liked our feathered friends, Catherine. I’m getting a bit better in anticipating the birds’ next moves, so I get a few more shots of their action. Have a great week!

  8. Wonderful images of so many wondrous birds, Tiny. I especially love the shots of the Pelican and your Mama Osprey 😉 I also love the Mockingbirds, too – they seem to be everywhere I go, including just outside my kitchen window, and I never tire of their songs.

    1. Glad you liked them. Mama Osprey is babysitting the nest almost every day now so it’s easier to catch her on camera again. I love the Mockingbirds too, their songs are mesmerizing!

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