Homecoming. And Little Miracles.

She saw me. Looked twice. And sang a short welcome-home-song for me. Loud. From the heart.

roseate spoonbills welcome song ud35Then she looked at me as in asking whether I liked it. Miss Rosa made me smile. And I felt welcomed back to the salt marsh.

roseate spoonbill 2 ud35I had finally managed to make the time for a walk to check on my feathered friends. And there was no doubt I was back in Florida. The salt marsh was blooming in all possible colors, delicate and bold.

flower ud35 yellow flowers ud35 red flower tree ud35I found the Mayor at his favorite spot on a small islet. He was in deep thought. Maybe pondering about the upcoming holiday party. It’s always a lively event at the salt marsh.

great blue heron ud35I noticed the herons and egrets had already started changing into their festive breeding plumage. Demonstrated here by the Snowy Egret, and the Great Egret little further away.

snowy egret ud35 great egret ud35Mama Sandy was at the nest when I arrived. But she was scanning the  skies where another Osprey was circling high up at a distance. She nodded a brief hello and flew away after a couple of minutes.

mama osprey at the nest ud35I was trying to get a picture of a Yellow-crowned Night Heron, who was hiding in the high grass, and a juvenile resting in the bushes right below the nest, when I heard Osprey speak.

yellow-crowned night heron ud35juvenile night heron UD35I looked up, and saw Sandy fly right over the nest with Stanley following close behind. Courting behavior. And by flying right past the nest, I thought, Sandy gave Stanley a hint about the proposal gift and the customary dance expected to take place shortly. A strategic reminder that the time for Stanley to come back to the nest was getting close. Three weeks tops.

mama and papa osprey fly by the nest ud35They flew together for quite a while and I decided to check who I could find on the bay side. On my way there, I saw this beautiful Northern Mockingird.

northern mockingbird UD35And was offered a demonstration in magic when a leaf on the ground suddenly started walking. One of nature’s little miracles.

walking leaf ud35On the bay side I was greeted by a flock of White Ibis feeding on a patch of grass. And then strolling back and forth on the sea wall.

ibis on the bay side ud35Close by a female Red-bellied Woodpecker was working on a thick palm trunk. Most of the time only half of her body visible.

female red-bellied woodpecker ud35I was just leaving to go home when I spotted Stanley at the Sailing Center. He was not scanning for fish, instead he was staring intently at something in the direction of my home.

papa osprey looks at mama ud35Walking back home, I spotted the object of his interest. Sandy was perching on the holiday decorated lamp-post closest to our driveway. Love is clearly blooming between the two of them. He couldn’t take his eyes off her.

mama osprey ud35When I reached our front yard, I noticed Sandy was watching me. She clearly knows where I live, and I hope she had missed seeing me when I was away. At least a little bit. It will be a privilege to witness their upcoming nest renovation project and hopefully get pictures of the chick(s) when the time comes.

mama odprey looks at me ud35We all wish you a great week. Cheers from the salt marsh ~




66 thoughts on “Homecoming. And Little Miracles.”

    1. Smiling. I will have to travel a bit more now that my newest client is overseas, but that said I will try my best to uphold the standards anyway 🙂

  1. I thoroughly enjoy your posts Tiny. It’s clear you have a passion, and knowledge of your local residents. It makes me wonder about living in FL. I’ve visited many beaches, but not lived at one. Do you ever get tired of the heat and humidity or lack of four distinct seasons?

    1. I love living here, completely used to the summer heat and humidity. It’s funny that now, after 5 years, I feel there are clear seasons here too, but not as extreme. Fall and spring bring wonderful weather, winter is cool to mild, and summer is hot and humid. When one lives on the beach the heat and humidity is eased by the sea breeze – it feels much cooler than inland.

  2. Another wonderful post Tiny, and such a home warming return from your salt marsh friends. I think they do look out for you, as you frequent their areas. I have had birds do this to me also a White-bellied Sea eagle and now at the moment a Grey Butcherbird, who greets me each morning, even though I never feed him. I love your clever yet simple story telling, and the beautiful clarity of your photos, it always makes for a most enjoyable read:-)

    1. Thanks for your kind comment Ashley! I’d like to think these birds learn to know us. And it was so much fun to see them again, to find everyone in good health 🙂 I would love to see a Sea Eagle again…the last one was in Africa. We only have Bald Eagles here locally, a couple usually nests on the other side on the intra-coastal bay. Have a wonderful week, my friend.

      1. Thanks Tiny, I am hoping that I will get to visit my Sea Eagle friend on New Years Day when I visit my previous home town, to visit my daughter’s family, we will see how it works out:-)

  3. What a warm welcome you got from everyone, Helen. It’s always such a pleasure to read your narrative and see your amazing photos. That Walking Stick insect really does look like a leaf. I especially loved Miss Rosa singing her welcome-home song. 🙂

    1. Yes, the welcome was wonderful, so much fun to see many of our friends again. Miss Rosa doesn’t have a great singing voice, but boy didn’t that song come from the heart 🙂 She always acknowledges me, and sometimes I think she poses for the photos. The Walking Stick fellow was too funny. Total camouflage!

    1. It was a great homecoming! That Mockingbird on the fence was truly beautiful, there was something soulful about her, I thought 🙂 Can’t wait to get time to visit them again!

    1. Oh yes, definitely a budding romance going on. And I can’t get over the fact that Stanley proposes to Sandy every single year with a special gift and a sky dance…that’s royal treatment 😀

    1. Thank you Stacey. I’ve lived in many places across the continents, but this is one of the most beautiful ones…and so perfect for a nature lover.

    1. Thank you, Natalie, for taking a walk with us in the salt marsh, and your very kind comment. I see more miracles now that I expect them and look for them 🙂 ❤

    1. I had seen a similar “Walking Stick” insect in Africa, but this was my first time to see it here. It looked just like a leaf on the walkway, then it rose up and walked away.

  4. How happy I feel I managed to join you and share with you this warm homecoming,dear Tiny!I’ve arrived here after hiking with you and the white doggie around childhood-homeland,I was spied by a “one-eyed Cyclops in the forest,I crossed over the the realms of the clouds and here I am listening to the welcome-home songs of your feathered friends!What a nice feeling to be with them again!Miss Rosa,the beautiful Herons and Egrets,Ibis in his pure white plumage and the eternally in love couple performing courting antics.Wonderful bird portraits once again and lovely floral composites!Have a brilliant day,my friend and enjoy more salt marsh walks 🙂 xxx

    1. Thank you dear Doda for walking with me from the northern lands (and England) all the way back to the salt marsh 🙂 It was a beautiful homecoming! Right now I’m too busy with work, but try to free some time to take these walks – they are the best medicine for stress. Have a beautiful week, my friend 🙂 XX

    1. Happy you enjoyed the company of our friends, Hariod. I have often found the Mayor in a contemplative mood. I think he is good at “just being” 🙂

    1. Thanks for coming along Kathy! I hope they were glad to see me, at least none of them flew away when I came. Apart from Mama Osprey, of course, but she had more important priorities to attend to 🙂

  5. I love these pictures and I do truly believe you are as much a part of their lives and routine as they are a part of yours.

  6. Ah, Miss Rosa, so lovely and such a sweetheart to sing a song of welcome to you! The shot of her looking at you is priceless! You have so many colorful plants and creatures down there – it’s a wonderful treat for my eyes. The picture of the northern mockingbird is gorgeous. Looking forward to following the coming chapters of Stanley & Sandy’s love story.

    1. These bird friends are so generous with me, like Miss Rosa who always poses for a photo. She looked at me immediately after her song and I was thinking she either wanted to know if I had liked it, or if it was too loud 🙂 That Mockingbird was very beautiful with “soulful” eyes. I look forward to the Osprey nesting season as well…and although I’m overly busy with work right now and until late spring, I hope to carve out enough time to go see them regularly.

  7. Welcome back. As always, love the pictures and commentary. I really liked the shot of the little bird (Northern Mockingbird) with the green fan-shaped leaf behind it. Really striking that one.

    1. I’m also looking forward to it. They were flying together again today when I was out with Bumble. I heard them talk, and if I’m not mistaken, it sounded like Sandy asked for fish.

  8. Wow Tiny – was it REALLY all in one day?!?!? Great shots and beautiful wildlife. I saw spoonbills for the first time on Kiawah this year and was SO excited. We too have salt marshes and similar birdlife and I never get tired of seeing them. How lucky are we???

    1. Yes, we are really lucky…and I love to follow some of these birds that I have learned to distinguish from others in their species. To be honest, I think I took the spoonbill pictures on the day before when I attempted a walk, but it started raining and I had to run back home. When I participate in the global bird count mid February every year, I have counted 21-28 different bird species per 1-2 h walk just around this area. Last February the total count for three days was 44 different birds that I could identify for sure. The north end of this barrier island is quite lively 😀

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