Breakfast in Bed. Now It’s Official.

Yesterday morning I lifted my eyes from the vector graphics on a complex analysis I was doing for work, and glanced out from my office window towards the Osprey nest. Did I overdo it at my computer and had double vision? I saw two white heads in the nest. I went to fetch my birding binoculars, then my camera…and yay! No double vision, but two Ospreys in the nest.

mama and papa osprey in the nest first time ud39Sandy was half asleep with a partially eaten fish in her talons, and Stanley was in protection mode at the front of the nest. It must have been an early breakfast-in-bed proposal scenario. Sandy had finally gotten her gift! The nesting season 2016 had officially started. And I just had to get out there. Right then. So I left my work, gathered my stuff and jogged straight to the salt marsh.

mama osprey sleeps papa osprey watches ud39And there they were, the love birds. Sandy was still sleeping and Stanley was still checking the environment, including me.  I liked what I saw.

While I was standing close to the nest, I noticed a juvenile Yellow-crowned Night Heron. She was standing on the water installation and staring down into the water, all puffed up.

juvenile yellow-crowned night heron ud39And that’s when I saw them. Two tarpons, 2-3 feet long, were swimming close to the surface of the deep water below the nest.

tarpon in salt marsh ud39They looked huge in that small body of water. Far too much for the young Night Heron, and even for the Ospreys. But then everything is relative. Tarpons can grow to a length of 8 feet and weigh up to 280 pounds. These two fellows captured Stanley’s interest too. He glanced down at them, and then looked at me as in saying these guys are far too big, right?

papa osprey looks down at fish ud39He knows he can carry a fish up to two times his own weight, which would be about 3.5-4.4 pounds. And these were much bigger.

Everybody else noticed them too. Daddy Night Heron stared down into the water from his perch in a nearby tree.

yellow-crowned Night Heron ud39A Snowy Egret on a lower branch got really upset, and gave a loud warning when one of the tarpons jumped up from the water at the shallow end of the pond.

snowy egret is really upset ud39So did Miss Rosa. She had been sleeping and was woken up by all the commotion. She ran further away from the water.

roseate spoonbill shouting ud39The one seemingly not bothered by the appearance of the two visitors was the Mayor. He was back from his Christmas holiday, surveying the marsh leisurely next to his favorite islet.

great blue heron Mayor ud39A large flock of White Ibis was foraging further out in the park. They were not bothered either.

a flock of white ibis ud39After quickly walking around the marsh, I  approached the deep end again. Peace had now returned. Miss Rosa had calmed down, and so had the Snowy Egret.  He was busy cleaning his gorgeous plumage.

roseate spoonbill ud39snowy egret ud39The juvenile Night Heron was still looking a bit wary, but her daddy had already fallen back to sleep.

older juvenile yellow-crowned night heron ud39But Mama Sandy had woken up. She was working on her big fish again.

mama osprey eats papa osprey watches ud39Moorhens were back cruising the deep water, and life had assumed its normal peaceful ways at the salt marsh, on one of the last days of the year.

mama moorhen reflection ud39I returned to my work confident that the new year will bring many new adventures. Happy New Year to everyone! And thank you for being here. Much love, Tiny & co.


63 thoughts on “Breakfast in Bed. Now It’s Official.”

    1. Thank you Lorrie! Yes, ready for the new adventure that the nesting season always brings to the salt marsh 🙂 I wish you a wonderful 2016, with many blessings ❤

    1. My fingers are crossed too! Just now when I’m writing this Mama Sandy was flying past my office window 🙂 I’m sure they’ve started the nest renovation project right away. Happy New Year to you & yours!

    1. Love is indeed blooming in the marsh. Sandy and Stanley always start the nesting season…other birds are now developing their breeding plumage and will soon be looking for a mate. Spring is for babies 🙂 Happy New Year to you and yours too, Karen!

  1. I guess that you knew it was going to happen, I anticipated something like that too! As you said It’s official now! Congratulations! My best wishes to all of you, Happy New Year! 🙂

    1. Yes, I expected him to be in the nest soon, but they came together almost two weeks earlier than last year. And it seems they don’t intend to take time off for New Years, but have started their “nestoration” project already 🙂
      My warmest wishes for a Happy New Year to you all!

    1. Thanks Cindy! The park and the salt marsh are fairly small, but somehow attract many different birds, both residents and migrating visitors. Probably because it’s situated between the ocean and the intracoastal bay – lots of food to go around. Our little park is now part of the official Florida Birding Trail 🙂

    1. I think the smaller birds were scared seeing these two “giants”. I hope they’ve gone back to the bay by now, we’ll see. I will try to follow S & S and their nest remodeling project as often as I can 🙂 Happy New Year, Jackie, to both of you.

    1. Thanks Natalie! Good surprises are fun! But I hope the two “giants” have gone back to the ocean by now 🙂 Happy New Year to you too, my friend ❤

    1. Happy you came along Nancy. The “family season” is certainly starting at the salt marsh and promises to be interesting. I hope to get time to visit tomorrow again and will make sure to tell them your greetings. Happy New Year to you guys as well!

  2. Oh, I liked what you saw too sweet Tiny. These pictures are wonderful. It was good to come see all the beauty near you again. I hope to be back blogging soon when I decide what I want to do on my blog now. Happy New Year sweet friend. Hugs, Maggie

    1. I am so happy to see you visit, Mags! Nature’s beauty has the ability to heal and nurture us. I send you my warmest wishes for a blessed new year. Many hugs, Tiny

    1. Ospreys are fascinating birds, fun to observe and learn more about. These non-migrating ones have not been studied much, so I’m trying to contribute to that research in some small ways by registering the nest and reporting milestones for every nesting season. Happy you like your walks, David. Thanks for being here.

  3. It looks very warm at your salt marsh, perfect for pictures. Very nice captures, including that one of the Tarpon. Humans don’t eat them because they are too bony, so maybe the birds don’t like them either?

    1. It’s been really warm the last couple of weeks, I think close to record temperatures for this time of the year. The Tarpon looks so “thin” under the water, but in actuality they were quite “meaty”. I’ve seen the Osprey’s with something that could’ve been a small Tarpon only a couple of times in two years, so it’s not on their favorites list either 🙂

  4. They do make such a cute couple! Love the excitement of this post. Change and new beginnings await us all.
    Happy New Year Helen! I am grateful to have found you and to be part of this great blogging community.

    1. Sandy and Stanley came together a couple of weeks earlier than last year, that was a surprise! And I loved to see how content both of them looked 🙂 I’m happy I found you too, Val, and other great blogging friends this year. My warmest wishes for a wonderful 2016 to you, my friend! xoxo

  5. What a beautiful distraction from your work Tiny, and the hope of another amazing year of adventure, wonder and discovery in the Salt Marsh and beyond. Happy New Year my dear friend!

    1. It was a wonderful distraction, indeed! I hope to get out there again tomorrow to check on the developments at the start of the new year 🙂
      You & yours, my friend, are already experiencing 2016 and I wish you many blessings & wonderful birding adventures throughout the year!

  6. Many thanks for the exceptional images shared in past months Helen, and I look forward to viewing more in the New Year. Here’s wishing you and yours a peaceful and contented 2016!

    1. Thank you for joining me on many walks to greet our feathered friends, Hariod, and for your good wishes of peace and contentment. And as you made the best wish possible, I wish you the same for 2016!

    1. Oh, Amy, you should have come to say hello! Or I could have as I’m only 30 minutes drive west from the airport! Next time 😀 Happy New Year, my friend!

    1. Thank Kathy! Love’s definitely in the air now 🙂 Today the love birds were flying back and forth past our terrace, probably already started their nest remodeling project.

  7. Welcome back home, Sylvia! I hope your NY Eve is fabulous. Thanks for a great year of friendship here in this wonderful community. May 2016 bring you lots of happiness and good health ❤

  8. How wonderful to be so close to nature! I can’t imagine how glorious it its to be able to be immersed into such a amazing habitat! Happy New Year, and much joy to you and your wonderful “neighborhood”:-)

    1. I am grateful every day for the nature I can view right from my home. And walk to in a few minutes. There is so much more natural beauty just short drives away that there will be enough for me to explore for the rest of my life 🙂 I wish you a wonderful 2016 and look forward to coming along your nature adventures!

    1. It is fun indeed! They were flying low above our garden today when I was out with Bumble. Maybe they were on a mission to gather nest repair materials.

  9. Sandy and Stanley there to bring in the New Year with you…or almost the New Year. Wonderful world you live in, and it is always a great sight to see Miss Rosa again – she is simply stunning. Have a great day ~

  10. Right now I can see (from my office window) Miss Rosa huddling in the light rain on a little islet at the marsh. And the Ospreys flying back and forth after starting their nest remodeling project. Thanks for you nice comment, Randall, and have a great first week of the year ~

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