Murmurations. Occupations. And a Circle at the Salt Marsh.

My goodness! This year got off to a flying start, in more than one respect. The days have flown by until late at night before this girl has hit the pillow. And the Kindle with interesting blog posts has hit the floor. The birds seem to have been equally busy. Like the European Starlings, performing murmurations over the bay (I only caught the tail end of it here) and occupying neighborhood roofs.

murmurationstarlings on the roofOr like this unknown handsome male, who flew repeatedly past my office window and circled over the salt marsh. He certainly made Papa Stanley keep a close eye on Mama Sandy.

young male osprey in flight

During the only walk I’ve managed to take in this week, on Sunday, I found Stanley sitting with his fish on a lamp-post just outside of our garden. He had a straight line of sight to Sandy, who was at the nest.

mama and papa osprey I observed they both seem to be “right handed” as they held the fish in their right foot talons.  But they didn’t actually eat. They were watching the visitor eating his fish on a lamp-post nearby.

young male ospreyThis new fellow might be a young male trying to charm “Diamond”, the young female who paid a visit to Sandy and Stanley around Christmas time. She is probably somewhere not too far from here. But if that’s the case, there’s not much hope for this suitor to get her father’s approval. Stanley was quite vocal about that.

male osprey calling alarm

When I arrived at the salt marsh, I found it to be much like a lively little city.  Lots of Wood Storks, Egrets, Herons and Ibis were mingling on and between the islets. Papa Wood Stork had complete control of his clan, and everybody coexisted peacefully. I have to say the birds do this better than us humans.

wood storks and an ibis portrait of a wood storkwhite ibis

A few ibis were foraging in a neat circle in the shallow waters. Some of them circling clockwise and others counterclockwise, much like we know from human life.

ibis feed in circle

Sandy was still at the nest working on her fat fish, and the Mayor presided over the crowds from his favorite islet.

female osprey with a fisholder great blue heron

The nesting season is clearly approaching. The Egrets are already growing their breeding plumage, and lots of courting was going on.

great egret growing breeding plumagesnowy egret  in breeding plumage

The one seemingly not interested in such adult behaviors was the juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron, who was trying to hide in the grass.

juvenile black-crowned night heron

Pop Yellow-crowned Night Heron seemed uninterested as well. He had a potential partner hiding in the branches of a tree right next to him, but he was fast asleep. Or maybe he was just pretending? Peeking at her with one eye?

yellow-crowned night heron

Suddenly the Mayor decided it was time to change scenery. He flew on the other side of the marsh towards the bay.

great blue heron in flightI decided to follow him to check if that beach would be equally crowded. On my way I spotted the European Starlings again. They had now gathered in a huge tree close to the park entrance.

european starling european starlings

The Mayor acknowledged me with a sidelong glance as soon as I arrived to the beach on the bay side.

great blue heron

That beach was fairly quiet. Only a Double-crested Cormorant and a few Gulls kept him company. I guess he needed some peace and quiet away from the crowds.

double crested cormorant gull Walking home, I spotted another beautiful Snowy Egret, a few Willets, and my faithful friend, the Northern Mockingbird.

snowy egret in breeding plumage Willet northern mockingbird

Bougainvillea blooms greeted me at the corner of our garage when I arrived home from my 3.5 mile walk. Then thinking I would repeat the walk the next day again. But it was not to be.

bougainvillea flower Unfortunately it may take another week or more before I get to see my feathery friends again. I have some travels coming up starting tomorrow morning. I hope your year is off to a good start, and thank you for coming along.

You can find many other circles here.