It’s winter in Florida. 39 F (4 C) with strong winds made me dig for my 25 years old, lined bomber jacket. It’s known to keep me warm whatever the knots on the ocean. And soon after sunrise today it was exactly what I needed. I wanted to take a quick walk to see how my friends at the salt marsh were dealing with the cold and the wind.
I couldn’t walk there through the beach as the wind was kicking up a sand storm. Fine sand doesn’t mix well with my gear, or my hair for that matter. So I quickly zoomed out to get a picture of the rough seas, and then decided for the bay side.
The palm trees were bending in the wind, their “hair” flying wild. I thought the marsh residents would all be in hiding, just like the people seemed to be. But I was wrong. The salt marsh was anything but quiet. Just when I arrived Mama Sandy flew into the nest where Stanley was waiting.
Then they perched there together, their heads facing the wind, most of the time.
Sandy might already be pregnant. Last year she laid eggs around February 21st, but this year I’m thinking it might happen earlier.
Sandy took advantage of the wind to get her feathers clean and beautiful. Her agenda was all about love. And Stanley didn’t disappoint.
Maybe when I’ll return from my trip in two weeks time I’ll find them incubating. That would be exciting.
I continued my walk and found more romantic agendas. Two Great Egrets were taking shelter in the bushes below the Osprey nest. Both in breeding plumage. Long looks were exchanged, beautifying was going on and courting was definitely on the agenda.
Did you know that in addition to the long plumes, a patch on the face of these birds turns neon green for the breeding season? That is clearly visible on the male above, and on the flying bird in the featured image. I think that’s quite cool.
There were several other birds in the vicinity, like Night Herons and Snowy Egrets, but they were deep in the bushes seeking shelter from the wind. This little Tri-colored Heron had dared to step out into the sun. He had only one agenda. To get warm.
But sometimes the agendas collide even for birds. And some fighting ensues. Like for these young Great Egrets. After a loud exchange and some aerial acrobatics, the loser left and flew away over the dog park.
Maybe it was about this young lady, who was approached by the young Great Blue Heron.
He was talking to her, and it looked like he was fishing for votes in a bid to take over the Mayor’s Office. The Mayor himself was a bit further out warming himself in the sun, and didn’t notice this youngster with a devious agenda.
Walking back from the beach end of the marsh, I spotted a beautiful female Belted Kingfisher. She was exactly where I had first seen the male last Sunday. Maybe they have a nest building agenda? That would be nice. New residents are always welcome.
Just when I was leaving the marsh, I found my friend, the young Muscovy Duck. He was airing his colorful feathers, but kept an eye on me at the same time.
That was it for today. And for the next couple of weeks. In the meantime I’m hoping to capture at least one tiny bird of a different origin. Or maybe a lion. If I’m really lucky. I’ll try to peek into the blogging world whenever time and connectivity allows for such a luxury.
Thank you for coming along! Have a great week everyone.