I don’t even know where to begin the salt marsh news as I’ve been away far too long from here. Completely buried in work trying to get my project finished. But there’s been a couple of walks around the salt marsh, one around sunset more than a week ago and one yesterday morning. And there’s been looking for a small homeless dog to adopt. Bumble whispered to me from the rainbow bridge that it was okay to fall in love with another homeless poodle. So we’re in the process of applying for a job as adoptive dog parents. Again.
It was late. Hardly any light reached beyond the beach where the sun was about to dive into the ocean. I spotted Papa Stanley on a lamp-post at the parking lot next to the marsh. As per his usual routine, he was eating the first part of the fish before bringing the rest to Mama Sandy, who was still sitting on the eggs in the nest. I heard her calling to him asking for dinner.
While working on the fish he was constantly checking on Sandy. He knew she was hungry too. And that the hatching was imminent.
He landed very close to Sandy who was not even visible from the ground, and sat on the egg(s) immediately.
So that Sandy could take the fish and have her late dinner. I was really taken by his loving look when Sandy took off with her half of the fish. She settled down to eat it on the same lamp-post close the nest.
I walked around the marsh and spotted a few birds that had not yet settled down for the night, like this tiny Snowy Egret who was still fishing in the shallow waters.
And the White Ibis, who was patrolling the marsh, no doubt in search for some munchies before the night fall.
Then I walked on to the beach just in time to see the sun dive into the ocean. And the darkness fell over the earth.
I kept an eye on the nest from my office window during the whole last week. And discovered a change of pace. There was no quick shift change when Stanley came in with the fish. Instead both stood up and it looked like Sandy was feeding a tiny hatchling while the proud father looked on.
So yesterday morning I went to see them again. Sandy was sitting in the nest, probably brooding the newly hatched chick(s). She will do that for about ten days, until the hatchling(s) are too large to fit under her. It was hot and humid, and she was cooling herself with her tongue hanging out. She acknowledged my presence, but Stanley was nowhere to be seen.
So I continued my walk and spotted the young Great Blue Heron. He was very close to the Mayor’s office, but didn’t dare to step on that little islet in his elder’s absence. That was good.
At the other end of the marsh I found a couple of Florida Mottled Ducks, but got a picture only of the female.
That’s when I realized Stanley was back at the nest. I quickly walked back and found the Osprey parents attending to the hatchling(s), whom they were effectively shielding from all attention by the paparazzi.
Stanley was wet. He’d obviously been fishing. And Sandy was eating the fish and I assume, also feeding small pieces of fish to the chick(s). So I sat there, walked round the nest and climbed up on benches in the hope of capturing a small head or hearing a little peep. But nothing. Not yet.
Then Stanley flew off with the rest of the fish. I spotted him and his fish on a tree branch nearby when walking home. He looked at me as in saying “have patience lady”. So I walked home happy knowing that things seem to be fine with the Osprey family.
This Northern Mockingbird and I wish you all a great week. Keep well. Peace.