Sunset Musings. And Naming Sweepstakes.

In 2014 Sandy and Stanley had one chick, a girl. I named her Diamond because she had a “necklace” that was diamond-shaped. In this picture taken in June 2014, she is carrying a half-eaten fish after a fishing trip with Stanley.

Diamond flying 2014 ud63Those who have followed my posts a bit longer may remember that I thought Diamond came to visit her parents in December last year. This is the only picture I got of her, taken right against the sun, but you can see her “necklace” was still there.

maybe Diamond ud63.jpgThen last year, Sandy and Stanley had three chicks. You, the friends of this Osprey family, named them Lofty, Aspire and Sindile. Lofty was the self-assured older brother, Aspire was the middle sister who aspired to do everything Lofty did, and Sindile was the sweet little sister.

last years osprey family ud63They all grew up nicely and fledged. Then in about four to five weeks they all learned to fish for themselves and left the nest. Sandy and Stanley were exhausted and went on a well deserved vacation.

Last years chicks ud63You may remember I thought Aspire also came back to visit her parents last December. What a beautiful young lady she had become.

aspire ud63So this year they had two chicks. The little one was born at least a week after the firstborn, which in itself was strange, and unfortunately she did not survive.

two osprey chicks ud63The beautiful firstborn fledged last week and now deserves to be named. I don’t think she’d like to be referred to as “the chick of 2016” when she comes to visit her parents later on all grown up.

osprey chick ud60Last night I took my light camera along for our evening walk to the doggy park and took a few sunset pictures using the dog stabilizer, pictured below.

dylan dog stabilizer ud63All my pictures are all little “soft” as the stabilizer was disturbed by some squirrels and other irresistible attractions along the trail. But you can see the Osprey chick was alert and looking intently at something on the ground, while Mama Sandy was enjoying some rest warmed by the last rays of sun.

mama and osprey chick at sunsset ud63I had to look right into the sun to see what she was staring at. Shading my eyes, I could finally distinguish a blue-gray shape hunkering behind some glittering long grass. The younger Great Blue Heron was in attendance. And the chick was keeping an eye on him.

young GBH 3 UD63

We also found Miss Rosa. She was standing on one foot and sleeping.

roseate spoonbill 2 ud63And walking back from the doggy park, we also spotted a Snowy Egret still hunting in the shallow waters.

snowy egret ud63Walking back home, I decided to take a swing on the bay side. The last rays colored everything vibrantly so I snapped a picture of the Sailing Center pier, while Dylan was looking right into the water from the edge of the sea wall.

sunset on the bay and papa osprey ud63Only after taking the picture, I realized there was something familiar. I zoomed closer while making sure Dylan didn’t intend to do a somersault into the water below. And caught a wet Papa Stanley resting on the railing, after what I believed was a failed dive for supper. I thought he looked like a painting.

papa osprey ud63Back to the name issue. What’s it gonna be? I leave that up to you. Please propose fun names for this girl in the comments. Last year I found it difficult to judge all those great proposals, so this year we are going to do a lottery, or sweepstakes. All you have to do is to put one name (not yet proposed by others) in the comments by next Monday, June 6.  I will then print them all out,  put them into a hat and Dylan will do the drawing. Dylan two weeks at home 3We’ve agreed that I will tie the name slips onto small halves of his favorite cookies. And the name on the first cookie piece he picks will be the winner. That should be fair. The only challenge with this procedure will be for me to take away the hat before he eats all the pieces.

Now you might be wondering about the price. No? I will not keep you guessing. The winner will get my 8 x 8″photo book about last year’s nesting season in hard cover, My Life as an Osprey. It’s in print already, so please hurry up 🙂 The winner will be announced next Wednesday.

osprey book 2015 seasonDylan and I are hoping you’ll come up with some great sounding names that even he can pronounce. Thanks in advance for putting you creative thinking hat on. Be good now. Tiny & Dylan


84 thoughts on “Sunset Musings. And Naming Sweepstakes.”

  1. Great story. I like how Stanley is perfectly framed between those two pylons. Add sunset colouring: magnificent. No name suggestion, leaving that task to the older members of this blog. Tempting though but the first suggestion, in my opinion, takes it all.

    1. The sunset coloring was gorgeous last night. That was the reason I went to the bay side – and found Stanley. On a second thought, I think he had already delivered a fish to the nest. The chick had a full crop and Sandy was snoozing off. He might have been there to catch one for himself, I’ve seen him do that previously.

  2. Stanley does look like he’s in a stately painting, with his feathers looking like a formal jacket.

    I vote for Miriah!

    1. Yes, he does! When I looked at the picture (the only one that was quite shake-free) I thought it looked like a painting. I had a hard time to make Dylan stay safely on the seawall. Thanks for the name for the hat!

      1. On second look, the ruff of feathers below his neck looks like an ascot 😀 The opposite of Hawaiian-shirt pose Stanley we’ve seen in his getaway pics 🙂

  3. Stunning photo of the Stanley and Sandy family! This is their third year, Wow!! Thank you for the update, love it. 🙂 ❤

    1. Yes, this is their third year that I have followed, but they may have been there longer. Thanks for you visit, Amy 🙂 ❤

    1. Thank you Lorrie! Soledad goes into the hat. She will indeed spend 2-3 years in solitude after leaving the nest and before she’ll “get married” 🙂

  4. Wonderful portrait photo of Papa Stanley. He is so regal. Love that you are having a competition for the chick’s name. I propose ‘Ntombi’, which is Zulu for ‘Lady’. I’ve just been looking into Dylan’s eyes, willing him to pick out my cookie first. 😀 Beautiful photos and I love your magnificent sunset.

    1. I love African names, particularly those that begin with N. I hope Dylan does too 🙂 When we left Uganda in 1994, I was given a Ugandan name, Naiga Ngabi, at the farewell party hosted by the city of Kampala. I loved that name – “graceful gazelle” in Luganda 😀

    1. Welcome to the naming party, Brad. Cookies to everyone! But please can you come up with another name because Stella is already taken and splitting the book would probably not work that well 😀

    1. Thank you, Karen! Sabrina goes into the hat 🙂 I have noticed that Miss Rosa now comes only in the evening. Or she might be there in the day time too, but is always hiding in the bushes from the strong sun we now have.

    1. I also love seeing the Snowy Egret and the bigger Great Egret, they are always so clean and proper looking although they hunt in mud flats and shallow waters 🙂

  5. What a wonderful engaging gesture Tiny! Again your photos are amazing and your gift for storytelling also wonderfully engaging. You are a natural storyteller. I would name the little girl Pippa after my grand daughter. I am not very original. It is a nick name for Philippa (lover of horses). Don’t ask me how that has any significance:-)) Have a wonderful week and I hope Dylan is learning to be obedient on your walks.

    1. Your comment made me smile. Pippa is sweet name and goes into the hat right away. Dylan has already learned not to lurch after birds when they are on the ground, which is a great achievement for a dog who is a natural hunter. He will be so excited doing the drawing on Monday 😀 I hope your weekend adventures have been wonderful!

  6. Dylan is going to have a hat-full to pick from! My suggestion is Allegresse, a Latin/French word that translates as “elation”. (As in the musical term “allegre”: lively or jaunty.) You could end it with an ‘a’— Allegressa —for a feminine touch.

    1. Thank you, Christine – I like the sound of Allegressa! Dylan will be so excited when he sees the hat that smells his favorite cookies 🙂 I wish you a good week ahead.

    1. Oh, that is a beautiful name, Matti. And its meaning would fit a young Osprey girl so perfectly! Let’s see what Dylan picks on Monday 🙂

  7. Beautiful images, Helen… What a joy to see the young returning. And Diamond’s chest does indeed have a lovely necklace! Lucky girl…
    What a gorgeous image of Stanley on the pier railing. He looks like a little sentinel… and as though he’s been stationed there always. Very cute and ‘proper’.
    Dylan needs a mention too. He sure looks content. 😉
    As for naming the new little one; I can’t think of one, except perhaps ‘Charm’. (The power or quality of pleasing or delighting.) Whatever she is named it will be wonderful to see her, if she returns one day… BTW – Well done to you for your book. I’m sure it is wonderful. 🙂

    1. Thank you Carolyn! I loved Stanley on the railing too, sentinel is a good way of describing how he looked. I think that Dylan is content in his new home, at least he is very affectionate and looks happy. Your nice name proposal is going to the famous hat for Monday! Dylan will have a blast 🙂

  8. It’s always a treat to catch up with the Salt Marsh family. So many lovely names have been suggested. Here’s one I have made up. Nalyd, which is Dylan (backwards). I thought it would be fun to connect the arrival of these two lovely ones in your life. Also Dylan apparently means, amongst other things, ‘born near the sea’. I don’t know about Dylan but the osprey chick was definitely born near the sea. 🙂 Congratulations on the completion of your book.

    1. Thank you Gallivanta! That is a very clever name proposal 🙂 Yes, the Osprey girl was definitely born near the sea, and maybe Dylan too. I wish we knew more about his past!

    1. That is a great name, but has already been proposed by two other friends! I don’t think splitting the book would be such a good idea 😉 With your creativity it will be easy to come up with another name, right?

  9. Oh,there was so much coming and going in the Sandy & Stanley family and so many family gatherings!Your recent photos are wonderful,I guess that your assistant does a good job there.He looks so eager to start shooting your friends in the Salt Marsh and so excited about the “naming event”.I hope he’ll put my choice into the hat.You know,I had a canary some years ago,her name was Calypso.Happy Thursday,dear Tiny & special hugs to Dylan 🙂

    1. Dylan is certainly excited about the “naming party” he will have on Monday evening 😀 And yes, your nice name proposal is already in the hat, but not with the cookies as yet. Dylan is getting more patient with me when I stop to “shoot” the birds. Tonight we went to the dog park and came back through the salt marsh…once he has run enough, he will sit while I shoot 🙂 Have a wonderful week ahead, dear Doda.

      1. Oh,sweet boy Dylan,you are such a dear!Enjoy the naming party 🙂 I am glad Tiny, your assistant is such a great help and he is getting better and better day by day.I have just read your post about the fishing lessons and Colin’s “invasion”.Keep safe my friend,hugs to Dylan 🙂 xxx

    1. Lack of imagination 😀 You can tell I don’t quite “buy” that. The dog stabilizer works a bit erratically but I have noticed that after he has had the opportunity to run in the dog park, it is much easier to get him to sit.

  10. Hello Helen,
    I didn’t know you had published a photo book of the Osprey family! When I saw this “baby” I immediately thought of: Sora. Sora means “sky” in Japanese, and I can imagine she’ll be soaring in the sky soon 🙂

    Best wishes,

    1. Thank you dear Takami! Sora would be a wonderful name! It is going to the hat immediately for the “naming party” Dylan will have on Monday evening 🙂

    1. It is great to be able to look back, and even more wonderful when I have recognized previous chicks when they suddenly appear close to the nest 🙂 I hope you are having good adventures over the weekend, Stephanie 🙂

  11. Such lovely post catching up with the Osprey familia Helen!
    I was thinking of a name that Dylan would choose… something with a D, but I do like the “S” suggestions so far, she does have a special twinkle in her eye. My favorites so far are Stella and Sora… but I leave it up to Dylan to choose without eating them all!

    1. Thanks Val! Since those nice “S” names are already “taken”, I will pick one of the proposals you made in the comments to the previous post – unless you want to tell me which one? You will need to be part of the “lottery” and Dylan’s naming party ❤

  12. How wonderful Helen, another book! Well done! It’s so neat to watch the family tree grow! You are so patient and such a great story teller. A delight to know these birds through you! Papa Stanley needs a break every now and again. What a beauty he is on that pier. I wonder, does Miss Rosa get her coloring from the foods she eats, like flamingos do? Another lovely post at the salt marsh! Oh and Dylan is such a cutie. How is his eye? Hugs to you Helen. 🙂

    1. Happy to see you, Koko! Dylan’s eye has healed really well! A big relief. Yes, Miss Rosa’s feathers get their pink color, just like flamingos, from the crustaceans she eats. It’s been a bit difficult to watch the Osprey chick facing the tropical storm alone in the nest. Quite rough at times with rain falling sideways in the strong winds. Just now (6:30 pm) I see her eating for the first time today – I guess Papa Stanley went fishing in the storm 🙂 Hugs to you too, Koko 🙂

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