Adieu Lady Cawcaw. Hello Summer.

Lady Cawcaw left last Monday. Just like every Osprey chick born at the salt marsh in the past three years, she left exactly one month after fledging. And I haven’t spotted her since. This is the last picture I got of her. She had a full crop and had taken a bath. This beautiful bird was ready to take on the big world outside the salt marsh. I wish her the best! And hope to see her again.

last picture of osprey chick lady cawcaw ud69It looked like the birds were saying their goodbyes to her. The Yellow-crowned Night Heron peered towards the nest.

yellow-crowned night heron ud69The Green Heron was in deep thought. Maybe pondering how fast the time flies. And how fast the kids grow up.

green heron ud69Miss Rosa was on her favorite ‘island’ close to the Osprey nest. She took her customary beauty nap and then walked around looking for food.

roseate spoonbill ud69Life goes on and we all have to eat. That was true also for the Black Skimmer, who was flying around lightning fast and skimming the waters.

Black skimmer ud69The salt marsh feels somehow quieter now in the absence of Lady Cawcaw’s performances. The birds go on with their daily chores, but the action has been more low-key. Maybe they miss her. Or maybe it’s the midsummer heat.

Mama Sandy has been hanging around the nest for a few hours almost every day since Lady Cawcaw left. On Friday I found her eating a big fish.

mama osprey at the nest ud69And Papa Stanley has been around too. They have not gone on vacation this year, like they did last year and the year before. May it be that Lady Cawcaw has stayed somewhere nearby and they are keeping an eye on her?

papa osprey ud69This morning I took another quick walk to see who was at home. The first bird I saw was the Loggerhead Shrike (or butcherbird),  who hasn’t been around for a while. He was scanning for prey.

loggerhead shrike ud69And a Red-winged Blackbird was singing his heart out close to the Osprey nest.

female red-winged blackbird ud69Sandy was babysitting the nest. It’s unusual she does that directly after the nesting season, but she must have her reasons.

mama osprey at the nest ud69She was keeping an eye on the skies as well as on the young Blue Heron who was very close to the nest. He earned a few warning calls. Again.

young great blue heron ud69The Moorhens were out in big numbers. One was doing her beauty routine at a small pond.

moorhen 3 ud69.jpgThe Egrets were well represented too, both big and small.

snowy egret 2 ud69And so were the White Ibis. They had invaded the popular ‘resort island’, and had it all for themselves.

white Ibis ud69But Miss Rosa was represented only by this hot pink marker. Probably left there last night after her evening bath. A feather that was not up to her high standards.

miss rosas feather ud69This is all from the ‘Salt Marsh News’ for tonight. I have a feeling these news will be broadcasted at a more random schedule over the summer. This reporter will take her summer vacation, which involves various travels. She will still post and read. But it will be more like ‘whenever’ until after mid August.

summer beach ud69From all of us to all of you: Thank you for being here, have a wonderful week! Enjoy summer!


91 thoughts on “Adieu Lady Cawcaw. Hello Summer.”

  1. I don’t know why, but I feel sad that Lady Cawcaw has moved on. Perhaps it is the same melancholy I felt when my sons each left the “nest”. But life goes on, and we each find our own ways. Thank so very much for sharing the lovely story of the salt marsh!

    1. I feel the same way, but having seen four chicks leave the nest before Lady Cawcaw, it’s becoming a bit easier to see them “off”. They need lots of luck and determination to survive to maturity, but these non-migratory ones have better odds as the weather is warm here year round and fish is plenty. It was so good last winter to see two of their “older girls” visit this area.

  2. Oh what a bittersweet moment, but many Congrats to the Osprey Parents for raising yet another strong and independent chick. Wishing you and your family a wonderful summer holiday Helen 🙂

    All the best from Tokyo,

    1. I think the Osprey parents are tired, but proud of their girl! Being “the only child” she was big and strong when she left so I am sure she will navigate the wide world skillfully 🙂 I wish you and your family a wonderful summer as well. Hugs from Florida ❤ Helen

  3. Such a beautiful Lady. She is going to break some hearts, just as many young women do when they leave the nest. 🙂 The single feather shot, waterside, is exquisite. Vaya con Dios with your travels, Helen. Return safe and rested.

    1. Thanks Eric! I know, she grew up to be a very beautiful young lady. I’m sure in 2-3 years, she will have many suitors. Hopefully she selects someone with multiple degrees, such as in fishing and construction 😀 Happy summer to you too!

    1. Usually these young Ospreys do not come back for an encore after their leave the scene. I have tried that, but no 😀 She may come back to the area later and we may see her sitting on a lamp-post nearby taking with her parents… Warm summer greetings, Helen

  4. Wonderful photos and i love that last shot, so inviting! Your osprey photos are divine! The Holler fledgies are leaving the nests now too, but still trying to cage food from mom even though they do this while sitting in the seed feeder!

    1. Thanks Cindy! The last shot is from our beach, the chairs are our neighbor’s. Your comment on the fledgies made me laugh…I can ‘see’ them sitting next to the feeder asking to be fed 🙂

  5. They grow up so fast. Like all youngsters, they are not babes for long!
    And life goes on for yet another season.
    What a wonderful record you have kept, Helen. There is a wistfulness and a sense of loss, coupled with joy and good fortune within this post (or is that within me?). Fare the well, Lady Cawcaw. It will be lovely to see you if and when you return.
    Thank You for your writings, Helen. They have given so many the sense of intimacy with many of your feathered friends and acquaintances; me being such a one.

    1. So true…all babies grow up too fast. Lady Cawcaw hatched mid-late March and was gained independence in three months. I am happy and sad at the same time…and also hope she will come back and visit later. And yes, these birds are like an extended family to me now 🙂 and I am contributing to research on Ospreys in particular. I’ll keep reporting when I’m at home…and more regularly again from late summer! Thanks for being here Carolyn. XX

  6. Its clear the Salt Marsh crowd is disappointed that there was no farewell concert. As Hariod says I hope she comes back for an encore.
    Great captures Helen 💛

    1. Thanks, Val! I kept tabs on her more the last couple of weeks as I knew she would leave soon, but was amazed that she left exactly one month after fledging – just like Diamond in 2014 and the three chicks last year. It must be an internal ‘clock’ telling them it’s time to leave. I too hope she comes back to visit!

  7. A month doesn’t seem long enough! still nature has it’s own time for everything. I would love that feather of Rosa’s! Enjoy your warm summer break Helen. 🙂

    1. Thanks Karen! Since all these chicks have left almost exactly one month after fledging, I think they follow some instinctive internal voice – much like we humans should do more often 🙂

  8. I’m glad you mentioned the moorhens ~ we saw a brood of babies trotting/ waddling along behind their mom the other day. So cute!

    Good luck to you . . . and to Lady Caw Caw . . . in your travels.

    1. Wow! They are really super cute with their big feet! I have not seen the babies this year. One year I saw them in June, last year I think I was August…so there’s still hope for a sighting or two 🙂 Thanks Nancy.

  9. I’m sure you know the children’s lit magazines in the States – Spider, Cricket etc. I’m sure, too, they would love a nonfiction (or even a fiction) story about your osprey family, or about the marsh in general. And you can provide the fantastic pix too. Submissions info is on their website if you google Cricket Magazine. I’m not really trying to make more work for you!

    1. Thanks for the tip, Tish. I was not aware of these magazines…I guess too much going on. But since I will be taking a good break from projects this summer, I will “investigate the matter” 🙂

      1. They should maybe have copies of them in your local library. They are the bees’ knees in children’s short story publishing in the US – catering for all, from babes to young adults.

    1. It’s possible Lady Cawcaw flies up the coast and you’ll spot her fishing! I love to try to capture the Back Skimmers as they provide a challenge for the photographer. The two first years I saw them at the salt marsh (2013-14) I didn’t get a single shot…they were far too fast and I couldn’t predict where they would fly next. Practice helps a little bit 🙂

    1. Happy to see you! My hope is that friends will learn to know these birds and little bit about their species too through my pictures and stories. Thank you.

  10. Oh your photos here are so excellent, Tiny, always such a pleasure to cruise around the marsh with you. I hope you have a wonderful summer vacation.

    1. Thank you for your visit, and kind comment, Jet! This year has been exceptionally hard work so I am going to take a longish break, but will visit the salt marsh when at home so we can keep an eye on our friends 🙂

  11. It’s been an amazing journey with the Ospreys — watching the family so closely has been a blessing. Thank you, Ellen.

    1. Thank you Genie! Mama Osprey is like the queen of the marsh, keeping an eye on everything and everybody. I hope she will take a short vacation so that I can get someone to repair the nest for the next nesting season 🙂

    1. Thank you for visiting and your kind comment! These feathered friends have become very much like my ‘extended family’ after following them now for three years 🙂

  12. Lovely pictures… I never thought about it before, but those feathers must keep the ospreys from getting sunburned, sitting out there exposed all summer as the sun beats down on them. And their eyes must possess some sort of natural built-in sunglasses. Funny the way we can start wondering about the lives of birds…

    1. The Osprey has many special things to them, for example the feathers have a special oil that helps the water roll off them easily. And probably helps to tolerate sun too. When it’s really hot, they buff themselves up, open their mouth and let the tongue hang out for a cooling effect. And they take ‘breast baths’ without trying to catch a fish. Their eyes are built a little differently from ours too, with more densely packed retinal cells and more of them, and their distance vision is about twice as good as ours…maybe those things count as ‘sunglasses’ 🙂

    1. Ahh yes, this year I feel I’ve ‘earned’ a longish break 🙂 But when here, I will keep an eye on the birds, of course … Enjoy your summer too, Susan.

  13. Gorgeous photos, Helen. I’m sure that Lady Cawcaw will be back one day. I suppose Sandy and Stanley are now suffering from ’empty nest syndrome’. Hope they, like you manage to take a holiday. They’ve sure earned it. Have fun on your travels. See you when I see you. xx

    1. I think the ’empty nest syndrome’ is real for these two parents, but both of them lose quite a bit of weight during the nesting season so they will focus on taking care of themselves too. Gourmet meals of 300 g each 🙂 I’m looking fwd to a “free” summer, family, travel, small adventures, etc. But will be back here quite often, I’m sure, peeking into my favorite readings, like the fascinating visitors you have 🙂 XX

  14. Have a wonderful summer! Your photo of the chairs at the beach makes me want to head to the shore right now. It looks so relaxing.

  15. Thanks again for another interesting report on the salt marsh community. It is good that Lady Caw Caw has thrived and now left the nest to make her way in the world. Yes your Loggerhead Shrike looks like a butcherbird, and then I read your text that it has that name also. Have a great week Tiny!

  16. Lady Cawcaw is a beautiful bird and I am going to miss getting to see her. I hope she comes around again so you can get more pictures of her. It is amazing how fast birds grow. Wonderful pictures of all the activity going on in the marsh sweet Tiny. Enjoy your summer and your travels. Hugs

    1. I hope to see her again too. Now it seems her parents have taken vacation too. I am looking fwd to seeing my grandkids this weekend again 🙂 Have a wonderful July 4th. Hugs

  17. A wonderful post and photos updating us on the Salt Marsh! I feel a pang of sadness that Lady Cawcaw’s instinct to leave has already occurred. Her parents taught her well, I wish her the best! I can relate to the quietness once Osprey chicks do leave with our past Oliver and Olivia couple and their season broods. Those teenagers can be quite vocal! BTW, you are a super Mother Hen, it’s a title to hold dear to your heart for following a family of birds on a daily basis, getting to really know them on a personal basis, and they you. It’s impossible to not get attached! 🙂 Happy Summer, Helen, enjoy your travels.

    1. The super mother hen title made me smile 🙂 I know you can relate to what I am feeling now. Even the parents are on ‘vacation’, Sandy seldom comes to the nest right now although I have spotted her around along the bay side a couple of times when I’ve walked with Dylan. Stanley has taken off. Haven’t seen him in a couple of weeks…and might not until August.

  18. Lady Cawcaw is so beautiful!! I wish her well, too. 🙂 Thank you for the update and these beautiful bird photos. I enjoy so much.
    Have a great summer, happy travel, Helen! 🙂

    1. Thanks Amy! I miss Lady Cawcaw…but I’m sure she’s enjoying her new found freedom somewhere along the coast 🙂

    1. Thank you! I am back home (and blog) intermittently over the summer, and right now miss the nesting action at the salt marsh 🙂

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