Operation Osprey. The Fundraising Issue.

The Osprey couple of the Sand Key nest, Sandy and Stanley, can now be seen sitting together on the bay side during the ‘blue hour’ every evening. I am sure they are discussing the upcoming nesting season and the dismal condition of their home. Perhaps they are also worrying about the fact that they don’t have the $3000 required for a new home in their savings account.

mama-osprey-at-the-old-nest-ud85On Sunday I took a short walk at the salt marsh and found Sandy ‘babysitting’ the nest. I told her about my hope to have a modern and durable nest dish in place by end of November. Without them needing to take on a mortgage. I think she was listening. She must have seen quite a bit of action around the nest last week. The county did all the tree trimming required for the big truck to get close to her home. A big thanks to the wonderful rangers at Sand Key Park! They truly care about the salt marsh residents.

salt-marsh-trimmedSo now we just need to raise the funds. And we are working hard to get that done as soon as possible. We have approached two large and very successful hotels here on Sand Key, Sheraton and Marriott, to sponsor the nest project. Many of their guests walk at the salt marsh and enjoy observing the Osprey couple and their kids (picture from 2015).

papa-ospreys-fish-delivery-ud85Unfortunately we have not yet heard back from them, but many residents in the area have already sent in contributions. Some of you have asked me if there is a way for you, the friends of this Osprey couple, to contribute too. So here it is. If you want to help, please send your contribution (tax deductible in the US) directly to the local chapter of the Audubon Society at

Clearwater Audubon Society, P.O. Box 97, Clearwater, FL 33757 . Please include a note “For Sand Key Osprey Nest Project” on your check or money order. Thank you.

Now, I did also meet some other residents at the salt marsh on my ‘inspection round’. In fact, there was quite a bit going on. The Reddish Egret was performing again.

reddish-egret-hunting-again-ud85He was ‘dancing’ around all by himself. But he wanted an audience. So he moved towards the far end of the marsh where a family of White Ibis were minding their own business. Once there, he did a disappearing act. No applause.

reddish-egret-does-a-diving-number-ud85He was not happy. He sat in the water for ten minutes just sulking. That was not like him and I was getting worried. I walked to the far end of the marsh.

reddish-egret-3-ud85And finally he got up, shook his beautiful feathers and walked onto dry land to think about a better strategy.

reddish-egret-2-ud85And right away I spotted another diver,  a young Mottled Duck. He didn’t need an audience and was happy just getting a refreshing bath.

duck-diving-ud85

duck-ud85When leaving the salt marsh, I was treated to a ‘fly by’. A Snowy Egret had also decided to move on.

snowy-egret-flying-ud85I hurried home along the bay side and found a successful fisherman. The older Great Blue Heron, the Mayor, had just captured his Sunday breakfast. I am sure that, in his book, this catch was as delicious as a heap of pumpkin spiced pancakes.

the-older-great-blue-heron-fishing-2-ud85We all wish you a wonderful week and hope you can get a moment in nature, away from all stress. Peace.