To me, local is not only places and people around us. It is also animals around us. And many of you will know I am talking about the salt marsh and its residents. That’s where my heart is. But I have to confess I have not been able to visit my friends for a while. Severe interference by something I call work.
When I finally got time to visit, I found myself right in the middle of a significant alarm event.
Mama Sandy was vigorously defending her run-down nest against another osprey couple. Soon Papa Stanley appeared on the scene to support her. He chased the other male out of the marsh.
But the female was a tough cookie. She continued to circle above the marsh. She was looking right down on Sandy and made a couple of dives towards the nest. Tension was mounting.
A light blue juvenile Little Blue Heron in the bushes right below the nest looked frightened. She stayed putt in her hiding place to wait out the storm.
And the Yellow-crowned Night Heron who had been nodding off in a tree nearby woke up to follow the drama.
Mama Sandy did not take this provokation lying down. I have never seen her screaming from the bottom of her lungs like this. She sounded like she meant it. And that did it. The female osprey finally followed her hubby and flew towards the north end of the park.
Phew. Peace was restored and everybody was minding their own business again. Like this White Ibis, who was just chilling. Quite beautiful, I thought.
And an adult Little Blue Heron, perhaps the juvenile’s mom, continued her search for that perfect bite.
But the Snowy Egret had already spotted her favorite menu item. She flew across the pond…
…and performed daring acrobatics to fetch her brunch. I was impressed by her reach.
I walked around the marsh and spotted another Snowy Egret hunting. She was working hard for her tiny morsels.
At the far end of the marsh a Tri-colored Heron was busy hunting. Everything was back to normal.
As I walked home I spotted the juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk again. She was soaring high in the sky and I felt like doing the same. Just to float above it all.
Our fundraising drive for a new home for the osprey family continues…and I hope we have good news shortly. In the meantime I will try my best to catch up on news in your world.
Be well. And fly high.
64 thoughts on “Flying High. Alarm Event. And Other Local News from the Salt Marsh.”
I hope that the funding comes through.
Thank you for your good wishes!
Now you need two nests, one for the intruder couple, and one to replace Stanley and Sandy’s old nest.
That might be true, but I think the other couple actually has a nest little south of us, but this one has the ‘location, location’ factor 🙂
What a gift you have in your life. I know you must appreciate it. I have to admit some pretty strong envy here! I love your birds!!
Yes, we have a gift from the nature and I appreciate it every single day! These birds have become like friends 🙂 and I’m trying to share some of their stories.
Some glorious images. Glad things have settled down there.
Thank you Maverick. I walked right into a ‘situation’, but was happy to see peace return at the salt marsh.
I love the drama on your salt marsh ;). As always the photos of your bird friends are just beautiful.
There is always some drama among the residents…and visitors too. But usually it gets settled without feathers flying 🙂 Thank you BJ.
You do such a great job of personalizing the lives of your beautiful creatures. And wonderful captures.
I have observed these birds about three years now and learned to know some of their individual personalities, which is great fun. They always tell the stories and I just document them 🙂 Thanks Tina.
The “Blues” of the sky on your opening shot, WOWZA!
Thank you kindly David!
We don’t have much time for the fundraising, do we? Before the nest needs to be replaced? I hope you make the time table! Wonderful pictures as always. ❤
Thanks my friend! We have about two weeks now to get the moneys together in order to get their home ready before Stanley’s proposal ❤
Birds have problems too, just like people! Isn’t it something? Peace be with you and your avians! 🙂
Yes…they compete for “location, location” in their home search too 🙂
Have a wonderful weekend, hugs from all of us to the whole family!
Sounds like you’re going to need funds for two osprey nests. There must be a lack of good sites if they fight over one.
It think this other couple has a nest about a mile or so south of us, but it is not surrounded by fishing waters…so they may want to relocate. But if we get more funds than needed, I will certainly propose another platform at the north end of the park right by the water.
Drama to match the Presidential debates/ distractions. 🙂 Such beautiful birds and photos Helen. Thanks.
You are right, but these birds can escape to the peace of blue skies, unlike us humans 🙂 Thank you, Brad.
Flying high would be fun!
No one likes to be evicted from their nest without permission!! Hope you get to spend some more time in the Marsh soon.. 🙏🏻
I think Mama Sandy stays a few hours at the nest, just to make sure no other osprey tries to “own” it. Despite the bad condition of the platform, the nest has the ‘location, location’ factor 🙂 Water and fish on three sides! Thanks Karen.
Good luck with the fundraising, a very worthy cause.
Thank you for your good wishes, Susan.
It was great that Papa came to the rescue and successfully defended the nesting site. I have noticed the amazing agility and speed of the Herons when they snap up their prey, their necks just extend like a rubber band and then pull back in at amazing speed. It is good to see the salt marsh back to normal after the weather. I pray you get the funding you need from generous contributors to complete the installation. Have a wonderful weekend my friend:-)
Papa Stanley is never very far, I have noticed. He always comes quickly when Sandy sounds an alarm…and this was one of the highest pitched alarm calls I have heard! You are right about Herons. That Snowy Egret spotted whatever she wanted to eat when she was on the other side of the pond, then flew there and reached so far below the branch she was sitting on – neck like a rubber band 🙂 We pray that we get the money in time – another two weeks and we need to engage the contractor. Thank you for your beautiful comment, Ashley. Have a wonderful weekend.
I have thought of you this week as I have been at dauphin island and have had my first taste of osprey. I can see why you love them. I will post pictures this week. 😊
How wonderful, Kathy! I am happy you got to know ospreys. I will look for your pictures and stories over the weekend 🙂
That interference does get in the way sometimes! I hope you find time to keep visiting the salt marsh and capture more of the unfolding drama! Wonderful photos. I especially love that Snowy Egret at the edge of the water. You and he were both perfectly focused 💛
Good luck with the fund raising Helen! I would like to contribute. Let me know how I can. xo
I have two projects going on right now for a little while, but I am trying to make time to visit my feathered friends again over this weekend. And early next week, my friend and I will go on a fundraising mission again. Thank you, Val, from the osprey couple and us ❤
A fantastic shot of the second Snowy Egret, Helen, really showing the full magnificence and beauty of the bird’s wing. 🙂
Glad you enjoyed the “hunter’s portrait”, Hariod! These are very beautiful birds and sometimes I get lucky to be close enough for a portrait 🙂 Happy weekend to you, my friend.
Another wonderful post, Tiny!! I too feel like flying high to get away from this world. So glad you got time to get out into your favorite place. Take care of you. ❤
Thank you dear Amy! I thought all the flying birds were sending a message to spread our ‘wings’ and fly high above all the stress and distractions we are experiencing now. Much love ❤
There is so much wildlife drama in our wildernesses, and I really appreciate that you capture it in beautiful photos for us Helen; and follow and share the activity. It helps us all see the importance of wild animals.
It is a privilege to be able to observe the drama and everyday life at the marsh and I am so grateful to live close to this little enclave of wild nature. And happy to share some of it. Thank you for your kind comment, Jet.
Hope that Sandy and Stanley hang on to their perch without getting evicted by other osprey!
I have seen how determined Sandy and Stanley are…they will hold onto their home!
Have to laugh, Helen; we see it as dilapidated and in need of repair. Our feathered friends see an opportunity for familial advancement! 😉
All in the eye of the beholder! 😉
Here’s hoping your fund raising (planned for the coming week) proves successful. Is it getting easier to do?
Woo, what a long neck has the Snowy Egret. I had to look twice before I realised her legs were far shorter… Haha, great shot; as are all, Helen. 🙂
Your comment made me smile, Carolyn. The other osprey couple wants to move into the park. You know, location, location…I saw the female again yesterday morning. Heron’s neck is so flexible and if they used necklaces or pearls, it would become quite expensive 🙂 There are some very good news on the fundraising…Audubon received a grant on Friday from the power company in our area, yay!!
Wonderful, wonderful news, Helen!!! It does take a village; and a few good voices. 🙂
Be it ever so humble it’s home ( and worthy of defence) but I am glad to hear the funds are growing to make the ospreys a better home.
It was wonderful…though with trepidation…catching up with Sandy in her strong and protective position. So glad she prevailed! And glad you got to get out and and about to visit!
What I have seen of Sandy, she is a superb defender of the nest. And in about 2 minutes Stanley came to help her – team work 🙂 We have gorgeous weather today so I am planning for a longish walk. I hope you have the same crisp fall air!
It’s the same here, animals and birds are fighting for territory, and many are hungry, too.
Climate Change and humans taking over their natural habitat has devastated the lives of birds and animals.
It’s good to see things getting back to normal somewhat at the Salt Marsh.
Best wishes on the fund raising, Helen.
It’s a terrific cause, one that I would hope many will rally around and the needed founds will be met.
Thank you very much for the exciting story and the most beautiful photos 🙂 Anja & Hertta from Finland
Gorgeous photographs. Here in New Jersey, along the Delaware Bay, the ospreys are thriving. Every year we see more of these birds, perched in their nests, in leafless trees, and on top of large signs. My favorite sight is when they soar across the sky with a fresh-caught fish in their talons. It’s good to see they are thriving in other places too.
Fingers crossed for the funding. Have a great week!
I wish you all the best! Your photos are amazing, as usual! Thanks!
Amazing pictures, as always––beautiful captures. I hope everything works out. All the best! ❤
What a drama! I guess they encounter the location and territory flight more often than not… great photos, Helen!
Thanks Amy! Yes they have to defend their nest quite often, but otherwise Ospreys are not “territorial” at all. One more reason to love them 😀
Tiny – your photos make my day! Heartfelt thanks. Susan
Happy you liked them, Susan! Thanks for your visit.
This are breathtaking photo’s