Flying High. Alarm Event. And Other Local News from the Salt Marsh.

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-osprey-is-alarmed-ud86Mama 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.

papa-osprey-chases-away-intruders-ud86But 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.

another-osprey-2-ud86A 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.

juvenile-little-blue-heron-ud86And the Yellow-crowned Night Heron who had been nodding off in a tree nearby woke up to follow the drama.

yellowcrowned-night-heron-ud86Mama 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.

mama-osprey-shouts-alarm-ud86Phew. Peace was restored and everybody was minding their own business again. Like this White Ibis, who was just chilling. Quite beautiful, I thought.

white-ibis-ud86And an adult Little Blue Heron, perhaps the juvenile’s mom, continued her search for that perfect bite.

little-blue-heron-ud86But the Snowy Egret had already spotted her favorite menu item. She flew across the pond…

snowy-egret-flying-2-ud86 …and performed daring acrobatics to fetch her brunch. I was impressed by her reach.

snowy-egret-bending-down-ud86I walked around the marsh and spotted another Snowy Egret hunting. She was working hard for her tiny morsels.

snowy-egret-hunting-ud86At the far end of the marsh a Tri-colored Heron was busy hunting. Everything was back to normal.

tri-colored-heron-ud86As 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.

redshouldered-hawk-2-ud86Our 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.

royal-tern-flying-ud86Be well. And fly high.

 

64 thoughts on “Flying High. Alarm Event. And Other Local News from the Salt Marsh.”

    1. 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 🙂

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. Yes…they compete for “location, location” in their home search too 🙂
      Have a wonderful weekend, hugs from all of us to the whole family!

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

  1. 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:-)

    1. 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.

  2. 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

    1. 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 ❤

    1. 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.

    1. 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 ❤

  3. 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.

    1. 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.

  4. 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. 🙂

    1. 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!!

  5. 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!

    1. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

    1. 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 😀

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