Arlene’s Farewell Concert. And Mischief at the Salt Marsh.

I feel lucky. I didn’t miss Arlene’s farewell concert on Thursday night. She sang the now familiar Aria di sorbetto ‘I Want Fiiish, a Big Fiiish’ to Mama Sandy, Dylan and me. She sang from the heart and closed her eyes to reach the highest notes.

osprey chick arlene asks for fish ud132Tired after the hot day and, I’m sure, many fishing attempts, she was perching at Papa Stanley’s usual summer resort in the park. Mama Sandy was sleeping on a lamp-post close by. She turned her head towards Arlene and just listened. She didn’t open an eye.

mama Sandy ud132Soon Arlene was sleeping too. Her crop was fairly full, but it never hurts to ask for more fish when mama is nearby.

osprey chick arlene is sleepy ud132_edited-1Early on Friday morning Dylan and I spotted her at her Marriott roof top suite, but during the day she had left. Almost four weeks after fledging she started her independent life. I had anticipated her departure, but little did I know these would be the last pictures of her. For now.

Papa Osprey at Marriott ud132_edited-1Dylan and I have looked for her every night since, but we have only found Papa Stanley and Mama Sandy. They have stayed in the area, and on Friday night we spotted both of them with a half-eaten fish. Perhaps in case Arlene would regret her move. But she didn’t. Osprey chicks rarely return once they ‘move out’, unlike many humans.

mama osprey on Sunday ud132But this morning when I was driving on a bridge to the mainland about five miles south of us, I spotted an Osprey chick. And an adult osprey was perching on the opposite lamp-post. I could not stop the traffic to look closer, but it could very well have been Arlene with one of her parents still keeping an eye on her. That would confirm my theory that one of the parents still support them after they leave. The presence of Osprey chicks is transient. They hatch, the lucky ones fledge and move out from the immediate nest area once they feel confident of their fishing skills. I certainly hope to see Arlene visiting the salt marsh one day. I’ll leave you with a funny picture I’ve not shared before. Arlene became a big girl and learned to potty before she learned to fly πŸ™‚

osprey chick going to toilet ud126_edited-2Adieu Arlene, we wish you a happy life! And we’ll miss you.

That brings me to the happenings at the salt marsh. On Sunday I finally decided to defy the heat and go for a long walk. The first thing I spotted was quite shocking. An Anhinga had occupied the Osprey nest. Or more accurately, the perch.

anhinga at the osprey nest ud131Birds in the vicinity of the nest reacted too. An intruder was not welcome. Some looked up, dropped their jaw in horror, but said nothing. Like this Common Grackle.

grackle ud132Others, like the juvenile Green Heron, got really upset and just stared at the nest.

juvenile green heron ud132Despite the reactions, the Anhinga perched there for quite a while. That is, until he saw a big bird high in the sky. A Swallow-tailed Kite.

swallow-tailed Kite over salt marsh ud131_edited-1

anhinga ud131One could not risk that he was the owner of the nest. So the Anhinga quickly flew back to his friends on the bay side.

Just when I thought enough excitement now, there was more. The Reddish Egret I have dubbed ‘the Clown’ was doing his song and dance performance.

reddish Egret UD132

reddish egret 2 ud132He was moving swiftly, running sic-sack and talking to himself. He was almost too fast to capture on ‘tape’. Oh sorry, there are no tapes. Just some blurry photographs of his wild performance.

reddish egret 3 ud132Someone was watching this spectacle. As there always is. The Mayor was standing in the bushes nearby, and he was growing annoyed.

great blue heron the mayor ud132He started walking towards the Clown. Determined to stop the loud performance.

great blue heron ud132The Clown quickly calmed down. He was like nailed to the mud. Completely motionless he watched the Mayor walk by.

great blue heron and reddish egret ud132_edited-3A female Mallard was observing the power-play from the trail. She was keeping her distance, probably not knowing what to expect.

female mallard ud132But there was no confrontation. The Clown walked away, calmly. Despite some Black Skimmers flying back and forth right in front of his nose.

reddish egret and black skimmer ud132But he soon regained his resolve. And challenged the mayor, all puffed up.

reddish egret 4 ud132What he didn’t understand was that the Mayor is a stable, thick-skinned adult. Not to be easily provoked. And suddenly everything was calm again. The little Mottled ducklings swam by completely oblivious to the previous tension.

two mottled ducklings ud132The Tri-colored Heron continued her search for a tasty bite. And the Great Egret at the other end of the marsh gave a sigh of relief. He’s had his disagreements with the Clown.

tri-colored heron ud132.jpg

great egret ud132And I walked home. Now that the nesting season is over, I might take some time off too. I want to do some travelling. And approaching my fifth blogging anniversary next month, I also feel the need to refresh my blog. In the meantime I may blog less…and/or different. Although we’ll probably ‘see’ each other over the summer months, I wish all our friends a wonderful summer. A huge thank you from all of us at the salt marsh for being here.

93 thoughts on “Arlene’s Farewell Concert. And Mischief at the Salt Marsh.”

  1. Hi Tiny! Love the update…great captures 😊 Hope you have a super summer…travel in safety and stay in the light πŸ’œ I look forward to celebrating your anniversary…and to whatever you have in store for your blog. Sweet blessings, friend. The best always!

    1. Thank you for being here and your kind comment, dear Lorrie! I wish you too a wonderful summer in light and love – and all its healing power ❀ I just feel I need a small break…nature time, family time and perhaps a digital diet πŸ™‚ Many hugs!

      1. Right back to you, Helen 😊 Enjoy your time off…revel in nature and sharing time with loved ones. Thanks for the healing wishes, I take it to heart ❀ and wish you the same. Have a wonderful summer!

    1. Thanks Joanne! Arlene is one of a kind osprey chick. I think she’ll beat the pale odds of reaching full maturity and become a great mom.

    1. I know πŸ™‚ And I’m not running…just need to try to figure out what I’ll become when I grow up as a blogger. Done my kindergarten and it’s 1st grade next year. Hugs ❀

    1. That’s great to hear! How old is he? I have this still very hazy plan to perhaps make a children’s book out of the salt marsh stories one day. Trying to figure out what it would take πŸ™‚

  2. As always a wonderful post Tiny! I love your story telling as you know, and it appears you are headed for change as you move into your summer. That travelling bug gets me too, always looking to explore new horizons for new material. It is a little sad that Arlene is fully fledged, but I have enjoyed sharing the experience with you and watching the development of another osprey family, and you helped make that happen. Richest Blessings for a lovely summer vacation. We all hope we can celebrate your blogging anniversary, and that you will keep us updated. Have a great week my friend!

    1. Yes, it is a little sad that Arlene has moved out already. Here the osprey chicks move out much faster (generally in 4-5 weeks, but Arlene was exceptional) than up in the north where they need to be ready for a long and eventful migration. I hope to spot her again, of course, as she is not very far from here. I don’t know how my blogging will evolve from here, after some quiet time up north as well as here. I will certainly keep you all updated πŸ™‚ I hope your winter is mild and pleasant.

  3. Your report about the Salt Marsh bird community is very entertaining as much as your great photos. We had a week of heavy rain when you had the high temperatures… Now we are entering to a much hotter days! I hope that Arlene comes back home soon. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you H.J.! I am sure I will spot Arlene sometimes. They don’t move very far…and right now one parent at the time seems to be away…perhaps keeping an eye on her πŸ™‚ I hope your weather will stay pleasant and not too hot! I hope for some rain now….maybe tonight.

  4. Thank you so much for the beautiful stories and photos you have posted! Will miss you and these lovely birds! Have an enjoyable summer. Hope to see you soon, Helen! πŸ’–

    1. Thank you, dear Amy! I will be around every now and then over the summer and peak in at your place too. Just feel I need for a small digital diet πŸ™‚

  5. Hi Helen, I love your photos and captivating stories of the salt marsh. And I understand and share the urge to change or reduce my blogging. I look forward to seeing what you have in store for us. πŸ™‚ Happy summer adventures!

    1. Thank you dear friend! From time to time we all, I guess, get the urge to refresh and ‘retime’ our blogging. I will probably always post some updates from the salt marsh as I am so “hooked” into this little community, but feel that there has to be more or something different too. Some time on a digital diet will hopefully be helpful πŸ™‚ Have a wonderful summer!

    1. Thank you, Karen. I hope this summer will be nurturing after all the events around us here in the US over the past year. I hope to peak in at your ‘place’ from every now and then. Hugs!

  6. This brought a tear to my eye. While it’s bittersweet from my selfish human point of view, so happy that Arlene has found her independence. A tribute to her parents too. And kudos to the amazing photographer and storyteller ❀

    1. Thank you for your kind words, dear Takami ❀ Arlene is quite an exceptional chick. She had a streak of independence already at the nest, and I was expecting her to leave early. But it's always sad to see them go. Dylan and I still look for her every night on our walks πŸ™‚

  7. Thank you Tiny, this is a wonderful tale both visually and literally.
    I love birds of all kinds so it is a special treat this morning.
    You have a wonderful summer break, I think most of us will have one and come back refreshed with new strength to share.
    Miriam

    1. The Anhinga was quite a villain at the marsh. Maybe it aspired for a role πŸ™‚ Luckily the osprey couple didn’t see the intrusion.

  8. Thank you for another beautiful post about all the characters we have grown to know and love. We wish Arlene a very happy new life in her new surroundings and we wish you and Dylan a wonderful rest of the Summer. Much love from all of us here :o) xxx

    1. Thank you dear friend! I too wish Arlene the best of fishing luck…and hope we can spot her sometime in the future. Dylan and I wish you, Pearl and Eivor a wonderful summer! I will probably pop in at your lovely place a few times over the summer, part of which I will spend in northern of Europe. XXX

      1. Thank you for your good wishes Helen and we wish you a fabulous time on your travels. If you happen to pass through the Scottish Highlands feel free to get in touch β˜ΊπŸ’– xxx

    1. Thanks for your kind comment. I will prepare a post every now and then when I am here at home…and I will visit your beautiful garden virtually from time to time. I wish you great pedaling weather over the summer.

  9. Who needs TV with all this wonderful natural drama around you?! πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ Thank you so much for sharing your walks and all the bird life around you. I feel I’ve become attached to Arlene over time…the previously unpublished photo had me laughing! The Clown’s dance must have been extraordinary and then to stand stock still! Tiny, have a great summer and a well earned blogging rest. I’m off in a couple of weeks myself to Sweden and will be mostly absent from WP. Warmest wishes to you. πŸ˜€β€οΈ

    1. Thanks for your kind comment, Annika. I miss Arlene already…Dylan and I have not yet stopped looking for her on our evening walks πŸ™‚ The Reddish Egret’s ‘show’ is always hilarious! He’s running on water, the he makes sudden twists, turns and stops, flies a little and buffs himself up. When he sees me with the camera, his show tends to accelerate in speed and funny stuff. Maybe he’s a born comedian πŸ™‚ I am also heading north – to Finland where my old dad lives. I hope my sister will join me there at the countryside, and if she does, I will not make a stop over in Stockholm this year. Have a wonderful summer, my friend. Happy travels!

  10. Helen, it’s been so long since last I was here. I absolutely adored this spectacular post. I just love the way you narrate. You honestly should think about writing books. And as for the parent looking out after their young once out of the nest I think hawks do the same thing. Nature is just so amazing to observe. Gorgeous photography!! You’re getting really good with your Canon. I also know where you are coming from when you talk about rethinking things for your blog. I’ve been in the same place. Thank you for sharing a place I will probably not ever see. πŸ’–

    1. Thank you, dear Amy! am happy you enjoy the adventures of our feathered friends at the marsh. I just feel the need to get refreshed. Maybe it’s all about my inner being…and just reflects on my desire to do something different…deeper, on my blog. I know you understand exactly what I am talking about. I will pop in at your ‘home’ from time to time, but it might be less often over the summer. Keep well and continue to thrive, my friend ❀

  11. What a great ending to the chapter on Arlene! You also really caught the clown so well. I look forward to new adventures … and different ones along the way! Thank you Helen πŸ’•

    1. Thanks, Val. Arlene is like no other chick. I was happy we could see her for almost four weeks after she fledged. I am sure she’ll do well in life and hope we can spot her at some point later. The clown really gave me a show. I know exactly when he saw me and from there on it was one big performance for the camera πŸ™‚ Have a wonderful time in Boston and a great summer. I will pop into the blogging world from time to time…after some digital dieting πŸ™‚

  12. Arlene is a gorgeous bird and you have taken some fantastic pictures of her sweet Tiny. I can’t believe that she has grown up and left the Marsh already. Thank you for the poop picture of her…gave me a laugh that was needed. I just love the mayor and what a good mayor he is keeping order in the Marsh. Wonderful pictures. Hugs and nose kisses for you and sweet Dylan from us.

    1. We are happy you enjoyed the last report, for now, on Arlene. She is a special girl and I believe she will do really well in life. And we can be confident that the mayor will keep order at the marsh during the summer πŸ™‚ Dylan and I wish you, Chancy and Poof a great summer! Hugs

  13. I so thoroughly enjoyed this overview of the ever-busy salt marsh, Helen. And the delight of Arlene’s independence puts a smile on my face. Loved the photos, as always, with your attention to detail (the anhinga’s webbed foot), crazy bird antics, and an impressive array of bird life that is rarely seen in other places. Have a terrific summer.

    1. Thank you dear Jet for your visit and kind comment. The salt marsh has all I can ask from nature. It is truly a wonderful oasis πŸ™‚ I think I might have seen Arlene today at the bay side, but can’t be absolutely sure. I will travel to Europe soon and wish you & yours a wonderful summer.

  14. Four weeks and she’s gone! Wow! Her parents must have fed her well and trained her even better. I found this post a very enjoyable read, and your photos are superb as usual.

    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Hien. Arlene is an exceptional chick, diving for fish at 12 days after fledging…but I might have spotted her on the bay side earlier today. Now I will not be here for a few weeks and wish you a wonderful summer!

  15. Have a happy summertime and thank you for the wonderful photos and stories! And congratulations: 5 years and that amount of workπŸ‘πŸ‘Hugs from Anja and Hertta❀

    1. Thank you Anja! I am happy you have enjoyed the true stories from the salt marsh πŸ™‚ I will be coming to Tampere and surroundings at mid month. Hugs from all of us ❀

    1. Thank you for you kind comment, Tina! I am hoping this summer will recharge my ‘batteries’. Heading to northern Europe for a while soon. Have a wonderful summer!

  16. Sending you my best wishes, Helen, and deep gratitude for the wonderful, heart-touching adventures you have shared. May your summer be blessed with many more uplifting stories to tell in the future. ❀

    1. Thank you for your kind and encouraging comment, Carol! I am hoping to recharge my ‘batteries’ in the silence of the nature in northern Europe this summer, and I wish you a wonderful summer as well.

  17. It’s amazing how quickly osprey chicks are ready to go out on their own. I look forward to seeing how this blog evolves. Have a wonderful summer!

  18. What a wonderful adieu to Arlene, Helen; and how fascinating regarding one parent lookout for a time, which seems quite plausible and Osprey-ishly loving and practical! πŸ˜‰
    I almost felt I was reading a coffee table book with an adept birder narrating a truly uplifting storyline of our feathered friends and their community life. In fact, for a moment or two that is exactly how I felt. Your posts are always so interesting and enjoyable, Helen.
    I wish you a wonderful summer, and a great make-over! Whatever you choose to do will be entertaining, educational and joyful, I’m sure.
    xoxoxo

  19. Tiny – have a wonderful summer. I’ve somehow been missing your posts, as I have been taking my own breaks, and just today caught up with Arlene’s adventures. I am so happy you keep us in touch with your wonderful Osprey family. Many thanks – Susan

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