New Year. New Dreams.

Mama Sandy is flying high. It’s January and that always brings a new proposal from her faithful husband Stanley. A brand new nesting season. And new dreams.

mama and papa oprey flying together January UD147Early on Sunday morning Papa Stanley brought her the proposal gift. A big fish she enjoyed on the perch while Stanley was watching her feast. I witnessed this annual ritual from my living room window while having my first cup of coffee. In the afternoon I went out with Dylan and found Stanley eating his own fish on a lamp-post close to the nest. We wished him Happy New Year and he nodded in response.

papa osprey eats fish UD147Sandy was watching him from the perch at the nest.

mama Sandy UD147And when he had finished his meal, he flew to the nest. Before long Sandy sent him back to the ‘home depot’. While there was evidence of hard work already that morning as large branches were sticking out from the nest, more building materials were needed.

papa and mama osprey in the nest UD147After Stanley left, we walked around the marsh and wished Happy New Year to Sandy too. She looked a bit stern, but I’m sure she was just inspecting Dylan’s new haircut.

mama osprey looks at us UD147The salt marsh was quiet. Most birds were still in hiding after the week-long cold spell. We found one Black-crowned Night Heron in a sunny patch close to the nest. He was wide awake. That was it.

black-crowned night heron ud147Walking back home we spotted only one Cormorant at the Sailing Center, where they usually like to congregate in large numbers. It was still very cool and windy.

cormorant ud147_edited-1Yesterday the weather had warmed up somewhat and we went to the dog park again. We noticed the salt marsh was getting more lively. Mr. Mayor was huddling right below the Osprey nest…

the mayor UD147… where Sandy was having lunch on the perch, while Stanley observed her from the nest. I noted considerable progress in their remodeling effort.

Mama osprey eats fish UD147

papa osprey at the nest UD147Some Wood Storks were visiting again. And a little Snowy Egret bravely shared their accommodations.

wood storks ud147_edited-2The Reddish Egret had recovered from his New Year celebrations and was doing his magical dance in search of a bite for lunch.

reddish egret 2 UD147_edited-2

reddish egret fishing UD147

reddish egret UD147And finally we spotted Miss Rosa on the other side of the marsh. But she didn’t see us. She was taking a nap in the sun.

Roseate spoonbill UD147Walking back towards the nest we noticed from afar that Sandy was in the middle of her daily exercise routine. Right foot up, left foot up. Dylan sat down and I tried to capture her movements.

mama osprey morning gymnastics UD147From a nearby islet a Tri-colored Heron was watching how it’s done. She stretched her neck to get a better view.

tri-colored heron ud147And a Blue Jay was paying attention too. He was exercising his neck trying to find a straight line of sight between the branches.

blue jay ud147Walking home, we spotted a small songbird with raptor’s habits. A Loggerhead Shrike was waiting for lunch to appear in his line of sight.

loggerhead shrike ud147_edited-1Exciting times! We will be sure to follow the highs and the lows of Mr. and Mrs. Osprey’s nesting season. I am certainly hoping there will be less drama and more highs than last year…for them and for us humans.Β  Thanks so much for visiting the salt marsh gang.

63 thoughts on “New Year. New Dreams.”

  1. It feels good to come back to the rythmn of the Salt Marsh and the activity as everyone finds their way back 😊
    Thanks for the update, Helen … and thanks to Dylan for his patience πŸ’›
    So looking forward to all the antics!

    1. Hi Val! It’s truly a privilege to be able to observe this Osprey couple…Sandy clearly knows what she wants as to the nest design. I’ve seen her fitting in sticks and branches. I am sure she was pleased to note that Hurricane Irma didn’t sweep the nest clean, but left her “basement” in place πŸ™‚

  2. Wonderful shots of the Stanley & Sandy. Love is in the air! I’m looking forward to their season and family. Nice to see the Marsh gang getting back to normal, they all look to be doing well! Love the capture of Mr Mayor too! πŸ™‚

    1. Love is in the air for sure πŸ™‚ Last night when Mr. D. and I walked past the nest, Sandy was there asking for fish…and soon Stanley appeared with a half fish for her…dinner was served. The nest remodel is in full swing…they are still working on the foundations. Let’s hope they’ll have a bigger family this year.

    1. Thank you for your beautiful comment, Karen. Life is indeed continuing to unfold and I hope and expect this year to bring blessings at all levels. Trying to make room for miracles πŸ™‚

  3. The life cycle continues with the Ospreys. The rituals previous to mating will start and then, the wait for the new family. Nature at its best! Great photos Tiny, thanks for the post. πŸ™‚

    1. It is comforting to see the familiar chores of the Osprey couple. Right now they are rebuilding the foundations of the nest with sturdy stuff…and Stanley is feeding Sandy. Last night she received half of a big fish for dinner πŸ™‚ Thanks for being here, my friend!

    1. I think Dylan passed the inspection…Sandy clearly is not a “dog bird”, but now tolerates Dylan even very close to the nest without saying a peep πŸ™‚ The gang seems to be doing well. Also, I wanted to let you know that I have not been able to open your web site…getting an HTTP 500 error message.

  4. My dear friend Helen,
    Wishing you a healthy and happy new year. Thank you so much for all you’ve shared – hope you know, you have friends in Japan πŸ™‚ Looking forward to 2018, as you mentioned hopefully with less drama and more positive events for all.

    All best,

    1. Thank you, dear Takami! I know I have friends in Japan ❀ And I wish you & your family many blessings in 2018! We all need a good year with many small miracles πŸ™‚

  5. Wonderful to read about the salt marsh gang, Helen. It’s hard for me to appreciate that you, in Florida, experience ‘cold’. Your winter temp range is very close to our winter temps, which is quite mild in comparison to many parts of the US. Still, cold is cold, being relative to the overall variances! πŸ™‚
    Give Dylan a ‘high five’, plus a shout out to the gang from Oz! And give yourself a cuddle from me… πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

    1. Hi Carolyn! It is funny that cold weather in FL feels much colder than elsewhere. For the first week of the year, I used the same buffer coat I used in Sweden and I felt colder. Maybe it is because there is more moisture in the air and our cold fronts are always accompanied with strong winds. This week has been much better but a new cold front is on its way for the weekend. But we’ll survive πŸ˜€ Dylan has been exemplary letting me take pictures…and he’s been rewarded πŸ˜‰ have a wonderful weekend, my friend. XOXO

  6. Thank you Helen for this wonderful photo and commentary trip.
    All the birds are so beautiful and with your comments, very funny.
    Bet you enjoyed the day.:)

    1. Thank you Miriam for coming along to meet β€œ the gang”. They are indeed beautiful birds and their antics are very funny at times.

  7. Thank you Helen for these beautiful pictures and commentary on our local feathered friends. Eli and I stop often through the salt marsh area to view these birds, especially after your vivid postings. Eli, however, is not as patient as Dylan to allow any pictures to be taken! We really appreciate your talent in capturing the local wildlife activity for us =)

    1. Thanks Kathy! Dylan now has months of training on his back to be my photo assistant πŸ™‚ He knows that he’ll get treats (when we get home) if he sits as soon as I spot a πŸ¦…. He’s come a long way from where we started – he used to almost pull me down when he spotted a πŸ¦†!

  8. Amazing and beautiful captures of the goings on at the marsh sweet Tiny. It was good to see Stanley and Sandy are doing well. Thank you for coming by my blog it was good to hear from you. I hope you have a wonderful 2018 dear Tiny. You are in my thoughts a lot. Hugs for you and nose kisses for Dylan.

    1. Thank you, dear Mags, for being here and for your kind wished. I am so happy the Osprey couple survived Hurricane Irma and seem to be doing well. Dylan and I wish you & Chancy a blessed 2018. Hugs πŸ€—

  9. Such beautiful photographs Helen and it is lovely to see our familiar friends back in the marsh! It must be such a joy to witness the comings and goings here. Thank you so much for letting us walk along with you and we wish you and Dylan a wonderful weekend πŸ€—πŸ’–πŸ• xxx

    1. Thank you Xenia! I am truly grateful for living next to this little marsh so I can observe the life in this πŸ¦… village. 🐩 has become a good assistant! We both wish you, Eivor and Pearl a wonderful weekend πŸ€—

  10. Such a good hubby Stanley is! Soon we will see them sitting on the younguns. πŸ˜‰ Good to see you back to blogging about the marsh my friend. ❀

    1. Glad you visited us, Jackie ❀ I have to say observing these birds is quite therapeutic πŸ™‚ And now that Dylan has learned to be calm and sit when I take pictures it is a joy to walk with him around the marsh! Will write soon! Hugs

  11. Stunning photos again, Helen. The Blue Jay shot is my favourite this time around. So glad to see that Mr. and Mrs. O are still in love and once again preparing for new family. Life goes on as usual and I wish you and dear Dylan much happiness with your Salt Marsh family this year. *hugs* πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you, my friend. That Blue Jay was very difficult to “tame” for a photo shoot πŸ™‚ And yes, let’s hope this year will be much better than the last. Just an “ordinary” year would be fine with me. Many hugs. XXX

    1. I am happy, then, that you don’t even need to go out to observe our Osprey couple. And should you and Mrs. T. care to come and visit them, there is now a direct flight from London to Tampa that lands only a 35 minute drive from the nest πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you for coming to see the salt marsh gang, Otto. I am doing little better every day. My Christmas break in Stockholm was very healing and I am looking forward to a better year. I wish you & yours a very happy 2018.

  12. Happy and blessed New Year Tiny! How wonderful to have the salt marsh report again, and see the community as they launch into 2018. Stan and Sandy are in full swing again, and your great contribution of their nesting tower is once again acknowledged, as the life cycle comes around again for them. Interesting little bird your Loggerhead Shrike, reminds me a bit of our Butcherbird, also with small raptor like beak, and ours has a beautiful song also, in fact one is a regular caller to our bird bath and we know each other well. Have restful and interesting weekend my friend, and may this year bring unexpected joy and delight as new seasons and facets of your life unfold.

    1. It is, indeed, great to see that the Osprey couple has a safe nest. It weathered Hurricane Irma very well last September and was not even completely wiped clean…quite a bit sturdy nesting materials remained. When I am mulling over my future and where I want to live, the salt marsh is one strong “weight” on the scale in favor of staying right here in this area. I am hoping this year will bring blessings and even miracles πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you for your beautiful comment, Carrie ❀ Indeed I feel that I am slowly returning to a new normal. Just "chilling" and won't rush to make any big decisions about future changes right now. I want to see some new doors opening πŸ™‚

  13. You are so great! Thank you for the most beautiful pictures and interesting story. I wish you make a book of all your blogs. “New year and New dreams” all the best for you and Dylan❀❀🐩 Anja&Hertta

    1. Thank you dear Anja for your very kind comment. Maybe one day, I’ll collect my salt marsh stories and edit them to a book…time will tell πŸ™‚ Hugs to you and Hertta ❀ from me and Dylan.

  14. Tiny, my heart lifted in flight with Sandy and Stanley – seeing them back here makes me feel all is right with the world. Wonderful uplifting photos and I look forward to following their and the others stories. Yes, may it be a year of highs for us all. hugs xxx

    1. I also feel it is comforting to see (right from my office window) Sandy and Stanley flying back and forth to the nest again. I will report from the salt marsh every now and then…hoping to see little ones in the nest and elsewhere at the marsh this coming spring πŸ™‚ May it be a good year for us all! Hugs XXX

    1. I’m glad you visited the salt marsh gang. This little “community” is very active, things happen all the time, some happy, some funny and some tragic. Spring is the time for babies and juveniles…something to look forward to πŸ™‚

  15. Wishing you the best in the year 2018 and thank you for great birding images, they are impressive! (I have tried to take some birds pictures – it’s not an easy one!)

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