Newsflash. We Have Eggs. And Plenty of Company.

Last Monday night, Dylan and I made a long-awaited discovery while passing the osprey nest: Mama Sandy was incubating. The next morning we promptly took a break from work and went out on the terrace to gather more evidence using my super zoom camera.

Mama Osprey incubates since Feb 12 UD151Sandy was sitting on the eggs and napping. After a while she woke up and turned the eggs. All while Papa Stanley was witnessing the carefully executed procedure from the perch.

Mama Osprey turns the eggs UD151In 30 to 36 days from now it’ll be baby time! Two to three hatchlings if everything goes well.

On Friday Dylan and I took a walk around the marsh and found Sandy on a long lunch break. She had already eaten and was just chilling on the perch. Stanley was taking his turn incubating the eggs, his head peeking out every now and then. He is an exemplary hubby, always gives Sandy nice breaks and brings her breakfast, lunch and dinner.

papa osprey incubates ud151Sandy checked us out thoroughly when we passed right underneath the nest.Mama Osprey has a break UD151We spotted many other birds as well, but I want to show you a bird that I haven’t seen at the marsh in previous years – a Blue Winged Teal. I have a suspicion that a couple or perhaps even two couples are nesting at the marsh this year.

blue-winged teal ud151We also spotted the Mayor. He was all puffed up and looked determined to protect the marsh birds this nesting season.

GBH Mayor ud151_edited-1Then this morning I went on a beach walk and was met by huge crowds. Not people but birds. More exactly, hundreds of Royal Terns, Laughing Gulls, Ring-billed Gulls…

gulls and terns on the beach ud151

ringbilled gull ud151_edited-1

royal tern family ud151…and one juvenile Herring Gull. She was vocal…maybe calling her parents who were nowhere to be seen.

a juvenile herring gull ud151_edited-2As usual, there was a young Royal Tern pestering his mom for food. He was so intense that after a while his mom decided to fly away. Not very far, but just far enough to reinforce the boundaries.

young royal tern pesters parent UD151

mother and juvenile royal tern ud151

royal tern takes off UD151Now I have to reinforce my own boundaries as well and take Dylan out for his evening walk. Next weekend I will be traveling again, and this time I actually look forward to it. I am hoping to find a bird I have not seen “live” before…and be able to share some special fun with you next time we meet.

Thanks for being here. Have a wonderful rest of the week.

63 thoughts on “Newsflash. We Have Eggs. And Plenty of Company.”

  1. How exciting – yet nature is taking her course! May all be well as the next steps are revealed to our inquisitive minds!
    The Mayor is looking pretty dreamy these days. Perhaps there’s no young heron around.
    Thank you for stepping out and checking in Helen❣️

    1. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that things will go better than last year for the Osprey family. They deserve a great year with 2-3 fledglings! And you’re right, the young GBH has not appeared at the marsh for several weeks now…I have only seen him on the bay beach. Thanks for being here among the salt marsh friends, Val ❤

  2. We get some of your birds up here also but it’s been a long time since I’ve seen blue wing teals. The greens are very common here. Wonderful photography, esp. the pelican in flight – amazing!

    1. Thanks Karen! I try to keep up with the marsh life and really root for a good year for the osprey family…we want to see the eggs hatch and the hatchlings survive and happily fly away to start their own independent lives at the end of June 🙂

  3. I had to laugh. I just posted a picture to Facebook of my son stalking my dinner frying away in the pan on the stove. I finally had to toss one in for him, just so he wouldn’t take my dinner. (He’d already eaten one dinner that evening, in case you were feeling at all sorry for him.) So, I entirely identify with Momma Royal Tern. She has my sympathies.

    1. The Royal Tern families are very much like us humans with lots of high pitched discussions between the parents and also between the parents and kids. They always make me smile 🙂

    1. Thank you Kelly! I am so looking forward to my trip – this time a special event and it’s all about birds. My first ever such trip…but hopefully more to come.

  4. Wonderful Tiny to see the couple nesting again, in your provided nesting platform, another exciting narrative to follow as they move through the nesting cycle. Love your shorebird shots, especially the young ones, they are the same the world over in the way they pester their parents for food. Good to see you and Dylan are checking out the Salt marsh again. Have enjoyable week my friend!

    1. Sometime I find myself reflecting on the possibility of the old nest having been blown down by Hurricane Irma last September…but now with the safe platform, the nest was not even bare after the storm and the osprey couple could build it up in record speed 🙂 Now a month of patient incubation and they should have hatchlings around March 19-23. The shorebirds were lively and many! And I always find at least one minor pestering their parent for food 🙂 Have a blessed rest of the week, my friend. I am looking forward to Friday and the start of my “bird trip”.

  5. Beautiful pictures Helen and wonderful news about the new ” babies “.
    It is a wonder to follow them and thanks for letting us share. I loved the comment about papa Stanley being a good husband. 🙂

    All the other pictures are a delight too. Look forward to next posting.
    Miriam

    1. Thank you for being here Miriam. I am hoping for a great (safe) year for the osprey family. Last year they lost two chicks – presumably to predators, either a Bald Eagle or a Great-horned Owl and only one chick fledged. Sandy is a great mother and Stanley a good dad…they deserve a safe season 🙂 I am hoping my next post will have some delightful characters.

  6. A new season of life has arrived at the marsh! How exciting for us all! The Mayor does such an awesome job keeping things in order, and I know Stanley will do his loving part to take care of Sandy. Love the shot of Sandy looking at you, she knows you’re a special friend. ☺

    1. I, too, love when Sandy looks at us like that. There is not a slightest sign of irritation, just a friendly nod… The Mayor seems to be at the marsh every day now and it’s a delight to see him. I hope he keeps possible predators away from the marsh so that the osprey chicks will have a safe “childhood” 🙂 Thanks for being here, Donna.

  7. You’ve whetted my appetite for the ‘fun’ you’ll be sharing – very intriguing! 🙂
    Lovely to see Sandy nesting and Stanley the ever present stalwart hubby/father attending his duties/love. And the Mayor reigns supreme once more. No sign of the younger?
    Say hi to Dylan; and do enjoy your mysterious travels.. 🙂
    xoxoxo

    1. I am quite excited for my little, mystery trip this weekend that has nothing to do with work! But all to do with nature 🙂 Stanley is now staying at the nest all the time except when fishing…to be handy whenever needed, and also protecting Sandy and the eggs from nightly predators. I am so hoping for a safe nesting season for them this year. The younger GBH seems to stay on the bay side now…maybe wise from the lesson the Mayor gave him a couple of months ago 🙂 Dylan and I send hugs in your direction. XXX

    1. It is always exciting to see the newcomers to the Osprey family, and I hope they can grow up safely this year. The Royal Terns and their family life is always interesting to observe 🙂 Thank you Barbara.

  8. Drove through Sand Key yesterday, Sunday 2-18, too crowded, went down to Indian Rocks Beach. While driving by we did see the head of an osprey sitting on the nest. Will visit again, hoping to see some babies.ME and the Boss

    1. The public beach is often crowded when the weather is as gorgeous it’s been lately, but if you walk just a couple of hundred yards south of Sheraton you will have very few people and a peaceful beach. The incubation will last until around March 20th…and you will be able to observe the chick(s) in from mid-late April and the whole month of May into June.

    1. Thank you Xenia! In a month’s time, or soon thereafter, we should see little heads peeking out from the nest! Dylan and I wish you all a beautiful rest of the week 🙂 XXX

    1. Thank you, Indah! Happy you enjoyed the update. I have to confess I do not carry my tripods too often. Particularly when I walk somewhere (like to the salt marsh…with Dylan in tow) I find it too cumbersome to carry a tripod. Sometimes I carry two cameras though. I just bought a monopod hoping I will get used to carrying it 🙂

    1. Me too…the Osprey family deserves a break from predators and anything that can harm the young. These terns are quite fascinating to watch, never a dull moment 🙂 Thanks Meg.

    1. Yes, I think they are very excited having eggs now. I don’t know what happened to the two chicks who disappeared last year, but it seems that Stanley is staying around the nest more this year. Even when it’s not his turn to incubate he chills on te perch…perhaps for increased protection.

  9. Good news!Soon overpopulation,new residents,incredibly beautiful water birds,and a lovely post again,dear Helen.I reckon Dylan gave you a good hand.The Blue Winged Teal is so cute and lovable!Each time I visit your blog and read your posts,I gain so much knowledge.Numerous the bird species and the secrets of their lives.Thank you for that,dear Helen.Big hugs to Dylan from me;enjoy your weekend walks at the Salt Marsh or anywhere else 🙂 xxx

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