Curious Pairs of Eyes. And Other Drama on Honeymoon Island.

On Friday morning I took my new ‘lens baby’ out for a long hike on Honeymoon Island. Dylan and I wanted to check on the progress at the many osprey nests we had spotted on our end January outing.  And it was time to test whether or not the three of us would be able to hike together. Like last time, we followed the Osprey Trail.

female osprey HMI UD154We spotted several osprey nests. And in all cases found one parent incubating and the other guarding the nest close by.

second osprey nest female incubating HMI ud154

male osprey with a fish HMI UD154To my delight, I discovered that this was the case even at the nest that an osprey couple had just started to rebuild when we last visited. It was a sizable nest now and the mom-to-be was sitting on the eggs.

female osprey incubates HMI UD154

Daddy Osprey in the new nest UD154As far as I could see, the osprey couples on this island were on the same time-table as Mama Sandy and Papa Stanley here at the salt marsh. All were still incubating. Then I remembered the nest that had been overtaken by Great-horned Owls. That explained the tight security around the osprey nests. In January mama owl had been incubating and now I wanted to see if there were owlets in the nest.

Mama great-horned owl ud150I soon discovered two lively owlets. They were having brunch. The older sibling was eating something white and feathered, while the younger one was getting its pickings.

Great-horned Owl chicks at HMI UD154

two owlets HMI 16x9 UD154

Owlets showingntheir feathers UD154There was some occasional brawl around the brunch table and I could see them flexing their little wings. But they were still far from fledging. After a while they finished eating and discovered us on the trail quite a bit away.

Owlets 2b at HMI UD154

Younger owlet UD154Both owlets were very much aware of our presence. Perhaps more Dylan’s than mine.

the Owlets on HMI UD154 featured 2We stayed quite a while – treats for Mr. Dylan for his patience – as I was trying to locate at least one parent in the trees surrounding the nest. Finally I spotted a well camouflaged mama owl sleeping high up in a pine tree.

Mama Great-horned Owl HMI UD154When we left the owl nest I noticed that the younger sibling had fallen asleep, while the older one was keeping watch.

one owlet is sleeping HMI UD154When we approached the end of the trail, I found a female osprey perching in a tree that also housed a nest. Her hubby was nowhere to be seen.

young female osprey hmi ud154Suddenly he flew up from the vicinity of the nest. She looked surprised.

an osprey couple HMI UD154He flew right on top of her. But despite a good effort, they didn’t quite know how to mate…and he flew down to a lower perch. They clearly had no eggs in the nest.

mating young ospreys HMI UD154I found it unusual that they were trying to mate at this time, in mid March. Maybe this was a young couple who already occupied a nest, but had not succeeded to lay eggs as yet. Or perhaps their eggs had become food for predators and they were trying for a second clutch. Whatever the case, I wished them all the best.

We walked back to the car. My assistant was thirsty and my arms were tired of holding the ‘lens baby’ for almost two hours. A bit of a workout for both of us. But we had proven that we can hike together. We just need more practice.

Dylan after hike UD154For us this coming week means ‘hatch watch’. We’ll be hanging out on our terrace with binoculars and the superzoom camera whenever we have time. If we’re lucky, we might spot a hatchling or two at the osprey nest before next weekend. Dylan and I wish you a great week.

75 thoughts on “Curious Pairs of Eyes. And Other Drama on Honeymoon Island.”

  1. Lovely gallery of birds busy with their family affairs. Nature following its course! Thanks for the post Tiny. 🙂

  2. I was just thinking of you! Wonderful pictures as usual. The baby owls are so cute and very aware. I’m glad your hike proved successful in many ways. ❤

    1. Happy to ‘see’ you my friend! The baby owls were so curious of their environment, and their eyes truly ‘nail’ you 🙂 Dylan was such a champ, i guess he wanted to prove he could be trusted for a photo outing. Hugs ❤

    1. Thanks Debbie! Those owlets were too cute and curious 🙂 I just hope they will ‘behave’ with so many osprey chicks around them soon.

  3. The owlets look very alert (well, at least until the little one dozed off). And it’s good to see that the nest rebuilding project was a success!

    1. I was also happy to see that the osprey couple was “in business” despite hardly having a nest in end January. The owlets were so curious and alert to everything in their environment. In a couple of weeks they will be flying around and learning to hunt.

    1. We’ve had very cool and very windy weather so far this week, in addition to sudden ‘busyness’, so much less ‘hatch watch’ than I had planned. But tomorrow we will go out again …and hope to find little ones 🙂

    1. I agree with you, Christine, they tried to act ‘fierce’ and that didn’t go down so well…just because they are too cute with their big eyes and fluffy feathers.

  4. Beautiful owls and cute owlets. You and Dylan work very well together and what super pictures you get and share. Look forward to seeing babies when they hatch at the marsh. Hugs and nose kisses from Chancy and me.

    1. I have to say Dylan’s patience with me when I was looking for a line of sight to the owls and owlets through the trees was remarkable. I think I still owe him treats 🙂 Thank you for coming along on this hike with us, Mags. We send you and Chancy hugs and nose kisses!

  5. Amazing photos of the Owlets Tiny, looking into their nest. Your new lens is earning its keep, stunning photos my friend, of the osprey and of course Dylan:-) Have a wonderful week!

    1. Thank you Ashley! Holding the new lens for a couple of hours makes a good workout for me 🙂 but I was happy to find out that such a trip was doable with Dylan. The owl family was most interesting! But I can see why a heightened security is needed at all the osprey nests in the vicinity. Have a beautiful weekend!

    1. It was great we could hike together, lugging the new lens along is a bit of a workout…so we’ll need more practice 🙂 Those owlets were too cute!

    1. Assistant D. was great. I’m sure he would have carried the lens if allowed 🙂 Finding the owlets made my day…and week. In a few minutes, we’ll be checking for ospreylets.

  6. Thanks a lot dear Aulikki and the assistant Dylan! And the honeymoon island. So great and perfect pictures. Could you have some kind of trolley for the lens and things you have with you. It’s too heavy to carry everything. Hugs❤🐩❤🐩💕 Anja&Hertta

    1. Hi Anja! It’s heavy to carry everything, but it’s the only option as I need to camera ready to ‘shoot’ when we spot something. Dylan is the best assistant, he sits patiently when I take pictures – provided I let him sniff around first 😀 Hugs and kisses to you & Hertta both from us ❤

    1. Thank you Neha! Today my assistant and I are going to check for osprey hatchlings…hoping to spot one at the salt marsh nest close to home.

  7. Dylan is such a good boy! I bet he is a cool photographer’s buddy ever 😉 Amazing images of the ospreys and the owlets – wow!! I thought we can’t see the owlets during the day lights – they looked pretty much awake 😀

    1. Dylan says thank you for the praise! But to tell you the truth, it’s deserved. The owlets are awake more than their parents because they need food so often…and since they do not yet hunt at night, they get naps around the clock. And their parents get less sleep than usual…just like human parents with small babies 😀

    1. Thanks for coming along for the HMI hike, Sylvia! Spotting those cute and curious owlets made my day. Today the weather is finally warming up here so D. and I will go and check for little osprey hatchlings 🙂 Have a great weekend XXX

  8. Gorgeous images, Helen; all of them!
    I’m always delighted to see the nests birds make; from the very small doves (such as those who nest in our backyard) to those you photograph so well. Have a great week. Hugs to you both… 🙂
    xoxoxo

    1. Thank you dear Carolyn! We so enjoyed our hike and the birds we spotted. The nests birds build are indeed small masterpieces 🙂 We both wish you a wonderful weekend. XXX

  9. Wow! 😀😀 Tiny, the lens is a treat and you’ve excelled yourself with these photos. The baby owls are beyond cute, personable and as if looking into their souls! Dylan is amazing to be so patient and he looks very pleased with himself at the end … obviously knows a lot of treats are in store! 😀

    1. Thank you, Annika! The owls made my day! And Dylan got his reward 🙂 Enjoy your Easter visit ‘hemma’! I’ll go to Sweden for the month of July…can’t wait.

    1. The lens is great, I’m happy I finally decided to get it. And every time we hike I also get a workout for my arms 🙂 The owl babies made my day! Thanks Susan.

  10. Great picture of Dylan! Sounds like he behaved well and let you take some beautiful pictures. We adore owls around here so I especially enjoyed the ones of the little owls “sharing” a brunch-time meal. Love the one where they’re both looking towards the camera, the one you chose for the header. Can’t wait to see Sandy & Stanley’s new family! 🙂

    1. We are happy you joined us for the hike on that beautiful island, Barbara. Dylan behaved so well…but I learned I’ll need to let him sniff around first…and then ask him to sit. The owlets were so curious and alert although we were quite far from the nest on the hiking trail. We cannot yet confirm hatchlings at Sandy’s and Stanley’s home, but it is likely there is at least one already 🙂

  11. What a wonderful hike for the three of you and the photographs with the new lens look stunning! Such an exciting time now with the ospreys and those owls are so adorable too. Enjoy the rest of your week and happy hatch watch! :o) xxx

    1. Thank you! I was happy that our ‘test hike’ went so well. Discovering the owlets was a great bonus, they were so curious and cute 🙂 But of course, I’m hoping that the many osprey hatchlings in the vicinity of the owl’s nest will be safe. We wish you all a wonderful weekendXXX

    1. Thank you, Hien. The owlets were a great discovery. I really like the new lens, of course it’s not as “long” as my ‘superzoom’, but the quality of the output is much better. Still not quite used to it…more practice needed.

  12. I’ve been away from WordPress for too long of late and it’s a treat to see what you and Dylan have been up to. The owl and osprey reports are fun and informative. I especially find the owlet photos irresistible!!

  13. I always think of owls as evening birds. I’m surprised that you were able to get such great photos when it looks like the sun was still high in the sky.

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