Sshhh…Mama and Baby Are Sleeping.

This week has been sunny and warm, until today. And it’s been busy. Exacerbated by my laptop’s moody behavior. On its fourth birthday, it decided to go on strike. Not to work at all. I had to use all my tech wiz skills to wake it up. Since then it’s been misbehaving to the point I ordered a new one. And have to set it up later today. But before I say goodbye to this old blogging veteran, I want to give you a short update from the salt marsh. I’m asking it to cooperate for one last time.

osprey family portrait 2 april 14 ud158Finally yesterday, my assistant and I had an opportunity to get out and check on the osprey chick. We arrived soon after the family brunch. Papa Stanley was still on the perch, guarding his little family from intruders. The baby was sleeping and Mama Sandy nodded off for a while as well. She shielded her baby from the sun and the wind that was already picking up.

mama osprey and chick ud158But soon Stanley saw a danger in the skies (beyond my horizon) and sounded frequent loud warnings.

papa osprey sounds an alarm ud158The chick woke up and peered out from behind the baby gate with its head lowered. Sandy became alert too, but nobody came close to the nest.

mama osprey and baby ud158The salt marsh appeared deserted. The only other bird present was the Reddish Egret. And he was completely absorbed in his hunting dance.

reddish egret ud158At sunset time Dylan took me for another walk. He loves to walk on the bayside and look down to the water. I don’t mind such a detour because I often spot birds enjoying the low tide next to the sea wall. And we were lucky. Two Oystercatchers were looking for supper.

two Oyster catchers ud158And a bit further away, a Great Egret was enjoying the last rays of the day.

great egret on the bay side ud158The sun was still up when we reached the salt marsh. We found the younger Great Blue Heron, aka Henry the Troublemaker, on his usual spot staring at the osprey nest.

young great blue heron ud158And a beautiful Snowy Egret was looking for her evening meal. And checking us out.

snowy egret at sunset ud158A Yellow-crowned Night Heron had woken up to get his breakfast. He was planning his hunt on the little islet that also serves as the Mayor’s office. The Mayor was nowhere to be seen.

yellow-crowned night heron ud158When we approached the Osprey nest we heard the typical whistles of the Red-winged Blackbird. Finally I spotted one smack in the middle of the marsh.

redwinged blackbird male UD158Then Dylan alerted me to a lovely Mourning Dove walking right on our path. It was not eager to meet us and hurried away.

mourning dove ud158We found Stanley on his guard post. He nodded a friendly good evening to us. But Sandy was hunkering down over the baby and we could only see a few feathers sticking up.

Papa osprey at sunset ud158Just before dark we finally reached the dog park and my assistant got a well deserved rest after walking around the marsh and running back and forth at the park.

Dylan at sunset ud158When we returned to go home it was already dark. Stanley had gone to his sleeping quarters, but we saw Sandy in the nest beautifully silhouetted against the sunset’s after-glow.

mama osprey at dusk ud158This afternoon the skies darkened and the storms arrived. Right now I can hardly see the osprey nest from my terrace through the heavy rains. Gray walls of water are swept sideways by the strong winds. I went out quickly and took one picture. Sandy had placed her baby in the nest cup and was shielding it from the elements with her wings. Even her head was down. Possibly to reassure the baby that this too shall pass. She knows her stuff.

sandy in the storm Ud158With that we wish you a great week ahead and hope it will be sunny and bright. Thank you for visiting.

77 thoughts on “Sshhh…Mama and Baby Are Sleeping.”

  1. Great pics of the new baby. Tough birds to withstand storms like that. Great pics of the oystercatchers and the night heron. Good luck with the new computer!

    1. Thanks Kelly! The strong winds continue today although the sun is shining, and Sandy is still ‘flat’ in the nest. Even when Stanley dropped a fish to her this morning, she feeds the chick staying down covering it.

    1. I love the soft colors of the Mourning Dove. We have several around our gardens every day and I think some of them nest there too. Today our strong winds continue although the sun is shining…Sandy is still covering the baby πŸ™‚ Thanks Karen.

  2. Don’t you hate when computers go to the big computer trash pile? What did we do without them? Read a lot from what I remember. LOL
    Mama has always proven herself a great protector. πŸ™‚

    1. I suppose we did read papers, magazines and books much more before the computers, I even watch TV less since that time…so our habits are changed by technology. What a hassle it is to transfer all my ‘stuff’ to the new computer, so many programs and apps to download again…. On a nicer note, Sandy is still covering the baby today as we have very strong winds and cool weather behind the front. Dylan was almost flying away this morning! Hugs from both of us!

    1. I thought the baby had grown many new feathers in a week, increasing its cuteness factor πŸ™‚ Re-puterization is quite a messy process!

    1. Yes, and we’re still very windy. Sandy still covers the chick with her body today. I guess she wants to prevent a premature flight experience.

  3. I’m glad to see that the baby osprey is doing fine, very soon will be flapping its wings. I’m sorry about your laptop. Have a great week Tiny. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks H.J. The baby seems to be doing fine, still today covered by Sandy due to continued high winds. Have a great week, my friend.

  4. All beautiful, Helen; you’ve captured some absolute stunners! What a cutie is the Yellow-crowned Night Heron. Would he be comfortable in the company of The Mayor, or is he a little timid?
    My first reaction when I saw the Osprey bub was; they grow so quickly! It looks as though many feathers have grown in the past week.
    Hope the storm has passed without damage, and here’s to your new blogging equipment… Hope it ‘sets up’ easily…
    Hug to Dylan. What a cute image of him. Are his front legs lighter in colour, or is this just an illusion of light?
    Hugs to you… πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Carolyn! You know it’s kind of funny, but all birds are very comfortable when the Mayor is present. I guess that’s why he became the Mayor πŸ™‚ But there’s one notable exception: Henry, the Troublemaker, whom the Mayor chases away with loud ‘barks’ if they happen to be at the marsh at the same time.
      And you’re right about the osprey bub, lots more feathers in one week. We still have very strong winds from yesterday’s storm and D & I just saw Sandy covering the bub completely. Stanley dropped a fish and even the feeding was happening in ‘flat’ position.
      Yes, the lower parts of Dylan’s legs are light cream and he has grey, silver, black and even some red in his fur, all symmetrically arranged. Hence the name Phantom Poodle πŸ™‚ Hugs and love from both of us XXXX

  5. Tiny’ I’m so glad you old laptop cooperated for this its wonderful final post! I always know I’m in for a treat with your photos and updates, feel transported to the marshes and watching alongside you. The reddish egret is astonishing, so regal, elegant and totally absorbed in the moment. The oystercatchers are stunning and their beaks luminescent red. Tiny, thank you so much for giving my day such a beautiful beginning to my day…my heart sighing with contentment. Just a brief question… with so many amazing birds is this a busy place for birdwatchers?

    1. Thank you for visiting and for your kind comment, Annika. We are happy you had a good time with the residents at the marsh. This park is one of only two parks in this country that are officially part of the “Florida Birding Trail”, but it is still a little known park. Local residents and some visitors are watching birds there and occasionally we get birders and bird photographers visiting from further away. I have met a few people (not photographers) who have been following the comings and goings at the osprey nest for even longer than I have – one for 18 years! We exchange our ‘osprey news’ when we meet by chance at the nest πŸ™‚

      1. Tiny, it’s lovely to hear more about the area and the friendships you strike up whilst there! I imagined swathes of bird watchers, many bussed in – with so few people it is almost a private, intimate viewing. Wonderful.

  6. What a wonderful last hurrah from your laptop. But how hard it must be for the ospreys to be parenting in such rainy, windy conditions. Hope the new laptop makes life easier for you. My household has been under technological stress too. Only one thing had to be replaced though; my electric toothbrush.

    1. I am happy that you only had to replace your toothbrush. I think all technical problems are such a hassle to deal with. Anyway, today I made an interesting observation about the osprey couple: being still extremely windy here today, Sandy has made a deep ‘crib’ for the baby. When Stanley brought a fish, she was bending deep down to feed the chick…making sure it does not take a much premature flight out of the nest πŸ™‚

    1. Getting a new laptop is like rebuilding your ‘dark room’, lots of work! I am happy we have a new baby in the osprey family…and it seems very energetic. Today when we passed the nest (on our way to the dog park) I heard the baby for the first time asking for food…it’s learning to speak πŸ™‚

  7. Loved the pictures of the reddish egret and the oystercatchers! Enjoyed this lovely walk with you and am touched by the love Sandy shows for her little one. Hope all works well with your new laptop.

    1. I was so touched as well seeing Sandy taking care of the chick. Right now it is still extremely windy so Sandy has made a little “basement crib” for the baby so that it doesn’t fly away. She is quite amazing.

        1. Sandy really is an awesome mom. Now that the baby has become more ‘mobile’ and walks around the nest, she is putting up ‘baby gates’ so that the chick doesn’t wander too close to the edge πŸ™‚

  8. Great pictures, as usual, Helen! Hoping the computer issues are resolved with the new one! The Red-winged Blackbird and the Mourning Doves, however common, are absolutely beautiful in your pictures! πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you for visiting our salt marsh family, Carrie. Many common birds are actually very beautiful. I find Mourning Doves’ coloring to be very soothing…warm earth colors and a blue sky ring around their eyes πŸ™‚

  9. Thank you for this wonderful update Helen and I hope your technical challenges will soon be in the past! I had never seen a red-winged blackbird before, what a beautiful creature! Dylan is such a fabulous assistant and I wish you both a wonderful new week πŸ€—πŸΎπŸ’–πŸΎ

    1. Thank you, Xenia. The technical challenges were many, but now mostly over with πŸ™‚ The Red-winger Blackbirds live at the marsh and they ‘whistle’, but they are very difficult to spot as they prefer to stay in the middle of the marsh. When they fly or move their wings, we can see the colorful red-orange patches. Have a wonderful week, all of you. XXX

  10. Is it as easy to find all these wonderful birds on the marsh as you make it seem or do you need a really skilled guide like Dylan and a very sharp eye too?

    1. Most times when we come to the marsh I think there are no birds present, but then we walk around and spot one bird after another. I guess I have trained my eyes and at times Dylan points them out too…in particular if they walk on our path πŸ™‚

    1. I think that the setting sun colored the blackbird in various hues. On a cloudy day they look very black with a splash of color. Thanks Skip for visiting. Hopefully this week with bring you some spring weather.

  11. Wonderful captures Helen, especially the dark action shot and the next day! Many thanks for the update.πŸ’•
    I hope the Marshians continue to do well and Dylan and you have fun on your walks together.

    1. Thanks Val! Our walks around the marsh now often happen late in the day, at sunset or in the dusk as I have been too busy during day time with work…such a persistent interference πŸ™‚

  12. Amazing pictures of activity at the Salt Marsh sweet Tiny. Love the one of Mama Sandy and baby sleeping. The colors of some of the birds at the Salt Marsh just put me in awe. What beautiful colors on those Oystercatchers. Very sweet picture of Dylan. Thank you for sharing these wonderful pictures I really enjoyed them. I hope you and sweet Dylan are having a nice week. Hugs and nose kisses from Chancy, Pooh and me.

    1. We are happy you enjoyed our ‘marshian’ friends, dear Mags. Some of them are truly colorful…the Oystercatchers like to come for dinner on the bay side when the tide is low and the smorgasbord on all the rocks is free to enjoy. I have observed Sandy’s continued care of the fast growing baby from our terrace and we plan to go out soon to get some new pictures…probably after my upcoming work trip this week. We send our love and hugs to you, Chancy and Pooh.

    1. Thank you Otto. I had double computer trouble…had to send the first one back and then bought a different model, which is just now up and running. But the outdoors are always relaxing and puts things in perspective.

    1. Thank you for your visit and kind comment, Susan. With all that’s happening, the salt marsh doesn’t ‘get old’ for us πŸ™‚

  13. You’ve got an incredible family there within the Salt Marsh ~ the photo of the Oystercatchers is incredible. The number of different wildlife you have just right out your door never ceases to amaze… Wishing you a wonderful week ahead for you and your Salt Marsh family πŸ™‚

    1. The Oystercatchers love to visit at sunset time whenever the tide is low and they have a great buffet to enjoy. The salt marsh with its wildlife is one of the main reasons I decided to stay right here after I lost my hubby last summer. It provides for so much peace and enjoyment on a daily basis. Thank you Randall πŸ™‚

      1. Oystercatchers and sunsets, not a bad mix.
        You’ve found an important piece/peace of life with a place like the salt marsh to retreat and enjoy nature ~ reconnect with your surroundings. Wishing you a great week.

  14. This is such a beautiful, yet moving series of Sandy and Stanley. They are devoted parents. The Yellow-crowned Night Heron is just fabulous. πŸ™‚
    Dylan is so sweet. ❀

    1. Thank you, Amy. Seeing how Stanley provides for and protects his family and how Sandy “babies” the chick is quite precious. The chick is growing by day and we’ll need to get back out there with a camera to document its progress soon πŸ™‚ Have a wonderful week!

  15. Sorry to hear about the laptop deciding it has had enough. That is never a fun thing. Shouldn’t they just last forever?
    So wonderful to seeing the protective
    parents. Thanks to Dylan for taking us on the walk to see so many amazing birds of the marsh. Give that sweet pup a pat for me.

    1. Thanks Sue! My new laptop is up and running now and I love it. The osprey chick is growing by day and in a couple of weeks she will go to ‘flight school’…that shall be interesting πŸ™‚

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