All is Good. Mama is Back.

Yesterday morning I looked up from my laptop and saw something I’ve missed since late June. Mama Sandy was flying back and forth right by my windows and over the salt marsh. Previous summers she has been ‘babysitting’ the nest daily starting in August. But not this year. I have looked out towards the nest several times a day, but she would be there only in the shadows of my memory. The nest would be empty.

memory of mama osprey perching ud171I was getting really worried about her until I finally spotted her at the sailing center one morning just about two weeks ago. But she wouldn’t come to the nest. I had no idea why. She had left with her daughter Bubbette (remember her ?) at the end of June and stayed away much longer than the usual 3-4 weeks.

osprey chick Bubbette ud171But that all changed yesterday. She was flying around the marsh and passing by my terrace several times…

mama osprey in flight 2 ud171…as in making sure I would notice her. Finally she landed on her perch at the nest. Looking at the picture taken from my terrace, I noticed that she had been gardening again. Her flower bed was green after all the rains this past summer.

mama osprey at the nest ud171She was still there when Dylan and I passed by briefly at lunch time. Now she was taking her nest-sitting seriously. And I liked it. The salt marsh felt homey again.

mama osprey babysits the nest ud171Another fellow I’ve missed made an appearance too. The Reddish Egret, aka the Clown, was hunting for a lunch bite in the middle of the marsh.

reddish egret hunts ud171He danced around, flapped his wings…and caught a fish! He turned to show off his catch…

reddish egret caught a fish ud171… and then enjoyed it without further ado.

reddish egret eats the fish ud171After his meal he posed for me, in his usual charming way, looking straight into my camera. I love watching his performances. And I think he knows it.

reddish egret ud171Last night Mr. D. and I visited the bayside and the dog park just before sunset. I realized we’ll need to adjust our schedule as it is getting dark much earlier now. It was almost too dark to take pictures. We found Stanley at his favorite perch at the Sailing Center and Sandy close by on a lamp-post. It was good to see them together again.

papa osprey at sunset 2 ud171

mama osprey at sunset 2 ud171The marsh was already in the shadows, but far away I could see the Mayor on the ‘bird island’ in the company of numerous residents, mostly White Ibis.

the older GBH and ibis ud171A  juvenile Little Blue Heron, who was still completely white,  got a bit startled after seeing Mr. D., but then realized he was leashed and graciously posed for a picture.

snowy egret ud171Another friend I haven’t seen in a while, a Tri-colored Heron, was trying to find supper in the last light for the night…

tri-colored heron at sunset ud171…and Harry, the younger Great Blue Heron, was keeping a good distance to the Mayor and his company.

younger GBH at sunset ud171Mr. D. ran around alone at the park. I guess we were too late and everyone had already gone home. When he finally sat down to rest, I snapped a picture of him and glanced over the fence…

Dylan at the dog park oct 4 ud171…at a gorgeous sunset sky.

dog park sunset ud171We walked out of the park and enjoyed the sunset from a distance. Mr. D. is a bit sour about not being allowed on the beach, but he took it all with stride.

sunset ud171Walking back home through the darkened marsh, we discovered that Sandy was now perching at the nest. Her silhouette against the sunset’s after glow was reassuring. All is good. Mama is back.

mama osprey in the nest after sunset ud171Thank you for visiting. Mr. D and I wish you a wonderful upcoming week.

76 thoughts on “All is Good. Mama is Back.”

  1. I’m glad mama is back too. I’ve missed her and your delightful stories about your neighbors Helen! I’m wondering if you really can recognize individual birds or do you just give them hames to make it more engaging? either way, I love your stories and photos! 🙂

    1. Ok – here’s an honest answer, Brad. I have only given names to my feathered friends if I can recognize the individual bird with at least 80% certainty, for the ospreys it would be 100% 🙂 Thank you, my friend.

  2. Your pictures are outstanding, Helen!! I KNOW how difficult it is to capture birds, especally in flight! LOVED this story and send you BIG (((HUGS))) on your way back to living life from a different perspective. I pray your Heart is mending!!

    1. Thank you dear Amy! The salt marsh is alive again after the hot summer when very few residents were ‘at home’. I love your fall pictures!! Many hugs and I hope you are recovering from all the stressors you have experienced recently. Much love ❤

      1. I haven’t been out too much due to rain, Helen. Every chance I get I try to get something. Yes I am recovering, bless your Heart. Some days are better then others as I’m sure you know. Much Love!! 💞

    1. Thank you, Maverick. I love to see her at the nest when I look out of my office window. Right now she’s there having dinner 🙂

    1. Thank you, Peter! After many years of observing the little bird village at the salt marsh, I feel I know many of the ‘regulars’, including the osprey parents whose nesting season is always exciting, and sometimes full of drama.

  3. Thank you for sharing the return of Sandy and the other beautiful birds of Sand Key 🙂 💕 The pups and I would love to catch up with you at the dog park sometime soon

  4. Beautiful photographs Helen! It is so lovely to see Sandy back at the nest and to reconnect with some familiar faces. The Clown is looking so well and I love the way he turned around to show off his catch! Dylan is looking very smart in his red harness – please give him a big pat from us and we wish you both a wonderful week ahead :o) xxx

    1. Thanks for visiting the salt marsh with us, Xenia! The Clown is very special. He likes to ‘perform’ and it almost feels like he wants to be photographed. He often looks right into the camera. Dylan got a big pat from you all and seems happy 😀 I’m sure he is planning another visit to the dog park tonight. Hugs from both of us. XXX

    1. Thank you, Sally! That first picture was an experimentation and although it didn’t turn out exactly as I had planned, I thought it had some mystery in it.

  5. It is so good to hear that Mama Sandy is back at the nest. Every time you post the clown it brings me a giggle or smile. I am always glad to see the Mayor too…he is one of my favorites at the marsh. Seems all is going well with all the beautiful marsh. The picture of Dylan is great, he looks like such a sweetie. That sunset is gorgeous and all of your pictures are amazing sweet Tiny. Hugs and give Dylan nose kisses for us.

    1. Thank you, dear Mags for visiting the salt marsh with us and for your kind comment. It is always a treat to watch the Clown perform his hunting dance, and this time he actually caught a fish. After being very quiet the whole summer, the marsh is very lively again, which is great! Dylan loves to go to the dog park and I get to take pictures, mostly in the evening. He is a sweetie, I don’t know what I would have done without him after the losses I experienced last year. He sends nose kisses to Chancy and a small one to Pooh as well 🙂 Hugs from me!

      1. It is always a pleasure to visit your blog and view all the amazing photos sweet Tiny. I don’t know what I would have done without Chancy either through the losses I had in a short time. I am so glad you have sweet Dylan. They are wonderful companions aren’t they? Yesterday was Chancy’s 11th birthday…the time seems to have flown by since he came to me. I will make sure the nose kisses are delivered. Hugs

    1. Thank you Karen. Luckily we were not affected much by the recent monster storm, which caused catastrophic destruction in northern Florida. Our paradise is still there and today the birds are back.

  6. Wonderful to be reading about all our feathered friends, again, Helen. Yes, they have become a staple; one I love!
    The change of seasons offers so much. I was only thinking, recently, now that it is Spring here in Oz; the return of leaves on our deciduous trees, the geraniums putting on a marvelous bright show of flowers, the emu bushes with their delicate purple flowers; indeed all of the wonderful Spring flora invites good feelings of warmth and stability.
    And this same sense I receive reading, once again, about the Salt Marsh and its inhabitants in your part of the world…
    Thank You for your beautiful posts… 🙂

    1. Thank you dear Carolyn. I am happy that you are experiencing the spring time awakening of nature in all its glory! We still have almost summer-like weather here on the beach…and the marsh is lively again…and so is the other park Dylan and I are frequenting now…more on that soon 🙂 Many hugs from both of us XXX

  7. You and Cindy seem to have a talent for getting creatures to pose for you and come up with the best photographs. I have enjoyed seeing everyone and getting to know them. It is shocking to wake up and it’s still dark and then it’s dark so early again. It’s what I miss most about spring and summer, the light. You captured a beautiful sunset. Lovely for Mr. D getting the run of the park for the evening.

    1. Thank you for visiting our marsh and for your kind comment, Marlene. I know many of the individual birds and it is great to see many of them are at “home” now after the hot summer. I do love the light too and unfortunately we get less and less of it going forward. Dylan and I are trying our best to change from the late summer schedule to the much earlier winter schedule… We both send you warm greetings.

  8. I’m so happy that the salt marsh is again in action, all the main characters are ready to play their roles. By the way the Snowy Egret is played by a Little Blue Heron ;). You must be happy too because the “stars” are there already! Take care my friend!

    1. Smiling! I didn’t look at the feet of the completely white Snowy Egret! Thanks for revealing the identity of this “player”, H.J. 🙂 I wish you would have seen all these characters, but the summer was very sluggish and the red tide at the time didn’t help. Our beaches here in CLW are all clear right now, which is great and we hope it’ll stay that way, but the perception is causing problems for the businesses. Take care and my best to L & T !

  9. Wonderful photos! I especially enjoyed the ones of the egret eating a fish. It’s always amazing to me how egrets are able to somehow swallow fish that look quite large to me.

    1. Yes it is amazing how these birds can swallow those relatively big fishes! It is so much fun to watch the ‘Clown’ when he performs his hunting dance…and this time he was lucky. Thank you Sheryl.

    1. Thanks Cynthia for your visit and for your kind comment. I started giving the birds names as soon as I was sure I could recognize the individual bird 🙂

  10. Sometimes I wonder why some egrets and herons catch a fish, and then turn around as if to show their catch before swallowing it. It almost seems like they are bragging and challenging us to do the same!

    Beautiful photos as always, and I’m glad Mama Osprey is back.

  11. So glad to see that Mama Sandy is back (along with your other lovely winged friends) and that all seems well with the Marsh Family again ❤ Dylan is handsome and adorable too. As always, thank you for sharing this beauty and keeping us updated! Best wishes always my friend 😀

    1. Thank you, dear Takami! I am so happy the marsh is lively again and many friends are ‘at home’ most of the time now. Dylan says ‘thank you’ for your kind comment. We both wish you a wonderful autumn ❤ 🙂

  12. Helen these are extraordinary captures. Wonderful to see mama and friends back where they belong. I love the idea that they pose for you and that mama flew so many times that you would notice her. they have all become accustomed to the paparazzi!

    1. Yes, they have all become accustomed to the paparazzi duo stalking them frequently 🙂 Thank you for your visit and kind comment, Sue.

  13. She was clearly set on making her return known to you!! I love how Sandy flew by your terrace so often … I think she missed you too! 😀 It must be autumn with everyone settling back to normal. The photos are superb and the ones of the Reddish Egret having a bit of a bop and then his dinner of fish are stunning! As for the sunshet…a big happy sigh! Glorious … a joy to behold!

    1. I almost want to believe Sandy did those fly-bys on purpose at the level of my terrace (on the 14th floor). She kept coming back until I went out on the terrace to take pictures 🙂 The Clown is a unique Reddish Egret. I have seen two others at the marsh, but their hunting is not even close to the performance the Clown gives every single time he hunts. Thank you Annika for your visit and kind comment.

  14. How lovely to have Stanley and Sandy return again Tiny, you must have been delighted to see them, and what a delight to see that the salt marsh is doing well. Dylan is such a cutie I will one day be ready to replace our loss with a dog like him, he has such a zest for life in his expression. While your days get shorter ours get longer, especially since daylight saving time kicked in last weekend. Our Spring has turned back to Winter at the moment as we are lashed with storms, but it is so lovely to see your beautiful sunset on a lovely fall evening. Have a wonderful week Tiny!

    1. Yes, it is wonderful to see Sandy and Stanley both here and often flying around together. The other day, I saw them defending the nest together against another osprey who circled right above it. I hope your spring comes back soon and you can enjoy the awakening of the nature and many returning birds. We are still in the hurricane season…and the latest one went by only 235 miles from our beach, then strengthened rapidly to a monster storm destroying many beaches and towns in northern Florida yesterday. So sad. I wish you a wonderful spring-like weekend!

  15. Glad to see Mama is back. You got some really great photos of her!! I also read some of the comments, and I’m glad to see you and your marsh friends are okay after Michael passing near your coast.

    1. Yes, we are all okay. The only problem after Michael passed here is that its winds brought the red tide closer to the coast again after we were ‘all clear’ before the storm. Not good. I hope you don’t have any where you are. Have a wonderful weekend!

  16. I’m so glad Mama is back where she belongs. Maybe she’s getting older and therefore slower. I know all about that. 😉 Good to see you back too! Give Mr. D a hug from me and Sam. ❤

    1. Yes, it’s great to see Mama around again. There’s no way of knowing how old she is, but I’m hoping for many more years. I’m trying to “steal” some time for blogging going forward… because it is so much more fun than work 😀 Mr. D and I send you and Sam many hugs ❤

  17. Thank you for the beautiful post, pictures and commentary of Taylor Park!💕 One of my favorite places. I really enjoyed seeing it through the eyes of your camera and will now even look closer at all the birds when I walk around the park with Eli.

  18. So good to see these old friends! They look a bit wind blown … or is this the time of year for shedding some feathers?….. That last sunset shot is awesome 😎

  19. I bet it’s good to have Mama Sandy back again. And being back among all your dear animals. And I am sure they are “happy” to have you back, too, so you can capture beautiful images of them.

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