Tag Archives: Double Crested Cormorant

Sunrise, Sunset and All the Birds in Between.

This time of the year it’s a bit easier for this night owl to get up and witness the sunrise. The silent hour when nature is waking up brings incredible colors over the bay and beautiful reflections in the clouds over the ocean. Peace reigns.

sunrise on the ocean UD156Creatures living in harmony with nature start their day. Some sit and enjoy the sunrise, others get on with breakfast preparations.

birds at sunrise all varieties UD156Papa Stanley returns from his first fishing trip of the day, one of many to come …

papa osprey brings a fish UD156A few minutes later, he nods off on the lamp-post just outside the marsh border. As we know, taking care of babies is quite tiring for the parents. He has eaten the fish head and takes a short nap before bringing the meaty parts of the fish to Mama Sandy and the kids.

papa osprey sleeping with a fish UD156And so the day has started. Late morning yesterday, when Dylan and I were spying on the osprey family from our terrace, we finally spotted a little chick! Or perhaps two? The first born should be almost two weeks old now. Here is the first grainy family picture of 2018. We hope for better ones soon.

first osprey family portrait 2018 ud156Throughout the day many other birds made appearances. My assistant and I went on a short walk in another park nearby and spotted a Limpkin, a Double Crested Cormorant and a couple of White Ibis.

Limpkin ud156

cormorant ud156

two Ibis ud156We also found two different blackbirds…

red-winged blackbird ud156

blackbird UD156…and a few turtles enjoying the water and the mild spring weather.

turtle ud156

turtle swimming ud156Later on, around sunset time, we walked through the bay side to the salt marsh and discovered a beautiful Snowy Egret enjoying the low tide and the last rays of sun.

snowy egret ud156We noticed that Sandy was on her dinner break at their usual lamp-post table. She had left Stanley to look after the kids.

papa osprey at the nest ud156We also spotted Ms. Rosa! Long time no see. There was just about enough light to see that she still looks great.

Roseate spoonbill at sunset ud156She forageed around the shallow water as we watched her. Then ended up posing for another picture with Mr. Blue-winged Teal.

a blue-winged teal and a roseate spoonbill UD156The younger GBH was watching the osprey nest, as he had been for the past few nights. But Stanley seemed relaxed. He might know the youngster has now grown up and adopted better manners. The latter was evidenced by a short nod in our direction.

younger Great Blue Heron at sunset UD156Before we knew it the sun had gone down and the marsh filled with shadows. We saw some movement in the bushes but it was too dark for pictures.

dog park trees at sunset UD156

salt marsh 2 at sunset ud156We enjoyed the peace of the evening for a while on ‘my’ bench. When we finally wanted to leave, the park gate had already closed. We had to use our secret escape path out of the park. Dylan led the way in the moonlight. He had done this before.

full moon ud156Thank you for visiting us between the sunrise and the sunset. And Happy Easter to all who celebrate! I leave you with my one of my favorite sunset pictures from our beach. Sail well into the new week.

sailboat at sunset UD156

Murmurations. Occupations. And a Circle at the Salt Marsh.

My goodness! This year got off to a flying start, in more than one respect. The days have flown by until late at night before this girl has hit the pillow. And the Kindle with interesting blog posts has hit the floor. The birds seem to have been equally busy. Like the European Starlings, performing murmurations over the bay (I only caught the tail end of it here) and occupying neighborhood roofs.

murmurationstarlings on the roofOr like this unknown handsome male, who flew repeatedly past my office window and circled over the salt marsh. He certainly made Papa Stanley keep a close eye on Mama Sandy.

young male osprey in flight

During the only walk I’ve managed to take in this week, on Sunday, I found Stanley sitting with his fish on a lamp-post just outside of our garden. He had a straight line of sight to Sandy, who was at the nest.

mama and papa osprey I observed they both seem to be “right handed” as they held the fish in their right foot talons.  But they didn’t actually eat. They were watching the visitor eating his fish on a lamp-post nearby.

young male ospreyThis new fellow might be a young male trying to charm “Diamond”, the young female who paid a visit to Sandy and Stanley around Christmas time. She is probably somewhere not too far from here. But if that’s the case, there’s not much hope for this suitor to get her father’s approval. Stanley was quite vocal about that.

male osprey calling alarm

When I arrived at the salt marsh, I found it to be much like a lively little city.  Lots of Wood Storks, Egrets, Herons and Ibis were mingling on and between the islets. Papa Wood Stork had complete control of his clan, and everybody coexisted peacefully. I have to say the birds do this better than us humans.

wood storks and an ibis portrait of a wood storkwhite ibis

A few ibis were foraging in a neat circle in the shallow waters. Some of them circling clockwise and others counterclockwise, much like we know from human life.

ibis feed in circle

Sandy was still at the nest working on her fat fish, and the Mayor presided over the crowds from his favorite islet.

female osprey with a fisholder great blue heron

The nesting season is clearly approaching. The Egrets are already growing their breeding plumage, and lots of courting was going on.

great egret growing breeding plumagesnowy egret  in breeding plumage

The one seemingly not interested in such adult behaviors was the juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron, who was trying to hide in the grass.

juvenile black-crowned night heron

Pop Yellow-crowned Night Heron seemed uninterested as well. He had a potential partner hiding in the branches of a tree right next to him, but he was fast asleep. Or maybe he was just pretending? Peeking at her with one eye?

yellow-crowned night heron

Suddenly the Mayor decided it was time to change scenery. He flew on the other side of the marsh towards the bay.

great blue heron in flightI decided to follow him to check if that beach would be equally crowded. On my way I spotted the European Starlings again. They had now gathered in a huge tree close to the park entrance.

european starling european starlings

The Mayor acknowledged me with a sidelong glance as soon as I arrived to the beach on the bay side.

great blue heron

That beach was fairly quiet. Only a Double-crested Cormorant and a few Gulls kept him company. I guess he needed some peace and quiet away from the crowds.

double crested cormorant gull Walking home, I spotted another beautiful Snowy Egret, a few Willets, and my faithful friend, the Northern Mockingbird.

snowy egret in breeding plumage Willet northern mockingbird

Bougainvillea blooms greeted me at the corner of our garage when I arrived home from my 3.5 mile walk. Then thinking I would repeat the walk the next day again. But it was not to be.

bougainvillea flower Unfortunately it may take another week or more before I get to see my feathery friends again. I have some travels coming up starting tomorrow morning. I hope your year is off to a good start, and thank you for coming along.

You can find many other circles here.

Wordless Wednesday: Don’t Bite More Than You Can… Swallow. Frame by Frame.

double crested cormorant caught a fish 0
Just lost a big fish. Let me dive for it again…
double crested cormorant caught a fish1
Oh, there you are, that was easy…
double crested cormorant caught a fish 3
Now we just need to get you up…
double crested cormorant caught a fish 4
There you go…up…
double crested cormorant caught a fish 5
I said UP you go!
double crested cormorant caught a fish 6
Oh no! Eeeek!
What’s he doing? All that noise…this is not gonna end well…
double crested cormorant caught a fish 8
Help! He’s trying to escape!
OMG! I can't watch this!
OMG! I can’t watch this!
Swing...up you go!
Swing…up you go!
You're huge, alright...
You’re huge, alright…
...but down you go!
…but down you go!
That's it! My throat is so full...
That’s it! My stomach…er…throat is so full…
...now just need to stretch a little...
…now just need to stretch a little…
...and flap my wings. Aah, that feels better.
…and flap my wings. Aah, that feels better.