Love’s in the air. Big time. After just renewing their marriage vows on New Year’s Eve, Sandy and Stanley are madly in love. It’s a fairly balanced relationship, as we know from the past. Both of them contribute to everything, including the annual nest remodeling project. Lots is already getting done this year, as you can see.
But if you ask me, Mama Sandy is the one calling the shots. Yesterday afternoon she gave Stanley detailed instructions on what to bring next. And away he flew. I decided to wait for his return. I wanted to see what he would bring and whether or not Sandy would approve of it. The latter is not always a ‘given’, I’ve learned. After a few minutes, Sandy got a bit frustrated and asked, quite loudly, what was taking him so long.
Unmoved by Sandy’s call, the Mayor sat quietly hunched in a tree just below the nest. This was going to be interesting.
I thought Stanley may have been caught in long lines at ‘Home Depot’, and when I spotted the Reddish Egret, I walked away from the nest.
That’s when Stanley returned, of course. Shooting against the sun from a distance, I captured him bringing in a sturdy piece of wood. The straight ‘rod’ and its perfectly rounded top made it look manmade. I wonder if he had ‘borrowed’ it from the garden of the nearby resort or from one of their beach game sites. Risking a lot to please Sandy, for sure. Good for him.
And Sandy approved. This new addition seemed to fit in her overall design for the new nest. They worked together for a while, rearranging the furniture.
Then Stanley checked me out. I’m sure he found me a harmless observer, because after a short discussion with Sandy he flew a few feet up in the air – and I witnessed a romantic moment between the two.
The other birds in the vicinity of the nest reacted to this expression of affection each in their own way. The Major started scratching his head. Perhaps wondering if his nesting calendar was up-to-date.
The female Yellow-crowned Night Heron, who also was perched close to the nest, turned away shyly.
Perhaps it was a hint to her hubby who was sitting close-by, as always in the past few weeks. But he too looked away.
An Anhinga, visiting from the bay side, was curious and stretched his neck to see what was going on.
But the Little Blue Heron pretended not to see or hear anything at all. She continued her search for that perfect bite.
The same applied to the blue eyed White Ibis and the Great Egret, both of whom kept me company on dry land.
As you can see, the egrets are also growing their beautiful breeding plumage at this time. That’s when I discovered something large moving quietly in the sky. It was an airship, Wingfoot One, carrying a few passengers. They certainly had a good view of the happenings at the salt marsh.
Once the ‘big bird’ had moved on, I decided to walk home too. But I have one more picture to show you.
In the early evening Dylan, as usual, told me it was time for our walk. I looked out to check the weather. And saw a huge full moon climbing up on the sky. I ran to fetch my camera and we both rushed onto the terrace. You see, Dylan always cheers me on when I discover something worth ‘shooting’ out there. So there it was – a huge, red full moon.
And if you look carefully at the very bottom of the picture, you can see a faint point of light in the otherwise dark salt marsh. The light was still on at the home of the Osprey couple.
Peace and love from all of us at the salt marsh. Have a great weekend.