On the last evening of ‘winter time’, Saturday last week, Dylan and I headed towards the dog park for the first time in almost two weeks. My foot had finally healed and Dylan had overcome his tummy troubles caused by the anesthesia earlier in the week. I carried my smaller camera just in case I’d be able to capture a few moody twilight pictures. Although the sunset still colored the sky in the south-west over the bay, the almost full moon was already high up on the sky.
Arriving at the salt marsh, we saw Papa Stanley fly away from the nest. Perhaps after giving Mama Sandy, who was patiently sitting on the eggs, a good night kiss.
Otherwise the marsh looked deserted for the night. Suddenly I spotted something bright and familiar behind the bushes. Miss Rosa, whom I hadn’t seen for several weeks, was out and about having a late night snack. I was happy to see her even if I couldn’t get a clear shot.
There were no other dogs at the park, but Dylan wanted to run around for a bit. It was getting so dark I could hardly see him, but I got this funny picture of him ‘flying’ past me across the grass. Obviously I had not set my camera properly.
The park is not lit at night and the gate was about to close when we headed back towards the street. We could see Sandy’s head sticking up from the nest right next to the perch.
I’m sure she was already sleeping. Suddenly something big flew low past us. First I thought it was a Night Heron as I have sometimes spotted them this late at night. But this bird was much bigger. I took a shot when I saw him between the bushes.
It was the Mayor, the older and larger Great Blue Heron. No doubt about it. Hmm. My old suspicion that he might have a nest in the middle of the marsh came to mind again. Why would he otherwise visit the marsh at nightfall?
We walked home through the darkening bay side. It was peaceful despite the fact that the ongoing spring break had brought thousands of visitors to our area.
Then this week hit me with tons of work. But I kept on spying on Sandy and Stanley from our terrace from time to time. During the windy cool spell earlier in the week, Sandy was sitting tight with her head against the wind and I hardly saw her moving. Yesterday afternoon the temperatures reached balmy 62 F/17 C and I spotted Stanley on the perch looking at Sandy who was sitting on the eggs.
Suddenly Sandy got up and checked on the eggs for quite a while. Maybe she was turning them to keep them evenly heated. You see, she can feel the temperature of the eggs through the receptors in her brooding patches. Once she was up and moving around, I tried to peek into the nest cup with my zoom. It is surprisingly deep. Even enlarging my pictures by 200% and lightening them, it was impossible to see how many eggs she has. In one picture, I thought I saw three, but can’t be sure. You know my lively imagination. But we will know soon enough, in just a few days, how many eggs will hatch.
Then last night, Dylan and I went to the dog park again to celebrate that my busy work week was coming to a close. The sun was still up over the ocean, painting the skies and our garden in flaming colors. What a difference one hour makes!
The bay was basking in the glow as well. And we found a Great Egret fishing next to the Sailing Center.
And two American Oyster Catchers were having their dinner on the top of the rocks bared by the low tide.
Part of the salt marsh was still basking in the last rays of sun, here seen through one of my usual hideouts. And Dylan had a few friends to run with at the park.
I am hoping to get in a long walk this weekend to catch up with the latest ‘gossip’ at the marsh and its surroundings. And to catch up on your blogs as well.
Have a wonderful weekend. Peace.