Tag Archives: Reddish Egret

Wordless Wednesday: Get Your Feet Wet. Frame by Frame.

Get your feet wet…and explore the world, even your own backyard.
Great blue heron
Get your feet wet…and get out of your comfort zone.
Get your feet wet…and shake away your fears.
Royal tern sand key clearwater florida
Get your feet wet…and don’t back off when challenges roll your way.
Little blue heron sand key clearwater florida
Get your feet wet…and pursue your adventure, even if your hair stands up.
Get your feet wet...and drink from the source of all wisdom.
Get your feet wet…and drink from the source of all wisdom.
snowy egret sand key park clearwater florida
…and then go where your heart calls you to go. Get your feet wet.

 

Nest Watch. Abundant fish. And Long Plumes Galore.

This weeks report from the salt marsh is all good news, but no breaking news as yet. No eggs in the nest for Mama and Papa Osprey. Not that they haven’t been trying, but I guess it’s not yet the time.

Babies in works...
Osprey babies in works…

It’s been great seeing the two. Now that the nest is all repaired, and the nursery done, they have devoted time to each other, mating and feasting on all kinds of fish. And they share, too.  When Mama is done, Papa eats the rest, and vice versa. Like another honeymoon, yet again.

papa osprey flies away with the rest of the fish by tiny
Papa Stanley flies away to his “man cave” with what’s left of the fish…

Papa Stanley does most of the fishing now. The other day I saw him fishing far out on the ocean, ready to dive. But then I lost him in the bright blue skies.

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Papa fishing far out on the ocean…

Papa does most of the shuttling too. He comes and goes, Mama stays at the nest most of the time.

osprey flying out from the nest by tiny
Papa leaves the nest…
osprey flies away by tiny
…and flies around the salt marsh…
osprey landing in the nest by tiny
….and returns to the nest.

This morning, however, I was surprised to find Papa Stanley alone in the nest. He was on guard duty.  Scanning the skies with a sharp eye. I was wondering about Mama Sandy. Where did she go?

male osprey in the nest by tiny
Papa Osprey guards the nest…

I walked away from the nest to see other birds. Then saw Mama Sandy fly in with a huge fish, half eaten. She had either been fishing by herself or gotten a fish from Papa, but had preferred to “eat out”. I guess variety is the spice.  Both of them were too full to eat more, so she just held on to it and dozed off. Under Papa Stanley’s watchful eye. With the fish still in her right talon. I guess that’s what pregnancy does even to the ospreys, lots of napping.

female osprey with fish dozing off by tiny
Mama Osprey with a fish takes a nap…
Mama osprey dozing off while papa is keeping watch by tiny
…under Papa Osprey’s watchful eye.

The breeding season is getting closer for many other residents as well. I noticed the Great Blue Heron, the Mayor of the Marsh, is sporting longer plumes now. Quite impressive looking, even when hunching like this.

great blue heron with long plumes
The Mayor in his best attire…
...and all handsome.
…and all handsome.

And so is the Reddish Egret, the showman of the marsh. He is loud and very expressive, to say the least. And he’s a good hunter.

reddish egret hunting by tiny
Reddish Egret starts his hunt…
reddish egret hunting 2 by tiny
…and here he goes…
reddish egret with a fish  by tiny
…then proudly shows off his catch.

So the circle of life in the salt marsh is slowly turning towards spring, many nests will be built under the mangroves and in the bushes close to the water. And in the next couple of months we may spot some little ones, in the osprey nest and around the marsh.

Have a wonderful week. Reporting from the salt marsh, Tiny

Flop! You Can’t Surprise Papa Osprey.

This morning I approached Papa Osprey’s nest walking silently on the grass behind the nest. A surprise visit. I was wondering how close I could get before he’d discover I was there. I shot the first picture of his tail feathers. And was discovered right away!

papa osprey discovers tiny
PO discovers Tiny…

In addition to sharp eyes, he has an excellent hearing too. He heard me despite a Blue Jay giving a high-pitched concert in a tree behind me. You know how they sound.

bluejay c
A Blue Jays serenades in a tree close by…

At the same time Papa was keeping an eye on  a Turkey Vulture circling high overhead. This only confirms my earlier conclusion that he’s a skilled multitasker.

papa osprey sees the turkey vulture3
Look Tiny, that’s a Turkey Vulture!
turkey vulture
And so it is… a Turkey Vulture circles high above the salt marsh…

We talked for a while, as we always do. I told him I’d be away traveling for a few days, and he promised me to continue keeping watch on the skies for Mama Osprey.

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Florida “snow” on the ground…

Then I continued my walk around the salt marsh. In many places the ground was covered by “snow” from the flowering trees. Even the Moorhen was swimming in a light “snowfall”.

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A Moorhen…

Next, I spotted a “long-time-no-see” Reddish Egret in the shallow waters. Initially, he seemed startled to spot me. But soon recovered and continued his search for some brunch items.

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A Reddish Egret discovers Tiny…
reddish egret bt
…then continues his search for food.

His relative, the Snowy Egret, was the third one to surprise me. He walked right up from the marsh and did an impressive shake-baby-shake routine on the grass next to me.

snowy egret woke up_tm
A Snowy Egret appears in the grass…
snowy egret shaking herself tm
…and starts a shake routine
snowy egret shaking some more tm
…that includes a head swinging exercise too.

I decided I’d walk a bit deeper into the park to see if I could find any of Papa Osprey’s friends. I came to the dead palm trunk favored by all three ospreys around here. Nobody at home. Then whoosh! Stanley flew in with a big fish!

Osprey with a fish Clearwater FL
Stanley caught a big fish…

That impressive meal got all his attention. And I decided it was time to go home. Enough surprises for one day. Although quite wonderful ones.

Have a great weekend everyone! ❤ Tiny

 

A Wild Dance Just Because It’s Summer.

This morning when I took a quick walk on the beach and in the nature reserve, I witnessed something really funny. A Reddish Egret, not a permanent resident in the salt marsh, was walking frantically back and forth in the shallow water. Fast. Like he was crazy busy. That’s what Mondays do to you, I thought.

reddish egret bird 728
A Reddish Egret walking fast…

Then, suddenly, he went into a wild dance. Feathers stood up on his head and he flexed his wings vigorously, one at the time. Swinging like he was hearing an inner tune.

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A wild dance (check out the eyes!)

Right after the brief dance, he turned around with lightning speed and picked up something eatable from the water. I wonder if the dance was to put the prey under his spell?

reddish egret fishing 728
Gotcha!

I have not seen anything like that before. I was laughing, LOL’ing in fact, if you know what I mean.

I had to do an extra 1/2 mile swing to see if Papa Osprey was still hanging around on his favorite palm trunk.

papa osprey 719
Papa Osprey on his palm trunk seat

And there he was! Handsome as always. It’s nice to see he didn’t move very far. He didn’t talk today, just nodded a greeting. I guess it was getting too hot.

I hope your week has started well. Maybe with a wild dance just because it’s summer?