My lunch-time walk in the nature reserve was so much fun today! Here is one short snippet, others will follow later.
This one little island, or rather a patch of grass, in the marsh has become really popular among residents and visitors alike. Today, walking towards the osprey nest (you can see the nest pole in the upper right corner), I saw at least ten birds gathered there. And became a witness to a funny incident.
Lots of grooming was going on. Every bird was making him/herself beautiful, the roseate spoonbill and the ibis were no exceptions.
When the spoonbill flexed its wings, probably to air out loose feathers, the ibis behind her saw something interesting…
And acted with lightning speed.
Ouch! Did you just poke me ibis? No….it wasn’t me. I’m minding my own business.
Then the ibis looked straight at me. As in asking whether or not I had witnessed the incident. When I told him I did capture it all on camera, he got a little upset. I told him he needs to own up to his actions, but I didn’t mention I intended to share the pictures with you. He didn’t ask.
I am puzzled. I’ve visited the osprey family four times in the last one week. I had expected to see the young lady do frequent flying practice, but that hasn’t been the case. Regardless of the timing and length of my visit, I’ve found mama osprey and the nestling sitting tight in the nest. Deeply involved in discussions.
I’ve witnessed a wide array of vocalizations, from pleasant discussion tones to loud shouting matches between mom and daughter. To the point that I’ve rummaged the internet for a rosetta stone version in osprey language. No luck so far.
The other day both mama osprey and the teen did some wing exercises in the nest. The nestling was flexing, but did not fly, and mama osprey did some Pilates. Lots of stretching going on, and lots of communication.
On the top of that, papa osprey has not shown up during any of my visits since more than two weeks back. Last time I saw him, he came empty-handed and mama osprey flew away immediately. Is there a rift between the parents? Papa sleeping on a couch somewhere? Or did something happen to him? I have no way of knowing.
This morning I went to see them much earlier than I usually do. First I saw only mama osprey. I was hoping the nestling had finally gone out for flying practice, but then I saw the breeze lift up a few feathers and discovered a brown back in the nest. The youngster was still sleeping! At 10:30 in the morning.
Soon the teen woke up and slowly stood up.
The dialogue they have been having every day since last Sunday started almost immediately. I waited and waited. No flying practice this morning either. But I noticed many new decorations hanging down from the nest. And the balcony flowers were still alive and well.
I started to get worried and wondered if something was not right. I decided to check on them more often from my terrace (using our strongest binoculars) to see if the youngster would fly at all during the day. To my delight I saw her flying two short rounds fairly close to the nest late this afternoon! She didn’t soar high like her mama as yet, but at least these practice rounds were a bit longer than what I’d seen her do earlier, a few minutes each. So I’m hoping everything is alright. And that fishing lessons will follow. Family life can be complicated indeed.
I have to tell you something else. The other day I saw yet another bird I haven’t seen in the nature reserve before: a tri-colored heron!
And today I witnessed a “crowd” of four different birds on a little island in the marsh. The vacation season has started. Lots of demand for prime real estate with water views.
Will keep you updated on developments. Hope your week is going great.