Tag Archives: Spring

Turtle Heaven. And Raptor Rescue in McGough Nature Park.

Yesterday a friend of mine (thanks Gladys!) introduced me to a Nature Park that I had no idea existed right along a route I drive several times a week. Practically right under my nose.

McGough Nature Park
McGough Nature Park

The McGough Nature Park is also known as a “turtle park” because it houses 150-200 turtles of various sub-species at any given time. When we arrived, some of them were enjoying the sunshine at the pond.

A few of the turtles enjoying the sun on land.
A few of the turtles enjoying the sun on land.

This park also provides a home for rescued raptors, who cannot manage on their own in the wild due to injuries they have sustained. We saw five birds there at the moment, if I remember correctly.

Two Barred Owls.

One of these owls had an eye injury, and the other had a debilitating wing injury. They were not able to fly, but had gotten a home here in the park’s Nature Center.

A Red-shouldered Hawk.

This Red-shouldered Hawk had injured her right wing so badly that part of it had to be surgically removed.

After saying hello to the rescued raptors in the Nature Center, we walked the beautiful trail through the pine, oak, palm and mangrove forest. Please come along.

trees in McGough Nature Parklean on me McGough Nature ParkBoardwalk in McGough Nature Parkmagroves at McGough Nature ParkOak trees in McGough Nature Parkwild flower in McGough Nature Parktrees 2 in McGough Nature Park

I hope you enjoyed the short walk in this park, and the gorgeous spring weather 🙂

Rain

 

Rain Drops
Rain Drops by Tiny

Rain.

Rain drops reflect the whole.

The whole could be the universe.

The universe could be one life.

Life where clouds alternate with sun light.

Light greys mix with dark whites.

Whites and blues.

Blues composed by a dreaming heart.

Heart that sings in contemplative silence.

Silence colored by falling rain.

Rain.

Alarm! Collaboration. And Love.

I have an alarm event to report. I witnessed it all yesterday on my walk in the nature reserve. My regular readers remember the resident osprey family, right?

park spring green ed

So after making my rounds in the park marveling at the clear signs of spring, like the tiny light green leaves on some of the trees, I wanted to end my walk by greeting the osprey family. I was curious to see if the nest would be ready and if the female bird would already sit on the eggs. From the distance the nest looked empty. I hoped that was good news. I also noticed that it was well-built. Nothing moved around and nothing fell down despite the strong winds that had already thrown a few palm branches on my path.

osprey alarm 1

After I walked around the marsh and stood up on a bench nicely camouflaged under a tree, I could see her sitting in the middle of the nest. Her head would pop up to check the surroundings every so often. She was there, happily sitting on her eggs! Her hubby had probably gone to fetch some fish for lunch. All was good. I was just about to leave my observation post when I heard her high-pitched alarm.

osprey alarm 2

You can see her here sounding the alarm while looking away from me towards the left side of the marsh where nobody usually walks. I looked down too and saw two people with two huge dogs approaching on the grassy strip. Her alarm sound intensified for a few seconds.

osprey alarm 3

Suddenly she flew off – towards the “intruders”. In that moment I saw her hubby approaching like a fighter jet from the bay-side of the reserve. He had heard her cries and was coming to support her!

osprey alarm 4

He flew straight into the nest. To check on the eggs, I assumed.

osprey alarm 5

He then checked around quickly to scan the situation. No danger from anywhere in the air.

osprey alarm 6

He waited there for a few seconds, until the mother-to-be returned to the nest.

osprey alarm 7b

He then flew off and patrolled around the nest platform in an aggressive manner. He came down towards the people and the dogs a few times. Like here when the dogs were just passing the spot where I stood under the tree.

osprey alarm 8

The “intruders” hurried away! The father-to-be circled the nest a few more times. He looked straight down at me and apparently decided I did not pose a danger.

osprey alarm 9

He then returned to her in the nest. I thought he was looking at her to ensure everything was alright, while she was looking down in the direction behind me where the dogs had gone.

osprey alarm 10

I remained silently under my tree observing the harmony return to the nest.

osprey alarm 12

The female was soon feeling safe and returned to sit on the eggs, but the male kept an eye on me from the edge of their home. He had decided to interrupt his fishing trip until everything was absolutely safe. So I said my goodbyes. I thought their collaboration in protecting the offspring was exemplary. And the speed with which the hubby came to her side was admirable. An alarm call responded to in less than a minute! True love.

I hope you enjoyed the reporting despite the fact that during this tense, less than ten minute intermezzo, I didn’t have the time to think of camera adjustments. I just kept shooting. These are the few pictures where you can actually see a bird 🙂

Have a wonderful week filled with collaboration and love.

A Walk between Winter and Spring


For weekend reading I want to invite you to come along for another walk on the beach and in the nature reserve close to my home. My outing earlier this week was on an intermittently sunny, but windy day. It was not yet warm. Although it’s March, it felt more like winter. That’s relative, of course.

boj beach slow speed

Spring has actually started by now here on the nature coast, but one wouldn’t know it from the weather. Temperatures are several degrees cooler than the averages for this time of the year. Even an implant like me is still using a jacket. Then, how do I know it’s spring? Easy. There is lots of pollen in the air and allergies are in high gear. Even my dog, Bumble, got an allergy shot this week. Not kidding.

gull on the beach edx

The pelicans have not yet returned to the beach, but I could see a few sea gulls patrolling the windy ocean front. My eyes were watering from the wind so I decided to turn away from the beach and walk in the nature reserve.

SMALL BLUE HERON 2 EDX

I immediately knew I would have much better luck in spotting birds. The first one I saw was a small blue heron wading in the marsh. Then I spotted a bunch of white ibis birds. They were playing “follow the leader”. And marched right across the trail I was walking on. One, two, three…

five ibis birds walking (2) edx

At the first glance the marshland looked empty. But then I discovered several birds hiding from the cool wind amongst the trees and bushes. Here’s a small heron taking shelter. I would say it was well camouflaged.

BIRD HIDING small heron edx

After a while I encountered two birds who were very happy to pose for close-ups. A large sea gull

Gull edx

who had taken shelter in the park, which is rare, and a white ibis braving the wind on the top of an old swing. It didn’t look very happy, I thought.

IBIS CLOSEUP edx

My next find was much more rare, a roseate spoonbill. I have only seen one about a year ago in this reserve. This one might be visiting or maybe renting a home here only for the spring break?

bird roseate spoonbill EDX

But I thought it was beautiful! I was standing there admiring the spoonbill when a great blue heron landed elegantly in the water right in front of me. This one definitely lives here.

blue heron landed edx

It always patrols the different areas of the park and it occurred to me that it might be the neighborhood watchman? Or maybe the tax collector?

little bird 3 edx

I continued my walk and saw tiny bird. I hope it felt welcomed by the many big birds who call this reserve their home. As we say in the Nordic countries: if there’s  room in the heart, there’s room in the home.

bird osprey husband leaving ed

Before I leave the park, I always check on the resident osprey couple. It seems that they are not yet expecting any addition to the family. But I guess it’s just a matter of time. I’m going to keep an eye on them from our terrace. I can see their nest using strong binoculars. It would be so cool to catch a few flying lessons when the juveniles start practicing.  If I do, I’ll make sure to share the pictures with you.

I wish everyone a wonderful weekend. ♥ Tiny