Tag Archives: Wood stork

Reunion. Finally. With Papa Osprey and His Two Pals.

Returning from my trip last week, my hands were full of “stuff” that needed immediate attention. Like catching up on Bumble’s ear massages. Then NaNoWriMo kicked in gear on Saturday. And on Sunday night our air handler decided it was time to quit. I have to say it picked the best possible time to go silent. No need for heating or cooling in this gorgeous fall weather we’re having right now.

beach grass fall colors
Fall colors on the beach…

Anyway, I had checked on Papa Osprey using my binoculars. He was alive and well, doing his eat and rest routine in the nest for a few hours every day. But we he hadn’t actually met since long before my trip. He might have spotted me though when gliding high up past my office window on Sunday, enjoying the high winds we had over the weekend. I waved vigorously, but there’s no way to tell whether or not he actually saw me.

ocean waves on the beach halloween
The Gulf was a bit stormy over the weekend…

So finally yesterday morning, I stole an hour to go see him. Running on the sidewalk towards the park, I saw two ospreys sitting on street lights in front of me. They were turned towards the sun, their backs towards me.

papa osprey sees tiny
Papa Osprey on a lamppost…

The one closest to the park entrance was Papa osprey. He was a little wet, but had no fish. I was delighted to see him! And he didn’t seem terrified seeing me either. He said something short, one syllable only. Like “hey”. That made my day and I greeted him as well. After an appropriate time, I continued towards the other street light to see if the osprey with a fish was papa’s old pal Stanley or his newer pal Steve .

osprey stanley and fish
Stanley with a fish…listening to the message from the park.

But before I reached that light, I heard osprey talk from the forest at the East border of the park.  Steve was having a loud monologue on the dead palm trunk, sometimes also favored by P.O.

steve the third osprey is talking
Steve talking loud to his pals…

So the third osprey was likely to be Papa’s fishing pal, Stanley. I was right. And what a scary fish he’d caught! Check it out, huge teeth. Stanley looked at it somewhat warily as well, don’t you think?

osprey stanley with scary fish
How do I eat this scary fish?

I marveled at seeing all three ospreys together for the first time. And decided to take a swing in the nature reserve, even just to run around the salt marsh. Passing Papa’s lamppost again, I saw him fly away towards the ocean.

wood stork
A Wood Stork visiting the salt marsh…

After snapping a picture of a visiting Wood Stork and completing my run around the marsh about 15 minutes later, I approached Papa’s nest. He was there. With a fish! A red snapper? And he wasn’t even more wet than I’d just seen him. Must have skimmed the fish right from the surface.

papa osprey with a fish

This was the second time in the last one month he’s gone fishing after meeting me and then come back to show it off at the nest 😀 He definitely gets my Fisherman Badge!

I hope your week is going well. Warmest regards, Tiny

Drama in the Nature Reserve.

One day at the end of July, I witnessed quite a drama in our peaceful nature reserve. A thunder storm approached from the ocean and severe lightning followed, but no rain. Suddenly the lightning hit very close. An explosion I could feel in my feet. Lights flickered and the ground shook. The storm was over in a few minutes, as it usually is, but then I heard emergency vehicles. I went onto the terrace to see what had happened.

fire trucks in Sand Key park
Emergency vehicles in the park
firemen at work in the park
Firemen at work…and the Thriller on its way out on the ocean

I could see fire trucks at the north parking lot, and an ambulance was just leaving.  It seemed to me that the lightning strike had hit the northern end of the park, somewhere close to the beach. Apparently someone had been injured and there was a fire.

lightning stike fire in Sand Key Park Clearwater
The burnt area of the park

After such a drama in our usually tranquil environment, I decided to go out and check on the birds in the salt marsh and see what damage the lightning strike had done. I was happy to learn from the firemen that the injured beachgoer was going to be fine. And to find that the bush fire had been put out very quickly. It had only burned a very small area of grass and damaged two palm trees. It had spared this huge old tree nearby!

giant  tree sand key park
The trunk of the huge old tree
The essence of summer Sand Key Clearwater
Activities resumed…

People were back to their normal activities of beach fun and fishing. And the birds were too. In the salt marsh, on my way back, I spotted a rare visitor, a wood stork.

wood stork in nature reserve 724
Mr. Wood Stork in the salt marsh

The Great White Egret was enjoying peaceful fishing too.

Egret in the nature reserve Sand Key Clearwater
The beautiful Great White Egret

And the duck family was already on the move.

And everyone is accounted for...
And everyone is accounted for…

The drama was over. Life had returned to normal. And that’s how we prefer it.

Have a wonderful, peaceful weekend, everyone!