Goodbye To Our Osprey

I apologize for my long absence, life’s recent ups and downs have kept me hopping with little time for my hobbies.  Although some things are still ongoing, this is my attempt to get back to routine posting.  I’ve really missed blogging and reading others’!

Catching up with my last post, we continued to have numerous attempts of a new Osprey pair trying to take up residence on our nest platform this summer, but it was not to be.  The long-time Osprey pair across the water on the Kent Narrows South Entrance Channel Marker 3 loved our platform too much as a resting spot where it afforded them a direct clear sighting to their nest for the area’s intruders.  They continued to steal the new resident’s nesting materials, never allowing a nest to get built.

Here’s a photo of another started nest of the new Osprey pair being protected by the female with the male coming in with a meal. Unfortunately, once they left the nest to hunt or exercise, the KN Channel Marker Osprey would swoop in, grab, and leave.

xx

As the summer winds down, most of our area Osprey have already departed for their Caribbean or South America winter vacation.  Last week, several Osprey dads were still visible, hanging around their nests, waiting for their last chick to hit the migration sky trail.  Once the last chick departs the nest, the dad can finally go too!  The moms have long gone, they are the first to leave.

It has now been three days since I’ve seen an osprey on any of my local area’s couple dozen nests or in the sky.  I’m getting that empty-nest feeling, if you know what I mean.  :-)

Here’s a few of my favorite photos from the past few months when I had a chance to do a little shooting of my favorite bird, the Osprey.

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Look at those talons!  Yikes!

The next few photos are of the Osprey chicks on the Kent Narrows Channel Marker 3 taken from our boat.  The long-time resident parents could care less with all the boats that must pass them so narrowly close year after year, they have gotten very use to them.  But the chicks think otherwise.  They will get quite vocal to let you know you are not welcomed.

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Juvenile Osprey

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One of the juvenile Osprey took flight as we passed by and really gave us an earful while he followed and circled our boat as we headed out to Prospect Bay.  Maybe he was showing Momma who is in the photo’s background how good he was at chasing us away!  :-)

Juvenile Osprey

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The juvenile Osprey following our boat.

Goodbye to our Osprey!  We will be here next March waiting for your return!  :-)

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We May Have A Resident Osprey Pair!

Geez, life can really get in the way when your trying to blog regularly!  Sometimes, it was because of good times.  :-)  But I also happen to fall victim to the deadly computer crash.  I was fortunate to be back up and running this past week, thanks with hugs & kisses to my son.  I miraculously didn’t lose a thing but was definitely frantic at the time because it had been five weeks since my last backup….

Note to all – backup as often as possible…..and more!!

Now onto the Osprey.  Can it be??  Lo and behold, it appears we have a pair of Osprey trying to take residence and keep possession of our nest platform.  :-)

With the storms that had barreled through our area weeks ago, I’ve wondered if this pair was totally displaced from a previous home.  For several weeks the pair aggressively brought nesting materials to the platform, only to fall victim to the male Osprey resident on Kent Narrows southend Channel Marker who stole the materials just as fast as he could to take to his plush nest and family.

Here’s the largest start of a nest that I got to photograph.

Oyster Cove Osprey Nest Platform

Oyster Cove Osprey Nest Platform

The sticks and nesting materials come and go regularly as if it’s a stop and shop Home Depot.

The female of the Osprey pair seems to be the primary protector of their new ‘home’, perching on it much more than the male.   I’ve seen the male more times either bring a stick or a fish to eat at the nest, and then leave when finished.  Sometimes he shares his catch with his lady, sometimes he’s a meanie a and mantles over it so she can’t have any.  In turn, she gives him an earful.  Hopefully his manners and maturity improves for his bonding sake!

Here’s a series of recent photos from my balcony.

The female Osprey enjoying a meal.

The male Osprey enjoying a meal while protecting the platform.

The male Osprey taking a stick to the platform.

The male Osprey taking a stick to the platform.

The male Osprey arriving with a fish.

The male Osprey arriving with a daybreak breakfast.

He didn't share this one, shame on him!

He didn’t share this one, shame on him!

Here’s some flight captures as our new pair and others do a fly-by my balcony.

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Peek-A-Boo!

Peek-A-Boo!

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Trying to capture the Osprey defending the nest wasn’t my thing lately, but I did get one nice one.  Our new female Osprey was protecting the platform, screaming at an intruding male (not her partner) circling overhead.  The intruder descended quickly down at her to attack; as she rose up in defense, I captured this next photo.

Our new female Osprey defending the platform against an intruding area Osprey.

Our new female Osprey rising to defend the platform against an intruding area male Osprey.

The intruder quickly retreated with our female in hot-pursuit.  She’s one tough Osprey!  Hopefully nature works out and the Osprey pair are able to keep possession of the platform with not so much hassle this season and return next year to start a family.  Our platform is due for a new family!

A quick side-note, I apologize for being AWOL from the many blogs I follow, I have really missed them/you.  My email blog folder is slam full of new posts, I’ll try to catch up with random readings of each blog as I can.  Please forgive on skipping around and maybe not leaving comments until I get caught up!

As always, thanks so much for stopping by my blog, I really appreciate you!

Flock of Newbies

I photographed a few birds that I’m familiar with while at Lake Greenwood, South Carolina (as my last post of the Great Blue Heron); but I also photographed several newbies.  Most are land birds as I call them.  Living around tidal waters, I don’t see too many land birds.

It’s exciting to share these.  What a challenge they are, I love it!  I have also found a new respect for those of you who photograph land birds.  :-)  They are small, they are flighty, they are fast.  And they can be very hard to identify since I’m still learning.  So PLEASE, if I’ve identified one incorrectly, let me know!  I am here to learn as well as share.

Because they are newbies, some of the photos just may not be so great.  Just another challenge for me to replace them some day with a better capture.  :-)

Orchard Oriole

Orchard Oriole – Male

Orchard Oriole

Orchard Oriole – Male

Blue Jay

Blue Jay

Blue Jay

Blue Jay

Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

xxx

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Brown Thrasher

Brown Thrasher

Brown Thrasher

Brown Thrasher

Lift-Off!

Lift-Off!

Brown Thrasher

Brown Thrasher

Caspian Tern

Caspian Tern

Common Loon

Common Loon

Common Loon

Common Loon

Broad-Winged Hawk

Broad-Winged Hawk

Yellow Warbler? (flight photo next)

Orchard Oriole – Female

Orchard Oriole – Female

Need help with this ID - Summer Tanager or House Finch?

Need help with this ID – Summer Tanager or House Finch?  (sorry poor photo, he was so far up in the tree)                                     (The consensus so far is it is a House Finch)

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallows

Tree Swallows

Always great to add to my photographed bird list!
Thanks for any ID help, now and in the future is appreciated.

Great Blue Heron at Lake Greenwood, SC

We vacationed recently along Lake Greenwood, South Carolina, where I got several opportunities to photograph birds local there during April.  (Got some newbies for my bird list!)

During the past few months at home in Maryland, I haven’t seen any Great Blue Herons along our water’s edge (not the norm), basically due to the chaos of the bulkhead getting rebuilt.  I’ve spotted them in different inlets along the roads, but that’s no fun when you can’t sit and enjoy them for a while.  If you sit and watch one, you’ll learn what patience is all about.

While at Lake Greenwood, I spotted many Great Blue Herons flying about here and there, sometimes landing down by the local docks.  I took many photos from a distance while they flew around or fished/rested by the lake, just okay shots…..and finally was at the right place right time for closer and crisper ones.

One of my favorites, the beautiful Great Blue Heron stands about 4 feet tall, with a wingspan up to 6 feet wide.  Yet the adult weighs only about 5 lbs. because their bones are hollow.  That surely helps to get their body up and in flight!

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

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The Great Blue Heron at Lake Greenwood certainly made up for my missing them at home!   :-)

 

This Osprey Pair Doesn’t Give A Hoot

This post is primarily to document Osprey behavior that I thought interesting and a bit funny.  I’ve wanted to get back and capture more shots with better lighting but haven’t had a chance as yet.

Although they do nest over land, Osprey are most comfortable nesting over water, and the higher the better to get that 360 degree view.  One of the Osprey’s major threat & fear is the Great Horned Owl.  The GHO will snatch an unguarded Osprey chick like a ghost in the night.   :-(

This season an Osprey pair has nested on top of a dock piling driver that anchors in the small inlet alongside the Holiday Inn Express at Kent Narrows Rt. 50 Exit 42.  As you ramp off Rt. 50, it is off to your right as you pass the water.

At the start of the nest building, the owner removed the Osprey nest when the driver was moved out of the area.  When the driver returned, the Osprey were waiting and quickly built another nest.  For some reason, they insist this is home.

I see this nest every day; and on a quick stop in mid-April, I took a couple of photos.

At the water’s edge, I could see what appeared to be an attempt to discourage the Osprey.

Osprey Pair and their home

Osprey Pair and their home

Osprey pair and their tenant, a fake owl

Osprey pair and their tenant, a fake owl

It was like a stare-down, with no one moving.  LOL

Since then, the female appears to have settled in the nest and is incubating eggs.  A few mornings ago, I got this silhouette capture.

An Osprey incubating eggs

An Osprey incubating eggs with her fake owl buddy

I’m hoping the driver owner will not destroy the nest but I fear they will need to move and use the driver.

If luck has it and the nest remains, then that means the Osprey will be looking at that owl for the rest of the season, day in and day out.

Obviously, this Osprey pair doesn’t give a hoot!

An Osprey Lover Is An “Ospreyer” (Or So I Say)

Unfortunately, our Oyster Cove’s community Osprey nest platform that is 150-200 ft from my balcony did not successfully entice a pair of Osprey to take residence this year again.  Part of the reason is the returning resident pair on the southend Kent Narrows Channel Marker #3 pair has used our platform for a perch to keep a close eye on their home and especially now with the Mrs who is incubating eggs.  Other Osprey perch on it as well but are always challenged to leave by Marker #3 Mr. Osprey.  It is obvious he does think it is his perch, and believe me he keeps his eye on it.

Even though there are no full-time residents for our platform, there still is a lot of Osprey activity so I’m a happy Ospreyer.  There are at least eight active Osprey nests that I am aware of on the water within a 1/4 mile, so one is practically in the air somewhere above or in front of me.

Here is an Osprey series from the past month.  :-)

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KN Channel Marker #3 Mr Osprey chasing off an 'intruder' on his perch!

KN Channel Marker #3 Mr Osprey chasing off an ‘intruder’ on his perch!

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Marker #3 Mr. Osprey challenged a passing Osprey by flipping upside down and flashing his claws.  The Mrs. is down in the nest verbally giving her two cents.

Although they challenge and holler at each other when one is in another’s ‘territory’, on a steady 15-20mph windy day our area Osprey will soar together.  Go figure, lol.  I was watching six Osprey on April 13 doing this and finally was able to get five of them in one frame.  Note the bottom Osprey has a fish.  He ate it while flying!

Five Osprey soaring on a windy day.

No quarrels here!  Five of six Osprey soaring on a windy day.  Bottom Osprey has a fish that he ate while flying.

These next photos show those very sharp talons.

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High Five!

High Five!

Geez, looks like he could poke his eye out.

Geez, looks like he could poke his eye out with those talons.

Our community’s bulkhead was renovated and straw grass was put down to cover and protect our seeded lawn alongside the bulkhead.  I have enjoyed watching different Osprey swoop down and grab a clump for nesting material.  If anyone in the community wondered where some of the missing straw is, now you know!  LOL

KN Channel Marker #3 Mr. Osprey snatching a clump.

KN Channel Marker #3 Mr. Osprey with a snatched clump.

You can see he's gotten his share of straw.

You can see he’s gotten his share of straw for their nest.

CBEC Osprey taking his turn.

A Marshy Creek Osprey resident taking his turn.

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Capturing an Osprey with a fish up close is my ultimate challenge.  Bingo!

Heading home to the Mrs. with dinner.

Heading home to the Mrs. with breakfast.

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Another one of my Osprey overloads!  :-)
Hope you enjoyed and thank you for stopping by!

Visitors Who Always Thrill!

Today was ending with dreary grey skies, incoming fog, and showers.  The only birds seen are the resident ospreys in the distance on their platforms and nests riding out the rain.  Everyone else has found their shelter.  Nature is quiet as evening approaches.

Or so I thought.  Out of the corner of my eye passing within 15-20 feet of our big floor-to-ceiling window, I caught a glimpse of two quite large dark birds with bright white tails.  Almost knocking my dinner plate onto the floor, I rushed to the balcony door grabbing my camera along the way…..

Swooping in and landing on our Oyster Cove osprey nest platform were two adult American Bald Eagles.  Always ALWAYS a treat for our community when one, let alone two Eagles visit our platform!

Due to the weather & lighting conditions, my photos aren’t worthy of print but I couldn’t not post them just because of who they were.  There’s just something about seeing an Eagle that thrills my heart and soul.  Two is twice as nice!

American Bald Eagles

American Bald Eagles having a shouting match with the Osprey on KN#3 channel marker.

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The largest Eagle on the right is the female.

The male Eagle quickly departed and headed over Marshy Creek while the female hung out for a bit, keeping her keen eye on everything around her.   In the next two photos, I saw quite interesting on how much the female Eagle could turn her head as she looked to her left……

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And then continuing to turn it and look behind her, hold it there to get a real good look, before turning back around.  Pretty good head swivel, huh?

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Yep, these visitors are ALWAYS a thrill!  :-)

 

 

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