A few weeks ago I had an exciting surprise discovering a family of Black-crowned Night Herons within our community’s premises. Very exciting because they were also a new lifer for me. :-)
Not one of the adults moved a muscle while I took a few photos. However, Junior seemed unfazed on his perch and continued to move around preening and stretching. I imagined the parents were a nervous wreck with all of Junior’s movement!
Boy, you can bet I was tickled with this photo opportunity!
I returned two evenings later about the same time to see if the family had returned. Sure enough, they had; but this time I found them perched within our marina, about 100′ from the previous evening’s water spot, just hanging out.
I checked a couple more times but haven’t seen them since. I just love that ‘right time right place’ photo op happening!
If I’m allowed, I’m extending my previous “5-Minute Bragging post.” :-) Revisit that post for my added “Update” if you are interested or curious. :-)
As always, thank you for stopping by, I appreciate all your visits. :-)
I mentioned couple posts back that I had just entered five framed/matted photos in the Kent Island Federation Of Arts 19th Annual Photography Show presently displayed in Stevensville, Maryland. Award-winning photographer, Jay Fleming, was the judge.
<doing my two-step boogie>
I won three awards in Amateur!
So how about that?!! ;-) I know I am thrilled!!! :-)
I entered three photos in last year’s show but never got the chance to post with Mom being ill then. I won one award last year, so I’ll share it now as well….. :-)
Thank you for stopping by and let me brag a little, have a great day! (see below)
Our Kent Island Photo Club decided to get involved with our recent Queen Anne’s County Fair photography contest for fun. Oops, I did it again! lol :-)
And finally, sharing my best win for last!
I was flabbergasted and so so surprised! There were so many awesome entries that I feel very humble with my winnings. Boy, what a night! And thank you for stopping by (again) to check my update. :-)
I thought I’d share a little story before the Robins….
Several weeks ago we took our grandson camping for a few days down to the coastal Ocean City, Maryland, area. What an awesome time we had learning to ride a 2-wheeler with training wheels, cruizin’ in the golfcart, campfires & roasting marshmallows, swimming, crabbing, sand play, crafts, boardwalk fries & rides, and taking photos!
I had previously bought Benjamin a children’s V-Tech camera when he was 2 1/2 to start our ‘photography hobby’ together; cool to start with but it was toy-looking with grainy images; you know these kids as they get older, they want the ‘real’ thing like ours. Benjamin turned four just before our camping trip, and as a surprise I had a new camera for him to take with us to learn to use, a refurbished Nikon Coolpix S6800 12x Zoom, picked up real cheap, cheaper than the Lego Police Station we bought for his birthday lol. I figured I’d give it a shot, he had already learned he had to be careful not to drop his old camera. Boy, was he was in awe AND excited, “It’s a real one, Grandmom!”
His photo-taking sessions have always gone in spurts, he would mostly rather play while I take photos, but he’ll still point things out to me or he <GASP> gets bored that I am taking too long with one subject when he’s ready to move on, lol. But I keep the conversation going as I can, and we talk about what shot to take and when and how, and from where/what angle. In seven days he took 155 photos! And I am thrilled how quickly he picked up the basics of the camera and zoom. Just one thing…he doesn’t like me taking photos of him taking photos. lol
In addition to photography, I am also teaching Benjamin on identifying birds, of course. His favorite are the Mallard ducks, because he gets to feed them at our place along our bulkheads or at Fisherman’s Inn/Crab Deck pond.
Now onto Benjamin’s find…..the Robins!
When I returned from an errand while on our camping trip, Benjamin was super-excited to tell me he saw a Robin and found a nest in the tree right on our campsite. (Now, how did I miss that!) He even took photos of it before I returned. Here’s his two best photos, unedited. (Haven’t taught him that yet.)
Did I mention he was only 4? Can you see why I am so thrilled?! (Might be a Grandmom-proud thing lol) :-) We worked hard on learning to keep his old camera steady and wow, it has paid off. Kids really do learn things fast, it is so amazing. He may have to start his own photo blog with Grandmom’s assistance one of these days….. ;-)
I didn’t get any great shots myself at the time since it was cloudy (poor excuse Donna), it took two more days to get a chance with the setting sun’s rays for me to get my best. Here’s a few of mine.
Dinosaur-looking adorable at this stage, huh?!! It is always a fun time to watch and capture baby birds.
And there is never a dull moment to spend time with a child, watching them learn and experience. It is so good for your heart & soul!
I had last updated that it appeared there was a loss on the Osprey chick(s) over across Marshy Creek at the CBEC nest platform. Unfortunately, something did happen as the Osprey couple are no longer active with their nest. They come and go from it but use it for rest & eating. They also continue to use our platform for the same reasons, sometimes together. In the meantime, we have Osprey everywhere. You may not see one flying around at a moment’s notice but it’s certainly not very hard to hear one crying out a warning as boats pass by their nests on the channel markers. Here are a few photos I’ve captured recently from my balcony.
I heard a splash and captured this next Osprey coming up out of the water.
Who could blame him with such a gorgeous ending to a beautiful day….
NOTE TO LOCALS:
Check out Kent Island Federation of Arts (KIFA) 19th Annual Photography Show going on now through August 1st. Categories are: People Plus, Nature, Black&White/Sepia, Abstract, and General. This year’s judging is by well-known Delmarva photographer Jay Fleming (www.jayflemingphotography.com). Judging is based on quality of photograph, originality, composition, and overall presentation. If you go, see if you spot my entries! :-) Good luck to all who entered!
No matter your disposition, you’re never disappointed when a friend drops in for a visit. :-)
It sure puts a smile on my face! :-)
Although I’ve been absent, I have been missing your friendships and your blogs. My hope is to stop by and visit yours soon!
And as always, thanks to all of you for stopping by, enjoy your week.
(So sorry for the long absence, it’s been a struggle to get my groove back since my Mom’s passing…..I promise I am trying.)
So what has been going on with the return of our area’s Osprey and our community’s nest platform this season? A lot!
Not having residents for three seasons past, our Oyster Cove community had a new platform and pole installed, ready and waiting to see if that would entice a new pair of Osprey.
Osprey quickly returned to our area after my last post. It was a pleasure to see the long-time residing pair on the Kent Narrows southend entrance channel marker arrive back safely, as well as others on their markers and locations I can see daily.
Including our platform! Mid-March immediately a male Osprey began visiting our platform, always with the look of watching and waiting. Days later a female joined alongside him. They didn’t seem to know what to do but look at each other and the surrounding waters.
Most times though, they each visited alone, either to perch or eat a fish.
A measly stick would appear on the platform and then disappear.
There seemed to be no motivation. Since they paired up so quickly upon return, that gave a good indication they were paired last year. If that be the case, why are they not at their previous home and instead at ours?
As the days & weeks passed, still no progress. I really felt something was amiss. By mid-April, I noticed I was now only seeing the male at the platform. The female had disappeared. My brain went into overdrive in thinking.
Then finally, the pieces of the puzzle began to fill in. Watching our male Osprey enjoy a fish, I witnessed him then leave with it headless and fly over to CBEC’s platform across the water where his gal was on their nest and eggs.
Guess what? What we thought were a new pair of Osprey on our platform is actually the pair that resided last year across the water on CBEC’s platform. And the Eagles and their nest that I discovered and posted over this past winter is in the same vicinity as that platform, which the Eagles used all winter as ‘their’ perch when away from their nest.
I immediately recalled seeing in the past month a lot of Opsrey vs. Eagle aerial interactions happening over this area as well. Hmmmmm……
Bingo! All that Osprey vs. Eagle interaction was territorial fighting over that platform and air space between “our” Osprey pair and the resident Eagles. Our platform was being used as a close base while they tried to regain their CBEC home.
The Osprey pair would not give up and succeeded in securing their CBEC platform back from the Eagle pair. (How about that?!) They were able to build a nest in time and the female lay eggs. Today, I watched the male Osprey take a fish to the nest and then leave; the female got up and appeared to be feeding! (Osprey chicks are hatching throughout our area now.) The male continues to perch on our platform to eat his fish and/or keep a watch on his family and their nest across the water.
As for the Eagles, they are of course still around but have now chosen to perch in the same tree line to the far right of their nest on the last tree that overlooks the water. And now everyone is happy. Unless one flies into the others airspace, lol. Which makes for great wildlife interaction watching for us locals!
The CBEC Osprey male also has his work cut out to maintain control of his second ‘home’, our platform. Other Osprey have tried to take the platform from him, to no avail.
So this season we do have a pair of Ospreys using our platform as a ‘second home/perch’ for now. Maybe their chicks will use it as a landing strip during their practice flights in a couple months, that would be cool!
UPDATE: After posting this, unfortunately I discovered it appears there is a problem with the Osprey CBEC’s nest/eggs. This morning I found the female Osprey alongside her mate on our OC’s platform. If there were alive chick(s), she would not have done this. They left our platform and went back to their home but both just sat on the edge. I could see them looking down and around, as if confused. I’m guessing they lost their eggs/chicks. :-( I’ll keep an eye on them to see if this is truly the case.
Who? What? :-)
Updating my previous post on our returning Osprey, yesterday, both in the morning & late afternoon, our Mr. Osprey was still perched on his highway sign along Rt 50/301 in Grasonville. As each year, he sits and patiently waits for his girl to return.
This morning, she was alongside him. Home at last!
(sorry on photo quality, I only had my little point & shoot!)
They will now take a little time to regain their strength from that 4,000 mile trek back here from South America. And then onto renovating their nest in preparation for a family of little ones. They will also rebuild their bond and commitment, as they haven’t seen each other since last September (they migrate to separate locations). This Osprey pair and nest have been along this dual highway corridor for many years. They are always the first to return, and in my last six years of observation, it has never appeared that a new pair has taken over or one was replaced by another not returning. This pair has shown year after year they know exactly what they are doing and what they are dealing with (traffic whizzing by below!).
Spring has sprung! :-)