My Five-Minute Bragging Rights…..

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!

Nature - 2nd place - Tundra Swan Squabble

Nature – 2nd place – “Tundra Swan Squabble”

People Plus - 2nd Place - "Sunset Windsurfing"

People Plus – 2nd Place – “Sunset Windsurfing”

Black & White/Sepia - 2nd Place - "Eastern Shore Heritage"

Black & White/Sepia – 2nd Place – “Eastern Shore Heritage”

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…..  :-)

Nature - 2nd Place - "Golden Silhouette"

Nature – 2nd Place – “Golden Silhouette”

Thank you for stopping by and let me brag a little, have a great day!

Baby Robins and A Budding Photographer

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

A Budding Photographer

A Budding Photographer taking a photo of the beach and Assateague Island across the channel

“Okay, Grandmom, no more”

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.)

American Robin Nest

American Robin Nest

Benjamin's zoom shot

Benjamin’s zoom shot with Pop Pop’s lift in the air assistance!

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.

Momma American Robin with dinner

Momma American Robin with dinner

Ready and waiting!

Ready and waiting!

Arriving with dinner

Arriving with dinner

dasds

Still hungry!

adsasdas

Me too!

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!

Osprey Around Kent Narrows Area

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.

Female Osprey

Female Osprey

Marshy Creek/CBEC Osprey Couple

Marshy Creek/CBEC Osprey Couple stopping by our platform for another visit.

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I heard a splash and captured this next Osprey coming up out of the water.

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This Male Osprey begins to pull himself up out of the water.

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And yep, he scored a fish!

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And now off to his family’s nest most likely to feed some very hungry chicks!

More captures…..

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Fish appear to be in abundance for our area Osprey.  :-)

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An Osprey snatching some nesting sticks from our bulkhead.

An Osprey snatching some nesting sticks from our bulkhead.

A flight into the sunset

An Osprey flight into the sunset.

Who could blame him with such a gorgeous ending to a beautiful day….

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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!

Dropping In For A Visit

No matter your disposition, you’re never disappointed when a friend drops in for a visit.  :-)

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Male Osprey from CBEC’s nest platform, dropping on to our Oyster Cove Osprey platform.

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“Let me show off a little to prove to you how good I am at landing on this post.”

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“Whoa….Steady….steady…..”

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“Hey, no worry, I got this.”

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“Hi there! How are you?”

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.

Hugs, Donna

Oyster Cove Osprey Update

(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.

Oyster Cove's New Osprey Nest Platform - ready & waiting!

Oyster Cove’s New Osprey Nest Platform – ready & waiting!

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.

Osprey Pair

Osprey Pair

Thinking

Thinking

Most times though, they each visited alone, either to perch or eat a fish.

Dinnertime

Dinnertime

Breakfast

Breakfast

Dinnertime

Dinnertime

OOPS!

OOPS!

Another Dinnertime

Another Dinnertime

A measly stick would appear on the platform and then disappear.

A measly stick...

A measly stick…

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.

CBEC Osprey Pair

CBEC Osprey Pair, female is incubating 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.

Eagle Nest (circled) and Osprey nest platform

Eagle Nest (circled) and Osprey nest platform (bottom left).  The Eagles loved to perch on the Osprey platform in the trees above it daily during the winter.

I immediately recalled seeing in the past month a lot of Opsrey vs. Eagle aerial interactions happening over this area as well.  Hmmmmm……

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Osprey Vs. American Bald Eagle

_DSC0134-1 42115Bingo!  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.

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Male Osprey keeping a watch over his nest and family across Marshy Creek to CBEC

Another day, another watch

Another day, another watch

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.

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Ready to attack an incoming and unwelcomed Osprey

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Scare tactic!

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And a swift kick!

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Move on!

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Stay away or else!

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I’m going after you!

Sometimes you’d think I have too much time on my hands if I’m witnessing and taking shots like the next series.
_DSC0062-1 51715_DSC0063-1 51715_DSC0064-1 51715I might agree with you, lol.  :-)
A few more photos….

Male Osprey

Male Osprey

Male Osprey

Male Osprey

Peek-a-boo, I see you!

Peek-a-boo, I see you!

An early April photo of the female doing a fly-by on me after leaving our platform.

An early April photo of the female doing a fly-by on me after leaving our platform.

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What a beauty she is!

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.

She Came Back to Him

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!)

Mr & Mrs Osprey are home!

Mr & Mrs Osprey are home!

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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!  :-)

Tundra Swans Down on the Farm

This post was intended to follow the Snow Geese post as my second unexpected photo op on Saturday.  Sorry, had to slide in a “WOOHOO post” for the return of our Osprey!  :-)

So heading home Saturday afternoon, I was hoping to see Snow Geese again somewhere along the way across the Eastern Shore Maryland farmlands.  Just west of Barclay on the corner of Rt 302 and Big Wood Road , I did catch a glimpse of white on white.  Snow Geese?  No….but it was a small flock of Tundra Swan!  They were resting and feeding in the middle of a farm field, which is not something we see often, as the Tundra Swan are usually seen on the water.

Here’s a few captures from my seven-minute photo op….

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A group of Tundra Swan having a little ruckus

A few more would just drop on in, it was great even at a distance.  It’s time for the Tundra Swan to be making their migration back north so I was happy to see this before their season here ends.

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