Osprey with a Fish

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Our Chesapeake Bay Osprey have almost all disappeared for their migration to South America.

There are a few laggers, but now sightings can also be those that left from regions north of us and are passing through, stopping for some fabulous fishing and rest.

We passed by this beauty who was beginning to feast on it’s catch while perched on Light Marker #5 in the Kent Narrows channel.

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Osprey

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Osprey

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Sunrise at Eastern Neck NWR

This morning’s sunrise at Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge in Rock Hall, Maryland.

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Sandhill Crane

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Sandhill Cranes are considered a rare sighting for the mid-Atlantic States.  One had been seen off and on during the summer near my daughter’s home in Delaware, and most notably at Bombay Hook NWR, ten miles east of her.  Several times my son-in-law texted or told me he saw it fly over their home, but I could never sight it in my goings back and forth.

Until two weeks ago!  Yay!!

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Sandhill Crane

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Sandhill Cranes are approximately the same height as a Great Blue Heron only bulkier.

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Sandhill Crane

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Sandhill Crane

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Fun and games with my 6 year old grandson and then a regionally rare bird sighting one minute after leaving had me on Cloud 9 all the way home!

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Osprey Family – Near Eastern Neck Bridge

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Just before crossing the bridge to enter Eastern Neck NWR, there is a man-made Osprey platform on the right, alongside the road before the boathouse.

The Osprey familiy there are always a delight to see each time I go to the refuge.  Mostly I say, “Good Morning!” to them out my passenger window as they watch me pass by.

There’s nowhere to pull over for photos, but I’ve gotten a few shots from my car window when I’m heading back out and pass by them again that are too good to pass over.  🙂  Besides, haven’t ya’ll missed my Osprey photos?!!  😉

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Osprey Dad

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Osprey Mom drying off after a wash

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“The Snag” next to the platform, perfect for watch, used continuously all summer
Mom at top, Dad below
(Osprey females are larger than males)

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They were a great team, successfully rearing two beautiful chicks!

It was not easy for nest shots, but one instance I had to try for one to show the nest and Mom’s developing garden.

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Osprey Mom and one of two chicks peeking through

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Dad doing a 180° neck-turn to get those big eyes on me

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“Wait, let me turn it even more to see what’s over there…..”
(amazing how far an Osprey can turn it’s head!)

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Another time to get a nest shot.  Mom must have requested full landscaping this year, eh?!

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Nest with growing landscaping and one of two chick

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Osprey chick practicing wing-flapping

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And now it is already that time of the season for our huge Chesapeake Bay Osprey population to begin migrating to South America for the winter.

It appears Osprey Mom may have already left for her winter vacation (the female adults leave first around now).  The past week only dad was seen sitting nearby while the two siblings sat on “The Snag”….

Where they cry, cry, cry, begging for food!  Dad ignores them.

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Osprey youngster (male) belting out another crying session

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Other youngster (female) looking to see if Dad’s going to respond

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These two Osprey youngsters are now in the last of their few weeks here on the Chesapeake Bay.  They’ve been practicing their flight maneuvers and fishing skills daily for weeks, but Mom and Dad were always assisting with extra food.

They are now getting the hard lesson from Dad that they are on their own to fish and feed themselves.  This should force the youngsters to become skilled fishermen so they each can survive their long, migrating journey to South America on their own, to live 1 1/2 years there, and then return back to the Chesapeake Bay in Spring 2024 to start their own families.

Fish-On, Osprey youngsters!!

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Blog Commenting Issues

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I do not know what is going on with WP, but wanted to let you know that for the past couple weeks I am receiving a few comments on each of my posts as “anonymous” in my comments spam folder, asking that I approve them, which I do, then I reply.  But I do not know who I am replying to.  I also do not believe you are getting your replies from me as you used to.

I have also been leaving comments on some of your blogs that I think are also going to you as anonymous, possibly going to your comments spam folder. I’m told to log in to my account, but the comment still doesn’t show up.  I do not hear back from you on what I said, which is not necessary, but I know some of you would reply.  This is the case on some blogs.  Most of them, I am not having a problem leaving a comment.

I do not know what to do about this.  I’ve read on other blogs of others having these same issues.

Does anyone know what is going on?  WP Chat has been useless for me.

So sorry to those of you who think I’ve not been visiting, “liking” or “commenting” lately, I have been!!!

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One More Butterfly – Monarch Close-ups

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I kept these photos aside as a separate butterfly post from the last two I’ve shared from Eastern Neck NWR.

I hope you enjoy these Monarch close-ups!

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Monarch

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Monarch

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Monarch

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Slurp!

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More Butterflies at Eastern Neck NWR

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Some more of my favorite compositions of different species of butterflies captured in July at the refuge.

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Black Swallowtail

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Common Buckeye

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Hobomok (or Zabulon?) skipper

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Eastern Tiger Swallowtails

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Eastern Tiger Swallowtail close-up

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Spicebush Swallowtail

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Orange Sulphur

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Butterfly Bliss

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Zebra Swallowtail

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So delicate and amazing!  I’ve seen/shared 18 species of butterflies this summer to date (HERE in case you missed them). 

I’m hoping to capture and share more species who will be stopping by the refuge’s Butterfly Garden and meadows for food in September and October, as they make their way south for the winter. 

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Great Horned Owl

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At dusk two evenings ago, I happily give credit to my husband for spotting a large dark bird sitting on the ground under the trees at the back of our yard.

With my binoculars, I saw the bird had its back to me.  Then it spun its head.

A gorgeous face and two big yellow eyes of a Great Horned Owl was staring right back at me!

We were both startled! 😉  The owl quickly flushed up into the trees.

Camera ready and in-hand, I stayed partially hidden and waited.  Would it return?

It did!  🤗😊🤗

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Great Horned Owl

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The owl flushed again as I was clicking off the shots.

I patiently waited a few more minutes….maybe, just maybe….

Yes!  The owl dropped back to the ground, this time closer to us!  I got a few shots before the Great Horned Owl flushed up again and flew off.

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Great Horned Owl

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Great Horned Owl

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What an awesome, memorable visitor!  You might remember, several months ago I had another unique visitor in our little over one-acre yard, a Bald Eagle.  Lucky me!

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Sunset on Chester River

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We finally had a reprieve in our hot temperatures this past Friday to the low 80s F. 🤗

After getting done what was necessary, we took advantage of the gorgeous late afternoon and went for a boat ride, did a little fishing, and toasted the peaceful sunset.

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Sunset over Eastern Neck from Chester River

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Once the sun had disappeared, a cloud formation to the south produced a spectacular pink glow.

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With the day done, we headed back up the river, then our creek, back to our dock….

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Once secured up against the T-dock, the night began to settle in.

Before departing our boat, I saw this next composition and had to take ‘one more photo’.  😊

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Looking east

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More Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

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Some more photos of the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks that are still hanging around a retention pond less than a 1/4 mile from my daughter’s home in Delaware.

They are considered a rare sighting for the mid-Atlantic, so naturally I check on them each time I go see my grandson.  🙂

On one occasion, there was a ruckus going on between three ducks which was interesting.  They used their feet and claws when attacking each other.

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Black-bellied Whistling Duck “martial arts”

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Also biting.  Ouch!

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Black-bellied Whistling Duck biting another

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These four had the rest of the flock a bit upset, putting some into flight to circle and reland.  Which I was thrilled to say the least!  Here are my four favorite flight shots.

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Peek-a-boo!

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