Oyster Cove Osprey Nest Update
Sorry for another long absence, but we’ve been packing and moving 23 years of accumulation from our place in Delaware; and we are now full-time residents of Oyster Cove!
What a LOT of work, but that hasn’t kept me from taking photos. Although it’s been well over a week since Hurricane Irene descended upon us, I wanted to post some photos of the ‘event’. As those know locally, we were issued a mandatory evacuation that Friday, to be out of the area by noon Saturday, due to concerns of heavy flooding. By that Friday evening, over 40 boats were anchored in Marshy Creek, with hopes they could ride out and survive the winds and driving rain.
That evening, the day shut down with a lovely sunset and calm waters. What approaching hurricane??
Saturday morning we awoke to cloudy skies, wind, and the beginning of the heavy rains. More boats continued to anchor in Marshy Creek.
After boarding up windows, moved and secured items, we departed and hoped for the best. When we returned noonish on Sunday, we found our area and our osprey nest had survived! The boats in Marshy Creek didn’t do too bad either, there were nine that ended up to shore but none seemed swamped.
Within an hour of returning, an adult male osprey landed on our nest. He didn’t stay long; but it was a great feel-good sighting!
Shortly thereafter, the skies began to clear. Here’s a couple photos showing the edge of the hurricane as the end of it passed and continued its onslaught north.
As the days passed, a lone osprey would fly by, but it did seem eerie that most were gone. The following Labor Day weekend, we boated through the Kent Narrows to Rock Hall, then back south down through Prospect Bay and the Miles and Wye Rivers. Some nests were completely gone on the channel markers. But there are a few osprey still around, including a sighting of two chicks.
Along the Wye River, I sighted a few osprey as well, but there were definitely not as many as a week or so prior. Of course, it’s migration time so that and the hurricane both are the reason for a low count. One thing that is exciting, when the osprey migrate out of the area, we begin to see eagles more often. They begin their nest preparation in the fall for the upcoming breeding season; the female eagle will lay her eggs sometime from late January to March. And it was just the case, upon entering the Wye River, we immediately saw 5 eagles. Photos 2 and 3 are of an immature bald eagle, about 2-4 years old. They don’t obtain their distinctive white head and tail until they are about 5 years old. An eagle lives on average about 15 years but have been known to live as long as 30 years.
Since last weekend, I’ve seen an eagle in our osprey nest area, crossing the Narrows and heading towards CBEC. So as you watch our osprey depart for the season during the next few weeks (we will have transients come through from the New York and New England States as late as October or possibly November), you’ll be seeing the eagles and waterfowl begin to descend rapidly into our area. Helps beat the osprey blues til they return next Spring! 🙂
We already have a Great Blue Heron that has been enjoying the base of the osprey nest for some fishing several evenings this week. Two nights ago he was getting quite wet from the rains and although he tried and tried, he just couldn’t shake enough off; he decided to take flight to find a possibly dryer spot.
I don’t blame him, we are all having a hard time trying to stay dry from the continuous rains. Until next time, keep dry!