Oliver and Olivia Have Returned to Oyster Cove!

What an exciting post to share!  As I write this, I believe it is Oliver and Olivia who are presently perched on their nest platform here at Oyster Cove in Grasonville, Maryland.  Osprey days are here again!  Here’s the day’s recap…..

I was up dark and early.  And at 5:35 a.m. I was peering through my binoculars at the nest platform and over at Lippincott Marina’s channel marker to see if I could spot the silhouette of an osprey.  Nothing.  The half moon was shining bright, so I captured a shot to share it’s beauty.  🙂

Half Moon - March 14, 2012 @ 5:35 a.m.

I kept an eye out to the nest as I hurried along getting ready.  One final check before I left for work concluded no sightings of an osprey.  I was bummed, I wanted to stay and watch, but that doesn’t pay the bills….LOL

About five miles from us along Rt. 50 (BUSY dual highway, three lanes each way), there are two osprey nests that are directly over the highway on road signs that I’ve discussed in past seasons.  Long story short about these two nests, I tried to get the Maryland Dept of Transportation to remove the nests February 2011 prior to the ospreys’ return to force them elsewhere and hopefully away from the highway where we lost a chick in 2010 from a direct hit by a vehicle while it was learning to fly.  Because the nests did not block the lighting of the signs and were not a safety hazard, MDOT wouldn’t do anything about them.  So I worried for those two families all last season and will again this year.  Anyway, this morning as I checked out these two nests while passing by them, there was an osprey on one of the signs eating a fish.  🙂   Here are photos from 2010 of these two nests, and almost exactly where I saw the osprey sitting this morning on the first one.  I was excited, another osprey in the area!

One of two osprey nests along Rt. 50, Grasonville, MD - July 22, 2010

A second osprey nest about 1/4 mile from the other along Rt. 50, Grasonville, MD - July 20, 2010

We had another gorgeous day today, mid-70’s, no wind, clear skies.  Everyone I spoke to had spring fever bad!  Just after 5:00 pm I arrived home and, of course, went directly out to my balcony.  An osprey was perched again on Lippincott’s channel marker eating a fish as yesterday evening.  If any of the neighbors were outside, I imagine they heard me whoop & holler!  😉  (sorry neighbors!)

Osprey on Lippincott's channel marker - 3/14/12 @ 5:07pm

Osprey on Lippincott's channel marker - 3/14/12 @ 5:07pm

And just then a gull came swooping down to the osprey to check out what the osprey was eating.  The osprey just looked at the gull….

Gull coming in to challenge osprey for fish

Osprey tells gull - "I dare you...."

Osprey unnerved by a gull

I think the gull was a wise bird to move on.  The osprey finished the fish for another few minutes and then departed out of sight.  It returned half hour later to perch, constantly looking around.  Ruddy ducks, canvasback, and scaup were in the background, feeding and chatting.

Osprey on Lippincott's channel maker; ruddy ducks, canvasbacks & scaup in background.

Meanwhile, I was also watching a raft of coots who were working their way towards the osprey, hoping they’d pass in front of the osprey.  They did…..

Osprey and American Coots

The osprey perched a few minutes longer before departing out of sight.  Thirty minutes later I saw it hovering over the osprey nest platform, as if inspecting it, then continued to fly off to the right to the Kent Narrows south entrance green channel marker and landed for a few minutes.  It seemed there was a restlessness going on with this osprey.  Maybe it has an inkling someone is soon to arrive??  (hint hint)

Osprey inspecting what's left of last year's nest.

The nest needs a lot of repair.

Osprey landing on Kent Narrows south entrance green channel marker at sunset 7:09 pm

I didn’t see the osprey depart the marker and I didn’t sight it’s whereabouts.  Back and forth I went, looking and searching the skies, even left the sliding glass doors open so I could hear.  And then at 7:20pm, I heard excited osprey chattering and went to observe.  I watched a pair of osprey land and perch on Lippincott’s channel marker, Oliver and Olivia’s favorite perch second after the nest.

 

Oliver and Olivia - Welcome Back March 14, 2012

I feel 99.99% sure our Oliver has returned and joined Olivia for another season.  YEAH!  The closeness of the feedings & perching to the nest and nest visits, the two osprey immediately hanging together, as well as the early arrival to secure their home makes me feel that.  Young osprey returning take a couple years before they find a mate, then the pair has to find a place to nest, then try to figure out how to build a nest to call their home; they also usually have a difficult time taking over an established pair’s nest if the pair or even just one has already returned.  The older osprey are a wise species!  If it is indeed Oliver and Olivia, we should see them immediately start spending some time bonding and playing in the skies and on the nest as they haven’t seen each other since they migrated separately last fall.  Gotta get a little lovin’ going on!  Rest, of course, is also needed after the long trips they both endured.  And then just as quickly, they will get busy on repairing and rebuilding the nest.  Olivia’s clock will start ticking and she can be one bossy gal when it comes to her home.  And Oliver has proven to be one heck of an architect; and for those following another season with me will remember, Oliver is really into decorating with trashy decor like bags, plastic, fishing line, screens, dock line, McD’s bag, a small box, and anything else that catches his fancy.  It will be exciting and nerve-wracking to see what he finds this year to use!  (plastic & fishing line can be dangerous entanglements to the osprey)

In the next few days and the more photos I can get with chest and wingspan shots, I’ll be able to do some comparisons to actually confirm it is Oliver and Olivia, but I’m really feeling our ‘daring duo’ (as follower & neighbor Mary calls them) is back.  I like the nickname, Mary!

Life is good when the osprey return.  Stay tuned!  🙂

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