What’s Up With Oliver & Olivia?

This morning before daybreak both Oliver & Olivia were perched on their Lippincott channel marker.  By 7:00 am, both had disappeared.  And then at 7:12 am I found a gull on the nest.  No sight or sound of an osprey.  It’s a bit odd to find another bird on the nest after our ospreys return, as Oliver & Olivia both are fierce about anything near theirs!  Unfortunately, I had to leave for work.  🙁   I wondered what activity might be occurring while I was away.

Ring-billed gull on osprey nest

I arrived home at 5:00pm and found a single osprey on the channel marker again.  Captured some shots of it looking all around while chirping, pooping, preening, and ruffling the feathers.

I slipped away and at a recheck at 5:27pm, I found the osprey was gone.  It’s easy to step out and do a quick check which I did up til 6:51pm and still no osprey.  Hmmm…..I had been looking off to my right at a boat leaving the Kent Narrows channel, turned to glance back at the channel marker to my left, and there were the pair on the channel marker again.  They had come in and landed without me seeing them!

Now I felt better!   But they didn’t get to stay long, a boat leaving Lippincott marina passed by them and the pair took flight and disappeared to the east.  I wonder where they keep going when taking flight from the marker instead of coming to the nest.  Are they fearful of the nest this year due to last year’s possible Great horned owl scare?  As I watched the sun set in the warm foggy haze, I kept telling myself maybe they are just plain-down exhausted and aren’t ready to get gung-ho on the renovation yet!

Sunset over Kent Island - March 17, 2012

After taking a couple sunset shots, I retreated.  A check 20 minutes later, and what did I see?

Don’t know how they keep sneaking back and forth without me seeing them, LOL.  I didn’t get a frontal view of the chest so I’m not sure if this was Oliver or Olivia.  There are two easy ways to tell the difference between the male and female.  1) The male’s chest is only slightly speckled whereas the female’s is more heavily speckled, called her ‘necklace’, and the difference is noticeable.  2) The female is larger than the male, and noticeable when they are side by side.  When alone, it’s harder on the size but I felt this osprey looked to be smaller and might have been Oliver.

Only staying a couple minutes, it just kept looking down at the nest and then up and around.  It took flight and headed down to the channel marker and perched.  I hung out for a bit watching the waterfowl flying in for the night.  Ten minutes later the osprey was joined by the second one.  I’m terrible on dusk shots but here they are again, chillin’ as the night descends.

Tomorrow afternoon is calling for sunny skies and 66 degrees.   That’ll give Oliver and Olivia another nice day to rest; and just maybe when I return home from work, I’ll find more action and new nesting materials on the nest.   Until then!

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