Bella & Beau 2018: Season Finale

(Osprey nest location:  Cambridge, Maryland, USA)

September 23, 2018

After my last post and sightings of September 10, I still saw and photographed Beau on the towers on September 11, 12, and 13th.  Here’s my clearest shots.

Beau eating a fish – September 11, 2018 @ 10:23 am


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Beau – September 11, 2018 @ 12:06 pm


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Beau – September 11, 2018 @ 5:18 pm


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Beau – September 12, 2018 @ 7:46 pm


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Beau – September 13, 2018 @ 9:53 am


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Beau – September 13, 2018 @ 7:31 pm


And then *poof* gone!  I have not seen Beau nor an Osprey Teen since.

Wow, it has been such a wonderful, entertaining season, full of excitement, challenges, and drama.  All thanks to Bella and Beau’s commitment for success!  And now here we are, 23 weeks later, to bid a final Bon Voyage to Bella, Beau & family from all of us!

Nature and wildlife certainly are amazing…..  🙂


For those interested in a little background on my Bella & Beau series, here are a few facts:

This was a journal of an Osprey family’s season and behavior, so there were photos posted on purpose with bad lighting, focus, or weather conditions.  Yes, I cringed at times posting some of them!

Unless noted, all photos were taken from my third-floor level balcony at a distance of approximately 120 feet to the Osprey nest platform.

The majority of photos were taken hand-held (my preference to be ready for action/flight shots), although I did at times use my tripod and Wimberley WH-200 head.

Unless I showed a wide-angle shot (the harbor or a sunset), all photos were taken with a Nikon D200 and a Nikon AF-S VR-Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8 lens & Nikon AF-S TC-17E III Teleconverter (1.7x magnification) combo.  This set-up resulted in the below full zoom shot.


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Remember?  There was sort of a nest in the beginning!  🙂


I processed each shot in Adobe Photoshop CS6, then cropped in order to show close-ups.  The same photo above is cropped below as an example.

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Bella, Beau and family


All wide-angles photos were shot with a Nikon D600 and Nikon AF-S VR-Nikkor 24-85mm f3.5-4.5G ED lens.

From April 13th until September 13th, I took over 15,000 photos, which includes bursts to capture action.  Every photo was taken in both RAW and JPEG format.  Most photos posted were processed with the RAW image.

Of the 15,000 photos, I have deleted about 5,000 for poor/unfocused quality but have retained the rest in a filing system that provides literally a journal in photos, making it easier to go back and look up any week and/or behavior.  You can imagine how hard it was to pick photos every week to share!  I could probably start over and post a whole new set of photos each week for this season.  😉

I want to sincerely thank all of you for your views, ‘likes’, and wonderful comments throughout the season.  Each one made my day each and every time!  I hope you learned a little something about the amazing, resilient Osprey too.

I also want to thank my husband for putting up with my Osprey passion and the dedicated hours put forth and for his assistance in helping to track and alert me of happenings.  I couldn’t have done this series without his support!

As I mentioned, stay tuned for a photo rewind post, the best of the best from all the posts, hopefully within the next couple weeks.


(For all past posts on Bella & Beau’s 2018 season, you can click HERE.)



54 thoughts on “Bella & Beau 2018: Season Finale

  1. I have so enjoyed this entire series, Donna, Thank you! I couldn’t tell the nest was about 120 foot away, nice! It’s so amazing that these tiny, frail little birds grow so big and powerful, then fly thousands of miles south. ❤️😎

    • Thank you, John, I am so glad you enjoyed the B&B saga! 🙂 Fingers crossed they arrive to their winter grounds safely. I bet Bella is already lounging and sipping margaritas from her winter paradise! 😉

  2. It’s sad to know that we won’t see anymore photos from this year of Bella and Beau, but their return next year gives us something to look forward to.

    Thank you for including the technical details in this post as far as the equipment that you use, along with the software. I noticed that you didn’t mention Adobe Lightroom, do you use it? It makes the filing and finding of images so much easier than anything else I’ve ever tried, and we shoot about the same number of photos.

    Maybe your wonderful husband will put the Nikon 200-500 mm lens under the Christmas tree for you this year. 😉

    • Thank you, Jerry, I am glad you enjoyed the drama and challenges of B&B and family.

      No, I haven’t used Lightroom, I’ve been using CS6 for years. I’ve thought about testing it out, but finding the time to stop and learn, lol, well you know how that can go! 🙂

      Hmmmm…..that’d be pretty awesome! I’ve been eye-balling and drooling over the 500mm and greater lens for a long time. 😉

  3. This Osprey project is an awesome achievement for you, and a boon for us, your viewers! Thank you so much for sharing your experience and all the images with us.

  4. I has been an amazing several months, Donna. Thank you for sharing your ospreys with us. May the wind be at their backs, may they catch many fishes, and may they return safely next year.
    All the best,

    • You’re welcome, Tanja, and thank you for following along. What an awesome roller coaster ride it’s been for B&B. It’s so pleasing to conclude such a successful season. 🙂

  5. Thank you for a wonderful season. Here’s hoping Bella & Beau will sign up for a second season. Maybe they could/should sign with one of those networks that helps you fix up your home or one that finds a pre-existing home for you.

  6. It has been a captivating, fun season and sweet to look back on the photo with chicks in the nest (with some sticks in it). Whoa, you had your hands full going over the thousands of photos and appreciate you sharing your gear. I feel a lot of gratitude in being able to take part in the growth and development of this special family.I want to thank you for all your effort, and commentary over the months.

    • Thank you very much, Jane! Not knowing what the season would bring was a bit apprehensive; but I don’t know why I felt that way, Bella & Beau proved to us all they were a team. It was a lot of fun taking on the challenge to journal their season. Let’s hope Beau takes an architectural course over the winter! hee hee 😉

  7. I must be losing it. Thought I commented how much I enjoyed this entire season and wouldn’t have wanted to miss this finale! Thanks for taking us along on this delightful journey. 😊

    • You’re not losing it, Gunta, you probably did! 🙂 Beau hung around and kept me busy keeping an eye on him, watching for his departure. The last chick must have needed another week to master its fishing capabilities.

  8. Donna you have shared not only great captures of the Osprey family, but also the interesting facts behind the process you used. It is a plus to share these aspects, and to acknowledge the loving support of your husband. You posts are truly a credit to you. I am encouraged by your enthusiasm and appreciation which shines through in the passion and delight doing something you love. Have a wonderful week my friend 😊

    • Thank you very much, Ashley! It was a whirlwind of a season, always something new or different occurring; and I thoroughly enjoyed watching all the developments of my favorite bird. Yours and others’ support has been most appreciative!! Have a wonderful week as well, my friend!! 🙂

  9. Thank you for sharing this “final” update on beautiful Beau and Bella, and for sharing some insights into what went on behind the scenes during this amazing project. It’s been quite a ride ❤ I of course look forward to seeing more of your work, and hope you can get some well-deserved rest too 🙂

    Best wishes,

    • You’re welcome Takami, it was quite a ride, thank you so much for following along! There were a few bumps and hiccups, but B&B proved to us all how resilient wildlife can be. And how amazing they are too!

  10. Thank you Donna for letting us into the world of the Osprey family. It has been fascinating and emotional at times watching the family’s journey. Sad that it’s all over now, but it has been very interesting and an insightful look into the world of wildlife seeing the joys and tribulations. Well done on such brilliant documentation of this osprey family and all of your magnificent photos. 🙂

    • Thank you, Sue, and you’re welcome! With the Osprey living out in the open air, I do love how they are a wonderful species of wildlife to be able to observe continuously for several months, seeing their team work and development. Makes them become part of you for a while too. 😉

  11. You’ve done a fantastic job with this Beau, Bella and the teens series. I was very impressed by your photos clearly and timed to the sequence of events. You’re very good at this! I can’t wait what’s coming for next season! 🙂

  12. What a great job documenting the nesting season(s)! It always a bit bittersweet when they leave, isn’t it? I look forward to the rewind post, will enjoy every shot of this wonderful family. I missed lots of posts during my work and other travels and will still need to catch up. Here is Florida, both parents are finally back in the vicinity of the nest …ready for a new nesting season in three months. Have a wonderful week Donna!

    • Thank you, Helen! It was a whirlwind of events for B&B’s season, even if they didn’t have a nest to live in, just a flat piece of plywood. It was amazing seeing the daily developments. WOW, nice that you are seeing your Osprey S&S! It is oh-so very quiet here now. Osprey sure do let you know when they are around!

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