Thursday, March 29, 2012

MARCH 29, 2012

The importation of sticks continues, although by now the nest is sizeable.  When one of the ospreys is in the nest, only the head is visible.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

MARCH 20, 2012

The first day of spring.  Nest-building has been going on for several days now.  The male makes repeated forays to the shore and always returns with a stick.  The female remains on the nest and supervises. 

Our ospreys favor a casual nest design and they’ve built one each of the four years they’ve lived on this platform. As with most such plans, it takes a lot of work to look as if it was just thrown together.

The nest is round, of course, and by now it’s high enough for the female to settle in with only her head showing.  Every year, they have arranged a spray of long branches drooping off the right side.  We wonder if this is their signature nest design, and if other ospreys build unique nests.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

MARCH 15, 2012

The ospreys soar and swoop just for the pleasure of it. They flap gracefully downriver until they are mere dots in the sky.  They wheel gracefully and fly back.  Watching them from our backyard bench, we’re thrilled when they dive close enough so we can see their great curved talons and their bargello-patterned wings    

MARCH 8, 2012

It’s been a winter that has had us Eastern Shore people worried about spring. The one snowfall we had didn’t even cover the ground. Last summer’s parsley and mint, outside in tubs, have never stopped growing.  I got a mosquito bite in February.

Canada geese still wintered here, hundreds of them.  They crowded into Anchorage Cove, voicing noisy complaints. They foraged in nearby fields and flew over us in graceful V’s. One morning about a week ago, they were gone.  We began to watch for our ospreys.

This morning about 10, we found the female on the nesting platform. We think she surely must have been blown in by southwest winds, which had gusted to 34 mph.  She rested for about an hour, and then went downriver on a fishing expedition.  She tried out a high perch in a locust tree where she could watch her nest.

This afternoon, I went out to photograph her.  Nothing doing.  Although I sneaked around the corner of the house, she spotted me at once and began an alarmed “peep peep peep.” Last year, after a few weeks, the ospreys recognized us as part of the local eco-system.  They kept a close watch on us, of course, but didn’t object to our presence.

This evening at dusk, the female flew to our neighbor’s pier. She perched on the boatlift.  We watched as a second osprey joined her.  It was her mate!  Usually, the female arrives from her winter vacation in Costa Rica about a week before the male appears.  This year, with the very warm weather, and with the strong south winds, they arrived on the same day.