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.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

JUNE 15, 2011

Idyllic days at Anchorage Cove. It's sunny and warm, and at night, a full moon lights the river. Butterflies drink from the lavender buds, purple martins flit and dive and swoop and the ospreys play tag.  Mama and Papa tend to their chicks. We haven't seen fuzzy heads in the nest, but any day now we know they'll appear.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

JUNE 4, 2011

The babies must be here.  We haven't seen them, of course, but both Mama and Papa stand on the side of the nest, gazing fondly down and offering tidbits with their beaks.  Mama settles in once more, covering the chicks with her warm feathers.  Time for an afternoon nap.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

MAY 28, 2011

Papa has been busy collecting grassy material for the nest.  Either Mama has complained about the discomfort of sitting on sticks 24/7 or the chicks are almost here.  Or both.