Good evening from the sultry Eastern Shore of Maryland! This hot, humid summer just doesn’t want to let go. Our dear Audrey has headed south for her winter digs, so Tom and Chessie can’t be far behind. The days are getting shorter, Osprey Girl is back at school and fall is just around the corner. This will be my second-to-last blog for the 2016 season, with one more wrap-up blog after this one.
August has been a frustrating month for me here at the secret location. I thought my trusty Nikon D7100 had been acting up, and short of sending it back to Nikon for repair, I was not sure what to do. Since going to Windows 10, many of the photos I had taken appeared stretched out when I previewed them, and there was no rhyme or reason to which photos had this wacky appearance. I went to post a couple of these weird, stretched out photos on the blog (so maybe one of you would have an idea of what was happening) and when I posted them, they look normal. Now I am thinking there is some kind of disconnect between the camera and my new Windows 10. If anyone has an idea of what is happening, please contact me at Tom_audrey_osprey@yahoo.com with your thoughts. I am going to look around for a Windows 10 class, have any of you taken one that you would recommend?
Here is one of the photos that appears all stretched out on my photo previews. I was going to use this one as an example of what the funky photos looked like, and when I posted it, voila!, the photo appeared normal. I am stumped. Anyway, this is our family before Audrey left, complete with some decorative nest trash. What do you see that is unusual on the next two photos? The answer will follow after the photos.
The next photo is from the same series, and on my preview photos, it looked fine. Someone is making a lot of noise, and it is not Tom or Audrey. Maybe I have forgotten how noisy some of our other young ospreys have been, but right now my vote for the noisiest youngster ever is Chessie. Check out the expression on Tom’s face, it is priceless.
The answer to the above question is that Audrey is on top of the camera, and Tom is in the nest. This is an osprey position that is not usually seen at our nest. Here is what we are more used to seeing:
Here is another family photo. All three of our friends are on our neighbor’s dock two houses to the south of us:
There has not been much activity at the nest, but there are many ospreys still in the area. When Tom or Chessie is on the nest, they are quite aware of all the strangers in their midst. The nest has been visited by some of these intruders, and we have had several noisy, serious aerial battles between Tom and the unwanted visitors. On a few occasions, we have witnessed one of the more bold intruders actually stealing sticks from our nest! Quite the impudent marauding osprey, don’t you think?
Another mysterious occurence is that the infrared light that had been illuminating the nest at night and then stopped working appears to have started working again. COM has ordered a new light, and was trying to figure out a way to mount it for the rest of this season. He decided there was no way to reach the camera pole from the top of his fourteen foot step ladder without taking it down, so now he has a nice winter project to keep him busy during the cold months.
As you all know, Audrey has been an exemplary mom to all of her broods, and this year is no exception. Here are some photos of Audrey and Chessie hanging out together shortly after Chessie fledged. She was quite attentive to him after he left the nest.
This is another one of the photos that looked all stretched out in the previews (but posted normally), and was taken shortly after Chessie fledged. I really like this photo. You can clearly see the buff area on the back of Chessie’s head, his blue band and the incessant moving mouth. Audrey is staying quite close:
This photo was taken on one of those sultry summer evenings. I had just gone out to check out my garden, and noticed Chessie and Audrey in the scraggly stick tree with a storm not too far away to the north. Look closely to see Audrey:
I have seen Chessie fishing, but haven’t personally witnessed him catch a fish. I have seen him dive into the water on numerous occasions, but haven’t seen him come up with the goods. Tom continues to provide sustenance for Chessie, and does a fabulous job responding to Chessie’s incessant yapping for food. In this photo, I guess Chessie must have wondered what had happened to the fish he had been eating. Take a close look:
We don’t see much of Tom anymore, but he is certainly still around. He seems to show up early in the morning and later in the afternoon to provide Chessie with a meal.
Audrey has never been one to like her picture taken, but I have managed to grab a few:
Audrey was not happy about Mrs. COM taking photos close to the water, and decided to relocate:
Audrey decided this was not a good place to make her escape, and decided the nest was a better option after all. In the meantime, Chessie had decided if Mom left, maybe he should also get out of dodge:
Here is one of the other places Chessie has been seen hanging out in the neighborhood:
It’s easy to tell that Chessie is really enjoying his freedom of flight. He soars around, swoops up and down and just has a good old time. I love to watch newly fledged ospreys figuring out just what they can do in the air!
Here are a couple of photos taken this afternoon of Chessie in the nest, all by himself:
The hour is getting late, so it’s time to wrap up for tonight. If you have any questions, please feel free to post them on the Conservancy’s Facebook page, which I follow. I will try to answer any questions you have in the final blog of the season, which will I will write when the nest is finally empty.
Until next time, we remain-
Crazy Osprey Man, Mrs. Crazy Osprey Man and Osprey Girl
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