The Great Wait

Good morning from the summer-like Eastern Shore of Maryland!  Although it is only May, the last two days have felt like the sultry days of July.  We certainly hope the weather improves before our hatch window begins later in the week.  I guess the hot sun is better than the cold rain, but some seventy two degrees and sunny (at the same time) would sure be nice.  A brief little storm blew through earlier this evening, leading to this spectacular rainbow.


A fantastic rainbow at the secret location. It was a full rainbow, but too large to photograph the entire vista.


By the time I grabbed the camera and ran out to the backyard, the rainbow was starting to fade.  It was quickly fading when I managed to take this photo.



The fading rainbow as Audrey incubates. I wonder if she noticed the rainbow? I know she probably noticed the rain…


While the Great Wait for the first pip is ongoing, I will entertain you with what has been going on in the neighborhood, with a little side trip to the eagle side of town.  Life goes on for Tom and Audrey.  Incubating, fishing, eating, sleeping, fussing at intruders and trying to avoid the crazy lady with the black box around her neck are all the order of the day.

Tom and Audrey continue to spend their respective time out of the nest at the usual haunts:  the scraggly stick tree, various locations on the dock, our neighbor’s swim ladder, the pole cross piece (although I have only seen Audrey there once, Tom is there frequently) and a variety of docks.  The scraggly stick tree has always been a popular spot for both of them, and continues to see a lot of osprey action.



Audrey in the scraggly stick tree. She doesn’t look particularly happy to see me, but I don’t take it personally.


I take so many photos that I sometimes have a hard time choosing which ones to use.  There was no way to choose between the above photo and the below photo short of flipping a coin, so I decided to use them both.


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Audrey has that far away look in her eye. Probably looking far away for Tom and a fish!


What you can’t see in the above two photos is that Audrey wasn’t alone.

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A dastardly crow hoping that Tom brings Audrey a fish so the crow can nibble some sloppy seconds.


Given the fact that the dastardly crows are alive and well in the area, it was time for Roger to come out of his hibernation and take up his protective position at the end of the dock.



Roger is back on duty, and dancing a little jig to celebrate getting out of that musty garage. It’s great to have him back!


Although Tom really, really likes to sit on those eggs, Audrey does most of the incubating.  Sometimes it is hard to see her all snuggled down low in the nest.


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Audrey on egg duty.


I looked outside a couple of weeks ago on a morning replete with chilly air and a cold wind.  Here is what I saw:



Audrey hanging out on the rip-rap trying to stay out of the wind


Of course, I tried to get closer:


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Audrey hadn’t left yet, but it didn’t take long after this photo for her to decide the rip-rap may not be the safest place to enjoy the view as Mrs. COM approached with her camera.


As I was selecting photos for this blog, I couldn’t help but notice I have a dearth of Tom photos this time.  Here is Tom returning to the nest.


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It’s my turn to sit on those eggs, move over Betty!!


I do a substantial amount of walking in the neighborhood when the almighty dollar isn’t calling my name to head out to work.  Here is something you don’t see everyday on the side of the road.


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There was an unhappy osprey somewhere in the neighborhood, but probably not as unhappy as the menhaden! No scale in the photo, but this was a good size fish.


Here is a recent sunrise at the secret location.  It’s not as spectacular as some of them, but it sure was pretty that morning.



A delicate sunrise over the water


As we have mentioned previously, the ospreys and eagles do not get along.  By this time of year, the eagles have already hatched their young, so we don’t see them as often as we do in the winter.  But I still hear them calling, and see one every few days.  But last fall and winter, the eagles were plentiful.

The next group of photos were all taken on October 2, 2018, before the nest and poles were taken down for the winter.

A majestic eagle enjoying a beautiful day at the secret location:


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Look at the size of that bird! They are so magnificent


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Don’t look, Tom and Audrey.  Someone has been sleeping in your bed! (with apologies to Goldilocks)


Where there is fish, there are freeloaders.  The dastardly crows have no shame, and will mooch off of anyone.  One of them decides he needs to get closer to the action in case there is food involved.



Tom, there is someone sitting on top of your camera pole!



Don’t hold me to it, but I think the eagle is starting to get annoyed with the crow! Look at that face!



The crow doesn’t seem too terribly concerned.  The eagle is looking angrier.


The next day, the eagle was back again, looking a little damp on an otherwise sunny day.



Check out the “pants” on this incredible bird


As I watched, I realized the eagle had a meal with him.



Something is stuck in my talon. Maybe I can shake it off, thinks the eagle



Darn, I can’t shake this sucker off.



Finally!  What’s for dinner?


We frequently see two eagles together.





Over the winter, there were a couple of juvenile eagles hanging around.  I was able to capture some photos one morning in October of two adults and a juvenile.  Not sure if this young one was related to the above two, to which the following series of photos will attest.


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Two adult eagles were hanging out in the big tree two houses to the north of us when a juvenile made his (or her) presence known. The adult eagles were not happy to see him. There are three eagles in this photo, look hard!



Still three eagles. The juvenile is the darker colored one who has not developed its’ distinctive white head and tail. One of them is raising a fuss, look carefully!


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An aerial battle ensued. My money is on the adult



The eagle on the left is checking out the sky. The other one is looking for a landing location.



Victory! The eagles are still wary (nothing to do with me, I’m sure-sarcasm), but they have settled down just a wee bit.


I will close with two photos taken of the same sunrise a couple of weeks ago.  I love these photos, with the brilliant sunrise and Tom silhouetted in the sunlight.  The second one is my favorite except for the fact that Tom looks like a headless owl, and you know we don’t like owls around these parts!  But the first one is pretty darn special, too.



Wow, just wow!!! Sunrise at the secret location with Tom silhouetted in the scraggly stick tree and the sun reflecting off the water.



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I love, love, love this photo. Too bad Tom was busy preening and didn’t look at the camera!


So that’s it for now.  By the time I visit you again, the Great Wait will be over and there will be a new college graduate in our midst!  We are all keeping our fingers crossed for three uneventful hatches and a successful Roger!

Until next time, we remain-

Crazy Osprey Man, Mrs. Crazy Osprey Man and Osprey Girl


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