Good afternoon from the sultry, summery, stormy Eastern Shore of Maryland! As I sit here, there is thunder rumbling in the distance. Hopefully, we won’t experience as violent a storm as we did a couple of weeks ago when the camera was damaged by the severe weather. It’s been a busy few weeks since my last blog, so let’s get to it!
On July 17, our Little Bit (LB) took to the skies! Over the years, most of our newly fledged osprey chicks have left the nest and spent a good part of the day hanging out wherever they landed after that first exhilarating flight. LB’s first landing was not very far from the nest, just a short distance away on top of Audrey’s favorite eating location, the electric box. The morning light isn’t the best for photo taking in our neck of the woods, but here is LB checking out a new view in his world:
LB didn’t stay the entire day, and decided to check out other options in the neighborhood:
I wonder what Tom was thinking when he realized one of his favorite haunts was being taken over by a youngster?
This was one of his first thoughts shortly after LB was occupying Tom’s camera pole:
LB decided the electric box was a great alternative to being up on the scary camera pole:
But a parent was never far away:
I got carried away taking photos of LB enjoying his first taste of freedom. Out of the dozens of photos I took that morning and afternoon, I was able to narrow down my selections, but not enough. So you get to pick your favorite, sorry for the repetition. Let me know which of the next series is your favorite…..
LB finally got up the nerve to leave his safe spot on the electric box and head back to the nest:
Home base is in sight, and LB heads back to the top of the camera pole:
LB spent the next couple of days exploring his surroundings. His new best friend Roger was just over on the dock, within sight of LB’s new vantage point. But this is no way to endear yourself to a new friend:
So much to explore:
LB decides he is not comfortable on the boat lift, and heads back home:
A little break from ospreys:
The nest was getting fuller. With LB’s new found freedom, it was more difficult to take a family portrait:
Tom figures he’d better get while the getting was good, and takes his rightful place on top of the camera pole before the impertinent LB flies up there:
Audrey is left alone with her one and only little osprey:
It has not gone unnoticed by our camera watchers that LB has a healthy set of lungs. The next series of photos was taken over a couple of minutes. See if LB’s mouth is shut in any of them:
Life continued to pass as LB’s flying skills grew stronger:
Tom has just about given up on surveying his kingdom from the top of the camera pole. Audrey still keeps an eye on things from the nest:
All of our osprey have always enjoyed hanging out in the scraggly stick tree, with LB being no exception. In the next photo, he is enjoying some time in the tree with Audrey. It looks like something is hanging from one of his talons in the tree, and when he takes off. I have looked at the debris many times, and still can’t decide if it is fishing line or not:
Audrey has been seen way more than Tom the last few weeks. Tom is still around, but not spending much time in his usual haunts. Audrey continues to be a great osprey mom, and may take over Tom’s fishing fool moniker.
Here is a very typical sight at the secret location. Audrey is in the nest keeping an eye on Mrs. COM and her infernal camera, and LB is on top of the camera pole, also keeping an eye on the bothersome Mrs. COM:
LB likes to hang out in a tree along the water in my neighbor’s yard two houses to the south of us:
When they are around, the top of the camera pole for LB and the nest for Audrey are still some of the most visited locations:
As the summer has gone on and our ospreys are in the nest less and less, the boat lift has become a frequent stop. Unfortunately, this is creating a messy problem for COM’s boat:
As you know, there is no shortage of fish being caught, delivered and consumed on this nest. This may explain why every bit of fish is not eaten some times:
As patient as Audrey is with her youngsters, she is sure giving LB the stink eye in this photo:
Tom’s appearances have been few and far between, but he is still around the neighborhood. Here he is living up to his Fishing Fool moniker:
Things were going along so nicely, a lovely uneventful osprey season. But au contraire, things were about to get much more interesting:
Shades of 2015 and E.T.!! Our nest was visited by a new fledgling who was very skinny and very, very hungry. After some fussing and pushing, the new arrival grabbed and rapidly ate the next two fish brought back to the nest, and Mrs. COM finally got her Archie.
Audrey is still giving Tom a run for his title:
Audrey has been spending time with her two charges while Tom has made himself scarce:
Audrey decided it was time to escape Mrs. COM:
A serene summer evening:
Sometimes Archie may wonder why he picked this particular nest:
As you probably know, a particularly violent thunderstorm rolled through a couple of weeks ago that rendered our camera inoperable. After several unsuccessful attempts to troubleshoot and fix the camera, COM had numerous consultations with the folks from Explore. A new part was sent for the camera, which finally solved the problem once COM was able to get it installed. Thanks again to COM for his tireless efforts to keep all the osprey balls in the air (not sure that sounds quite right. But please overlook the double entendre which was not intentional, but is actually kind of funny).
An aftermath to the storm:
This is a sure sign that Audrey is spending some time fishing for everyone’s dinner:
I will leave you with one last photo:
Are you tired of looking at photos? I don’t want to bore you, so this is a good time to wish everyone well. Audrey should be with us for another few days. Then we will bid her farewell and safe travels to her winter digs in the far south. Tom, LB and Archie should be gracing us with their presence for a while longer, so stay tuned! Thanks, as always, for being faithful camera watchers and blog readers.
Until next time, we remain-
COM, Mrs. COM and Osprey Girl
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