See Ya, Wouldn’t Want To Be Ya 2020 in the Rear View Mirror Part One

Administrative Note: Since I last posted a blog, WordPress has changed how blogs are written. I haven’t figured out or mastered the changes, so I am apologizing in advance for the wonky formatting and horribly labelled photos. I will try to do better next time. Mrs. COM

Good morning from the blustery, almost springtime, Eastern Shore of Maryland. Welcome back to Season 9 of The Crazy Osprey Family’s partnership with the Chesapeake Conservancy. Since my last blog on May 4, 2020, life has certainly had its way with us, don’t you think? We were moving along in our egg incubation period, when Mother Nature intervened (and not in a positive way), and the rest of our 2020 season, as they say, was history. And then there was this minor inconvenience, a pandemic I think it is called….

And yet, here we are on the cusp of a new adventure, waiting and hopeful once again. The nest and camera poles are up, just itching for the return of our favorite ospreys. The fine folks at Explore provided us with a brand new camera, which we hope will enhance your viewing pleasure. We did have a very brief visitor earlier yesterday morning, which did not go unnoticed by our faithful camera watchers. But no sooner did I see the welcome sight and ran to grab my trusty Nikon, than the intruder flew off and was not seen again. I perused the photo grabs posted on our Explore site, and determined that the brief visitor was not Tom or Audrey, so the watch begins anew.

Seeing that osprey on the bare nest platform gave me the kick in my tushie that was needed to sit down at my computer to download, review and select photos. There was a boatload of photos to go through to get going, yet I persisted. So without further ado (I looked it up, and this is the correct spelling, by the way), here you go. So glad to have you all back. Here’s to a fantabulous 2021 here at the secret location!

On May 7, 2020, a mere three days before disaster struck our nest, a quiet evening was enhanced by an incredible full moon lighting up the water behind our house. I have found over the years that photographing full moons after dark is better left to experts in the photography field, which is not me. I still can’t figure out how to get the moon and water in focus at the same time after dark, so if anyone can help me out, please reach out in the comments. Remember, you can click on each photo to enlarge for better viewing.

Not ospreys, I know, but this adorable pair of mallards was waddling around the backyard, and I just had to include them for a smile.

Fred and Ethel enjoying a lovely spring day. As all of our ospreys have always been Tom and Audrey, all of our mallard pairs have been annointed Fred and Ethel

May 10 was a dark day in the Crazy Osprey Family household. It was a cold, cloudy nasty spring once again, and if you have followed our camera and blog, you know these conditions don’t bode well for a successful season. Once again, due to the abysmal weather conditions, the fishing was terrible. Calico Tom, our fishing fool, was unable to provide enough fish for Audrey. She had to leave the nest for sustenance and protection from the weather. The dastardly crows, knowing the nest had been left unattended, finished the job they started on May 1, only this time we were unable to stop their attack on the remaining two eggs. Our 2020 season was over almost before it started. Tom and Audrey would be without offspring yet again.

Even though they were empty nesters (please laugh here), Tom and Audrey still had to go about their daily lives until it was time to head south. A girl’s gotta eat, so Audrey took matters into her own talons and brought home her own bacon to the former poop dock next door to the south.

Oh, no, not you again, thinks Audrey

Audrey taking a big bite, surrounded by various little piles of bloody fish yuckies

I really don’t think I want to know what Audrey is tugging on

Audrey’s repast did not go unnoticed by the neighborhood turkey vultures.

Some birdies are waiting for sloppy seconds

While I was outside taking photos of the carnage on the dock, I heard the unmistakable roar of the Blue Angels, who should have been in town for one of their heart stopping air shows for the Naval Academy Commissioning Week festivities. Although there were no festivities in 2020 due to the pandemic, our fearless six-person team was in the area to fly over the academy.

Right overhead, but the lighting was terrible and they were flying really, really fast

The Blue Angels were flying so fast, I barely managed to take another photo of the whole team. There they go!

Tom and Audrey attended to their usual daily activities. One of Tom’s favorite haunts is the perch that COM built on the top of the camera pole. From there, he can survey his kingdom.

Hanging out on top of the camera pole on yet another dreary day. Here is a good view of the perch, camera and IR light source below the camera

Tom leaves his perch to head down to the nest.

I can almost walk from here

Think I will just hang out for a while

Tom is on his perch enjoying a little snack, and Audrey is doing her Audrey thing. See if you can figure out what her thing it. Check out the debris hanging from the right side of the nest.

Squawkin’ Audrey is wanting some of that fish Tom is hoarding on his perch

Tom decides to see what all of the fuss was about and comes down to the nest

Tom is trying to shut Audrey up, and she doesn’t look too happy.

Later in the day.

.

I guess Audrey should have been nicer to Tom. But I think there will be enough for both of them. What do you think?

You may remember last year that we installed a new purple martin house, on the dock this time instead of on terra firma. For the first time, much to my delight, we actually had purple martins. This is the biggest purple martin I have ever seen!

Yikes! Are you going to tell him, or am I?

I don’t see any problem here, thinks Tom, who is masquerading as a purple martin

Mrs. COM was happy. She managed to capture one obligatory poop shot for the season, albeit one nanosecond too late.

One leg or two? I can’t tell, but one legged pooping is quite an art

June rolled around with very little fanfare, with all being quiet around the ‘hood. Tom and Audrey continued to be each other’s best friends, and would hang out together during the day.

Tom is drying out on the boat lift. Audrey is uncharacteristically quiet.

Audrey couldn’t stand the excitement, and decided to see what else was going on around the neighborhood.


If Audrey couldn’t scratch his itch, Tom decided to do it himself

Mrs. COM has captured Tom’s attention, which resulted in one of his famous hairy eyeballs

Snack time! The electric box continued to be, and is, a very popular spot to take a refreshment.

Mine, all mine

Now, if you have small children reading, please excuse them from the room for a few moments. This is the often requested, seldom acquired X-rated section of our first blog of 2021, set in a series of photographs which don’t need much explanation. What you are about to witness caused much speculation about the possibility of another clutch of eggs, but was merely an intense session of osprey nooky.

Audrey arriving from a spin around the block

A successful landing on the paltry nest, complete with a large chunk of filter cloth (the black substance on the left of the nest) from the riprap

Ah, peace (or should I say piece, stay tuned) and quiet

Tom, complete with hanging debris, arrives to spoil Audrey’s solitude

This photo, and the following six, need no explanation. If they do, you don’t need to know

Wham, Bam, Thank you m’am

What just happened? I was sitting here, minding my own business, when……

And away goes the masked bandit, still dragging his little mess of who-knows-what

A Crazy Osprey Man’s work is never done. Repairs in June, however, are far more pleasant that the ones in January and February.

A more civilized repair job

Togetherness continued throughout the month of June.

Enjoying togetherness on one leg

Good buddies

With the end of spring came some storms, which were worth it due to the lovely rainbows caused by said storms.

Tom is stopping by to enjoy the fabulous vista.

A lovely late spring evening

Here are some sunrise photos from late June into late July. I couldn’t pick my favorite, so you get them all. Which do you like?

Choice #1

Choice #2

Choice #3

Choice #4

Choice #5

It’s not always calm and pretty at the secret location.

And the Weather Gods were angry

Our 2020 season was filled with sadness for many reasons. The pandemic was running rampant, our ospreys were once again without little ones and our country was torn apart. To add to the madness, our faithful scraggly stick tree began its slow demise into firewood due to the wet ground, wind, violent storms and its precarious location at the edge of the riprap.

The beginning of the end. The first signs of trouble

The deteriorating condition of the scraggly stick tree was apparently lost on the eagles

Magnificent birds spending some last moments in the scraggly stick tree

Gotta love bald eagles

Mrs. COM does her thing, and manages to scare off our national bird

Meanwhile, back at the scraggly stick tree, things are going from bad to worse.

The main part of the tree succumbs to the wind and water

The second part of the tree is still up, but has seen better days

A close-up view of the big split in the scraggly stick tree

The main part of the tree being chain-sawed into firewood

This is what remains of the tree. Our neighbor is going to leave it in place for the ospreys for now



You may have noticed that the title of this blog contains the words “Part One”, which suggests there is a part two. If you have picked up on that little nuance, then you are right. I am going to leave you for now with a photo of Mother Nature at her finest. We will pick up where I left off with the rest of the off season in the near future.

Wow, just wow!

Until next time, we remain,

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

If you are enjoying the osprey camera and blog, please consider a donation to The Chesapeake Conservancy so they are able to continue supporting programs such as this one. Go to http://chesapeakeconservancy.org today. Thanks very much!

54 thoughts on “See Ya, Wouldn’t Want To Be Ya 2020 in the Rear View Mirror Part One

  1. Thank you again, Mrs. COM for the latest (and not so latest 😀) news from the secret location. Loved the pictures (I choose choice # 2) and it’s so sad about the scraggly stick tree, at least half of it is still there! Here’s to a better season this year. Tom and Audrey deserve a break in the weather conditions for goodness sake.

    • Hi, Evelyn! You are my first comment, thanks very much. I will tally your vote, and hopefully will have some results to report in Blog #2. I had so many photos to go through that I just couldn’t get it all done for the first blog. Trying to spread the wealth! I will try to get another blog out in the not-too-distant future, but I always have good intentions that somehow never materialize. I need to figure out the new WordPress system. I can’t get the photo captions to line up under the photos, very frustrating. It also took me a good long while to figure out how to post photos, but I finally did it. I am technically challenged, but keep plugging along. Thanks again for your comment! Mrs. COM

      • You still get an A+ for the blog as far as I’m concerned. (I just happened to be checking my email when the notification popped in!)

  2. Now, let the season begin! Those of us who are regulars from past seasons will take whatever you can give us. We are all so happy to hear from you. You are the best! Thank you so much. Cheers to the best season ever this year! (fingers crossed).

    • Thanks so much, Mary! Fingers crossed for a good season this time, we certainly deserve it! Love to hear from everyone, and especially the regulars! Here’s to 2021! Mrs. COM

  3. Thank you Mrs.COM.Great blog again.What ever the new season will bring we take it ,how it is.Nature and wildlife to watch is not easy from time to time.What ever Mother Nature will bring us i will be thankful.

  4. Ms. Com,
    Thank you for taking the time to write the blog and take the pictures, yet more than anything, thank you all for sharing your beautiful and exciting backyard. Stay healthy, and I look forward to this year and have everything crossed for a good year. Oh and if you see Mr. Com hunting for an outfit, hide your favorite hat! (Always loved that story, so typical and loving how you handled it).
    Sincerely,
    Cathryn

    • Hi, Cathryn! I just found your comment in my WordPress spam location, not sure why that happened. Now that I have approved your comment, I hope any future comments end up in the right place. Thanks so much for your kind comment. Maybe I should get a lock for my closet, what do you think? Your reference to my hat made me chuckle. Here’s hoping for a safe season for man and bird alike! Mrs. COM

  5. I can smell the bay, feel the breeze on my face and enjoy nature thru your photos! What a wonderful piece of heaven that you live in! Yes I am jealous 🙂
    Prayers for a happier season but first let’s get those two travelers safely to your nest. Bless your family for all you do for the viewers and the osprey every year. Looking forward for part 2.

    • Hi, MartynKing! Thanks so much for your wonderful comment, helps keep me going after all these years. It’s good to know how much folks like you enjoy our camera and blog year after year. All eyes here are glued to that nest pole! Thanks again, Mrs. COM

  6. Wonderful blog, as always, many thanks. My vote for favorite picture is #2. It was just lovely.
    Looking forward to seeing Tom and Audrey back at the secret location soon. And 2021 has got to be better, right?!

    • Hi, Pa Gal! Your vote will be tallied, one of three so far. Yes, we all hope that 2021 is better, waiting with bated breath for the return of our favorite osprey pair! Thanks for being such a loyal camera watcher and reading my blogs! Stay safe! Thanks, Mrs. COM

  7. Another wowzer of a presentation of the beauty of Audrey and Tom’s daily life’s journey as seen through your eyes and so wonderfully photographed with the witty comments that are a bonus! My favorite photo is number 4 as I can see a little more of the sun’s reflection under the dock. I also am totally amazed at Audrey and Tom’s non-aging appearances-their poignant flights in mid air that you capture so many times make me smile and you seem to be there at the right times. Definitely no complaints from a loyal friend and follower on Cape Cod Mass -a place that you also love! Thanks so much also to Crazy Osprey Man and Explore and Chesapeake Conservancy and also your neighbor that will keep part of the scraggly tree! Let the 2021 osprey season begin with new beginnings for all of us!! Blah blah moe from cape cod

    • Hi, Moe! Thanks for your vote. I am keeping count, and will announce the results in my next blog! Thanks for continuing to be a faithful camera watcher and blog reader. We are all looking forward to and hoping for a wonderful, safe 2021 season for birds and humans alike! Mrs. COM

  8. Hi Mrs. COM! I’m so happy to read your new blog, I look forward to it every year.
    Thank you for remembering your fans 🌷
    My fave sunrise pic is #3, although they are all beautiful! I think you’re doing great with the new layout. I too am happy to see that your neighbor will leave the scraggly stick tree for awhile, Tom and Audrey so enjoy hanging out in it.
    Here’s to 🤞 for a successful season🐣.
    Thank you and COM and everyone else who assists in bringing us this enjoyment every year. 😊

    • Hi, Bella! So good to hear from you. It makes me happy to hear from all of our friends as well as the new ones. I am not sure how long the scraggly stick tree will remain with us, but hopefully I will be able to grab some good photos from whoever will use it. Thanks for being such a faithful camera watcher and blog reader! Mrs. COM

  9. Good morning from the ”other side” of the Chesapeake Bay! Thank you for the beautiful pictures and update on what was a difficult year. My vote is for number 2, so hard to pick just one! I look forward to watching for the arrival of Tom and Audrey, their nest building… sometimes so funny as they wack each other with sticks, egg laying and then the waiting!
    Thank you to all who make it possible for us to have a front row seat to these amazing birds.
    Susan

    • Good morning, Susan! So happy to hear from you, another long time camera watcher and blog reader! We are waiting and watching here at the secret location, shouldn’t be too much longer. Thanks for staying with us all these years, and reaching out. Mrs. COM

    • Hi, Mary! It is beginning! Hoping for a warm, sunny dry spring for all of us, but especially Tom and Audrey. Thanks for watching the camera and reading our blog! Mrs. COM

  10. Greetings All,
    Tom and Audrey year parallels that of our beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats.
    Here’s hoping for better times!
    Becky

    • Hey, there, Becky! We certainly need a better year than the University of Kentucky basketball team had. Not sure what happened there, but didn’t like it one bit. Here’s hoping for a better season for man and bird alike! ZL, Mrs. COM

  11. Wow – what a treat to be able, once again, to read your blogs and enjoy your fantastic photography. I had a hard time choosing, but my favorite is #2. Thank you so much for taking the time to keep us up to date on the happenings at the nest. Here’s hoping for a successful season.

    • Hi, Nancy! Thanks for your vote, I am keeping a tally between a couple of different sites, and will announce the winner in my next blog. But I will tell you there is a definite favorite so far. We are all hoping for a successful season, we sure do deserve one! Thanks for your comment. Mrs. COM

  12. Thanks for doing this! I always enjoy the happenings in Ospreyland! Blessings, Donna Lewis

    On Mon, Mar 15, 2021 at 5:58 PM Osprey Camera Blog wrote:

    > ospreycam posted: ” Administrative Note: Since I last posted a blog, > WordPress has changed how blogs are written. I haven’t figured out or > mastered the changes, so I am apologizing in advance for the wonky > formatting and horribly labelled photos. I will try to do better ” >

  13. Thank you so much for a most interesting and amusing blog entry! Thoroughly enjoyed it and your photos are wonderful ! I agree with you that they are all my favorites! Thanks for providing such a great commentary on the the ospreys. Hoping for a successful season for Mr. and Mrs. O!

    • Hi, Robyn! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment, especially such a complimentary one! We all have our fingers crossed for a better 2021. Lots of crows hanging around already, we just need some warm, sunny and dry weather to keep Audrey at the nest. Thanks again! Mrs. COM

  14. Hello Mrs. Com,
    Excellent blog and amazing photos!
    I too choose photo #2, they’re all beautiful though.
    Looking forward to a great 2021 Osprey season.

    • Lillie! So good to hear from you! I am keeping tally, and there is a clear winner. Will announce the results when I publish part 2, which I hope will be sometime next week. Thanks for the shout out! Mrs. COM

  15. Thank you Mrs. COM for all your work. I can’t see anything wrong with the full moon photo. It’s perfect! They’re all wonderful. Maureen Barrett

    >

    • Hi, Maureen! The moon that night was beautiful, clear and bright. In the photo, it is fuzzy and foggy looking. I couldn’t capture the clear, crisp moon and the reflection on the water together. I could either get the moon in focus or the reflection. There has to be a way to focus both, but I haven’t mastered that with my camera. It’s a very sophisticated camera that I use pretty much as a point and shoot! I need to learn how to use all the features it has. Thanks for being a loyal camera watcher and blog reader! Mrs. COM

  16. Hi all… first-time commenter but I’ve been a reader (aka lurker LOL) for a few years now!! I live halfway close by (Bowie) and the Bay has been a part of my life since the days when I was little and we spent every weekend at my Uncle’s house in Shady Side. Thanks for the blog and all the beautiful pictures. And speaking of pictures…you asked about ‘moonshots’…I thought maybe this link would help. This guy explains stuff much better than I could.

    Have a great day and I look forward to ‘Part 2’.

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/tips-and-solutions/14-tips-for-shooting-the-moon

    • Hi, Debbie! We love our lurkers. I am a lurker myself on a couple of sites, so I know the feeling. Thanks for the hint on the photos. I will definitely take a look and see if I can hone my skills. Happy to have you as a camera watcher, blog reader and lurker extraordinaire! Mrs. COM

  17. Wonderful blog, Mrs. COM. I’m rather new – discovered this cam and others last year when working remotely. I’d never seen an osprey before, let alone knew anything about them! It’s been a joy to learn about them, the eagles, spoonbills, owls, etc. on explore.org. I like # 1 and # 2 sunrise photos the best, and your closing photo is amazing! Thanks for sharing about life on the Bay. I’m just a little jealous!!

    • Hi there, J Dennett! Welcome to the secret location. Glad you have discovered our camera and blog. You can read the old blogs, archived at the end of the current one. There are some fun facts and photos contained in them. Here’s hoping for a better season than last year, we all deserve it, especially the stars of the show! Thanks for commenting, Mrs. COM

  18. Just absolutely wonderful to read your blog once again!!! Just like meeting and old friend after a long time! Can’t thank you enough for all the fantastic photos and information. Thank you and all my best to you and family! 😍👍❤️

    • Hi, there jluray! It’s always so much fun to hear from our regulars. So glad to know you are still enjoying the camera and blogs. I guess you aren’t tired of them yet! Here’s hoping for a safe year for all of us and our fine feathered friends! Mrs. COM

  19. Thank goodness Mrs. COM, I was worried about YOUR safety in the year of Covid. So glad to be hearing about our favorite couple, again. I vote for picture No. 4.

    • Hi, Patricia! Not to worry, we are all doing fine here at the secret location. Challenging times for everyone, for sure. Thanks for reaching out and voting. Your vote has been tallied! Here’s to a successful year to everyone, man and bird alike! Mrs. COM

    • Yep, me too. Not feeling optimistic for our dear Audrey II, but I hope I am wrong. She is really up there in years for an osprey. Maybe the visitor will end up being Audrey III. She has been hanging around for a while, it would be an easy transition.

  20. Hello and greetings from No. CA. I too have been a lurker for many years and finally decided to tell you how happy I was to see you back doing what you do so well. It is just so enjoyable reading about and seeing the wonderful duo of Tom & Audrey and reading your blogs and seeing your beautiful photos. BTW my vote would be for all your photos but because I have to choose but 1, I choose #2. I just want you to know how much you are both appreciated, along with all the helpers, for all the work you do.

    • Hello, Carolyn! Thanks so much for reaching out with your thoughts about my blogs and our camera (complete with helpers). As you probably know, we really enjoy receiving positive feedback. Although I am saddened that Audrey Two is not with us, I am really liking Audrey Three. She has a lot of spunk, and will be a welcome addition to our osprey family. Thanks again for the kudos! Here’s to a successful season! Mrs. COM

    • Hey, Birdie! Glad you liked the photos. There are a couple more blogs after this one, and I am finishing up another one. Thanks for the comment! ZL, Mrs. COM

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