Good morning from the gorgeous Eastern Shore of Maryland! Well, it’s taken a little longer to get this blog published than I had planned, but get ready to enjoy Part Two of the adventures of our favorite fledging. When last we met, the primary topics were stories and photos from C.J.’s banding. Shortly after her big adventure with Craig and COM, C.J. fledged on August 20, 2021, which was a gloomy, wet day. I guess when nature calls, it’s time to fly. So without further adieu, please enjoy the rest of the story..
Here are some family photos before C.J.’s first flight.
A little nature break for you to observe some wild clouds
As I mentioned, C.J. took to the skies on a less than ideal day for taking photos. This was her first stop after leaving the safety and security of the only home she had ever known.
C.J. stayed on the boat lift for a good long while, but not as long as some of our previous new fledglings. Her next stop was one of the pilings.
C.J.’s first day of flight was glorious. She didn’t stay as long in one place as some of our other fledgings have. After taking their first flights, some of our other youngsters have stayed at their first landing sites for hours. But not our C.J.!
Time for a nature break from ospreys. My butterfly bush was magnificent this year. I couldn’t resist a few close-ups of visitors to my volunteer gone wild (the volunteer butterfly bush, that is).
Thanks for letting me take an osprey break, now back to what you all really want to see. Poor Tom hasn’t gotten very much press so far this blog, so here is a shout out to our fishing fool. Tom hasn’t spent as much time in the top of Joe’s big tree this season, but I did catch him surveying his kingdom from way up high in Joe’s big tree a couple of days before the big fledge.
Okay, back to fledge day and the escapades of C.J. in her new found flight.
As the days went on, it was truly heartwarming to watch C.J. getting used to her new flying skills. Over the years, I have always found great pleasure in watching our fledglings soar and dive and revel in their ability to finally experience the joys of flight.
Do you remember when Audrey Three was in our midst? Much to Tom’s chagrin, she took over his favorite perch on top of the camera pole. Well, shades of Audrey Three have returned. The young whippersnapper decided she wanted to hog the camera perch. Can a male osprey be henpecked? Inquiring minds want to know.
C.J. does not let any interesting perch go empty, even with intruders going by.
You may have noticed a dearth of photos that include the scraggly stick tree. Since the tree’s partial demise, our ospreys haven’t spent nearly as much time in it as in the past. But there are still times when I will notice one of the three hanging out in the remains of the scraggly stick tree.
After I took the above photo, this is the next thing I saw:
I wasn’t sure how much longer Audrey would grace us with her presence. I know we all had questions as to how long she would stay. In a normal year, which this hasn’t been due to Audrey’s late arrival and subsequent delayed egg laying and hatching, Audrey would leave sometime in mid August. As the end of August arrived, Audrey was still here.
Meanwhile, back at the nest, C.J. is patiently waiting for some of that fish.
Meanwhile, Audrey is still munching on eyeless Moby Dick and the gull is still hoping Audrey will somehow drop the fish or get full and leave it for her new best friend.
Well, the hour is getting late and it’s time to wrap up for now. In my next blog, I will start with September 3, 2021, which was the last day I was able to photograph Audrey before she left for her winter digs down south of the border. I am sure she is down there by now enjoying her well-deserved winter break. Tom is still around, and I have lots of fun photos of him to share with you to take the sting out of Audrey’s departure. C.J. is a real character, and we enjoy watching her antics (albeit with ear plugs). She has definitely inherited her mother’s strong, loud set of lungs. C.J. has a very distinct call, which is different from her parents. Many of the other ospreys in the area have left for the season, although there are a few still with us. The bald eagles are more noticeable now, both by their presence and their distinct calls and crys. Between the ospreys leaving and the eagles becoming more prevalent, we know our osprey season is coming to a close, but not finished yet!
I will leave you with a couple of magnificent sunrise photos from the secret location.
Until next time, we remain-
Crazy Osprey Man, Mrs. Crazy Osprey Man and Osprey Girl