Good morning from the ever-lovely Eastern Shore of Maryland. Well, well, well, once again our nest is full of wonder and surprise. At the end of my last blog, one of our three eggs had been accidentally broken by a clumsy visiting young osprey, and the dastardly crows had destroyed the last two remaining eggs. Our usually faithful but quirky Audrey had flown the coop (so to speak), and was no where to be found. Our season seemed to be over before it had hardly started. But had it? There had been a young female osprey making regular visits to the nest. Although Tom seemed interested in this younger woman, she did not seem to be interested in his advances. All eyes and the camera were waiting and watching to see how this new drama would unfold. Little did we know about the events that would soon occur at the secret location.
After being gone for several days, Audrey returned like nothing had ever happened. She unceremoniously dispatched the young interloper, and got right back to business. The nest, which had not been one of Tom and Audrey’s more substantial undertakings, began to take shape with noticeably more attention from our favorite osprey couple. They hung out together in all of the usual places. Our two lovebirds began behaving like it was still March and they hadn’t seen each other for many months. Chatter amongst our camera-watching fans revolved around Tom and Audrey’s seemingly normal actions (had the season just been starting). Hope began to grow that perhaps, for the first time in the history of our nest, a second clutch of eggs might be in the works.
As May progressed, it was hard to believe there had ever been a first clutch of eggs. On the face of things, it looked like a normal spring return. Tom and Audrey were working diligently on the nest and were enjoying each other’s company (wink, wink).
The May Full Moon, or Strawberry Moon, was glorious. Here are a few photos from a most special evening with friends, howling on the end of the dock.
Life at the nest had taken on a regular, nothing to see here kind of vibe. Tom and Audrey were acting like, well, Tom and Audrey.
Here at the secret location, we dared not hope beyond hope that a second clutch of eggs was imminent. The first clutch had barely been laid when the three eggs met their untimely demise. Tom and Audrey were acting just like they normally did prior to laying a clutch of eggs. All of the reading and research we had been doing indicated that a second clutch was indeed possible if the first clutch was lost early. And then on May 31, Mother Nature showed up and said “Hold my beer”! So we did, and…..
Lo and behold, Egg #1 of Clutch #2 arrived! Happy day and great joy all around!! First time for a second clutch at the secret location, thank you Mother Nature!
A couple of days later, I spied Tom drying off on COM’s boat lift.
While Tom is drying off, someone is reminding him she is still tending to their eggs, and is really hungry. Take a look at the nest, looking much better than it did during the first clutch and for the few days after Audrey disappeared.
Tom has had enough of Mrs. COM and her ever-present camera. He takes off to the north.
I am not sure if this is one of our ospreys. I don’t think so, because it flew off to the east which is not like Tom or Audrey. But I thought is was cool, so took a photo while I was out there.
On June 3, 2022, Mother Nature asked us to hold her beer once again, and Egg #2 of Clutch #2 made its way into the nest. As in years past, Tom took his Fishing Fool duties seriously, and kept Audrey well-fed. Tom is no dummy, and knows when he brings Audrey a snack she leaves, so he gets to incubate the eggs. He loves, loves, loves to incubate those eggs.
We were all waiting to see if there would be an Egg #3 in Clutch #2. Audrey was taking a break one morning before the sun was fully up when I saw her on Osprey Girl’s boat lift.
An enchanting sunrise the next morning.
Another day, another wet osprey. I’m not sure if Tom was successful, but it certainly wasn’t for lack of trying.
It became obvious a few days after Egg #2 of Clutch #2 was laid that Audrey had laid her last egg for the season. I think five eggs in one season for one older osprey is plenty, don’t you?
Now the wondering was over and the waiting began in earnest. I continued to keep an eye out for photo ops, and have way too many photos once again. I guess I should have written another blog a month ago, but I didn’t. So now you will have to slog through all of these photos that I am going to display for your viewing pleasure.
Here is Audrey in what remains of the scraggly stick tree, which is not much.
As you may have noticed, Tom and Audrey are wonderful co-parents. I think Tom would incubate the eggs all the time if Audrey would let him (which she won’t). Here is a changing of the guard.
A break from osprey photos is in order. What do you see in these clouds?
Here is a series of photos starting with Audrey taking a late afternoon break with Tom in the nest. This is a typical scenario of late.
Tom finally acquiesced, but not willingly.
Another break from osprey photos. This is an early morning work boat headed out to earn a living.
A few moments later, the sun makes its first appearance of the day, and the vista is quite lovely.
I have a gorgeous butterfly bush in the rip-rap behind the house that grew from being a volunteer. It is magnificent, and the butterflies love it. COM cuts it back every fall to about one third of its size, but it comes back bigger and better than ever every year.
Tom is taking his turn incubating while Audrey is on the NEMA box, one of her favorite places to eat.
You may have noticed that there is a really, really big stick in the nest. I wouldn’t even classify it as a stick, I would call it a small log. I did not see it arrive, but there is very little chance it will blow out! Here is a different view of it than you are able to see from the camera.
Both Tom and Audrey like to hang out on various docks in the immediate vicinity of our dock. Here is Audrey on the dock one house to the south of us, practicing her one-legged stance.
Another photo of Audrey in the scraggly stick tree (sst, remember for next time).
Audrey arrives back at the nest while Tom is thinking, “are you back already? I don’t want to leave”.
Has anyone wondered about Roger this season? As you may remember, COM placed him at his duty station earlier in the season, then put him away after losing the first clutch of eggs. Well, Roger is back! In anticipation of a potential hatch in a few days, Roger is back at work with a new shirt (new for Roger) for this year.
Welcome back, Roger! Take that, you Great Horned Owls!
I will post a few more random photos before closing for this blog.
I almost always post sunrise/moonrise photos, but here is a little snippet of sunset across the street from the front of the house. The sunsets have been spectacular of late, the sunrises have been rather bland.
The hour is late, and I have posted way too many photos for one blog. Nonetheless, I hope you have enjoyed them. When next we speak, finger crossed for two new additions to our favorite osprey family!
Before I finish up, I would be remiss without an absolutely humongous shout-out to our dear friend Poppy. Thank you, thank you, Poppy, for all of your hard work and dedication to our osprey family and others over the past years. We all miss you terribly, but understand that it was time to step back. I hope you are watching and reading from afar, and know how much we all appreciate what you have done to further the love of ospreys all over the world.
I will leave you with some of my deck flowers.
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!!
I’m always happy when I get the email that you’ve put out a new blog and read with anticipation. I suppose we’ll never know for sure about Audrey’s hiatus this year, I think your mention of ‘faithful but quirky’ sums it up well enough. Everything has been like clockwork since she laid the second clutch, mostly the weather is being quirky now. As I read your blog a couple of us have guessed July 9th as the hatch date, which is this Saturday. I hope the weather is kind this weekend. I’m always happy to see an ode to Audrey’s wonderful punk ‘hair do’s’ in your blog, she’s had a variety of them this year and they never go unnoticed by me, I’ve even thought of making a collage of the many snapshots I have of them. As you mentioned, she is in full force, or voice, with her fish demands, so Tom bringing fish to get her off the nest so he can incubate, and also quiet her down is a double bonus. Even though you mentioned the moon photos not being in focus, I thought that last one with the clouds passing in front of it was really cool. I figured out the now you see him (Roger) now you don’t picture, from Tom’s perspective. I also want to echo your sentiment about my friend Poppy and all she has done in the world of Osprey so selflessly for so many people. I think once you have known the love of Osprey, you can never stay away, and I look forward to hearing more from her in the future, as I do with your blog. Thank you. Scott or ILB on the cams.
Good morning, ILB! As you look forward to my blogs, I always look forward to reading your thoughtful comments. It’s always good to know that I am providing info and photos that folks like to read/view. Thanks for continuing to be a faithful (but quirky?-only kidding) camera watcher, blog reader and lover of ospreys. Here’s to a successful hatching! Mrs. COM
Thank you for your latest blog! It was wonderful, with lovely pictures and fun commentary, which we have come to expect – and you don’t disappoint, delivering for us yet again!
So Audrey and Tom have defied the odds and produced their second clutch. They have certainly entertained and surprised us over the years. Praying that they will have two successful hatches in the coming days. I’ll be watching!
Thanks again, and all the best to the COM family.
Hi, Pa Gal! Always good to hear from you, thanks for the comment. It certainly has been a crazy season so far. I am quite ready for a nice, normal season, so maybe next year. We should know very soon if we will have a couple of new residents in the nest, here’s hoping! Thanks for continuing to be a faithful camera watcher and blog reader. Mrs. COM
Love your blogs and the photographs are magnificent! Thank you and your family for all you do for Tom and Audrey’s fans!
Hi, Martha! Thanks for taking a moment to leave a comment, which goes a long way to keep us going here at the secret location. You are very welcome for our efforts, which wouldn’t be nearly as worth it without our camera watchers and blog readers! Here’s hoping the nest is a little more crowded in a few days! Mrs. COM
Good morning from your friend Moe on Cape Cod a place you also love!! Once again your devotion of providing us with photos that make us feel we are right next to the nest are appreciated! The on line camera helps us see inside and I have a few words to describe my feelings when I just saw Audrey and Tom’s out of nest world——-Exquisite/detailed and colorful/action packed with the several sequence of photos/synchronized and seasoned courtship is evident and understood also by your appropriate and funny comments/the beauty of the environment they see each day as you do and why would they not return. The cloud formation reminded me as kids we would make a shadow with our hand like a snapper and march along with the shadow. Also a shout out of thanks to Poppy who loves the osprey like you do! Keep the photos coming for the next adventure! Thanks again Mrs. COM, Mr. COM, Osprey Girl, and the cam ops and Chesapeake Conservancy and Explore and all others with the end result a smile on our faces!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hi, my Cape Cod buddy! Thanks so much for your detailed and insightful comment. You have been one of our most faithful camera watchers and blog readers since the beginning. Your love of our secret location is evident and most appreciated. Here’s hoping for a couple of new friends in the coming days! Mrs. COM
Hi Moecapecod, YOU SAID IT ALL PERFECTLY! Many thanks to everyone involved in bringing us the wonderful world of Osprey.
Hi, Lillie! Always to happy to hear from you and know you are still with us! Thanks for checking in, and continuing to be a faithful camera watcher and blog reader. Hope all is well with you and your family! Mrs. COM
Oh, how this blog makes my heart happy! I dared to hope for a second clutch shortly after losing the last of the 3 eggs this spring. I was “over the moon” to see my wish fulfilled. Thank you Ms. COM for these beautiful pictures (there are never too many!) and the always entertaining blog. Because I have family just across the bay, and of my “Audrey/Tom” name connection, I feel that this is my “home nest”. Now, it’s time for a pip…or two. GOD Willing. ❤️
Hi, Audrey! It makes me happy to read your comment and share in your happiness! It’s wonderful being your home nest, welcome home any time. We are very excited here at the secret location, and are waiting anxiously to see what the weekend brings!. Thanks for being a faithful camera watcher and blog reader. Mrs. COM
Thanks for a wonderful, entertaining blog with lots of great pictures. I also have trouble photographing the moon. Best think to do is use a tripod, set your camera on manual exposure and focus and experiment. Film is really cheap these days. After much experimenting, I finally got this shot of the strawberry moon last month. https://photos.app.goo.gl/tSzfVTE2T2dFTqHV7
Hi, John! I will try to take your advice, and lug the tripod out this month. It sort of takes away some of the spontaneity, but I will give it a go. Thank you for being a faithful camera watcher and blog reader! Your photo of the Strawberry Moon is lovely, thanks for sharing it. Hopefully we will have some additions to the nest very soon! Mrs. COM
Kudos again, Mrs. COM. (I think the 2nd picture could be titled, ‘Inside look at married life!’.) Enjoyed it all! Evelyn from Macon
Hi, Evelyn! It’s always so good to hear from you! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, but thanks most of all for continuing to be a faithful camera watcher, blog reader and contributor! Come on, Audrey and Tom, hatch those eggs! Mrs. COM
Oh how I love to open my email in the morning and find out there is a new blog post! As always you have given us an osprey eye’s view of life at the secret location which takes us from tears of sadness to tears of joy. Time and time again on many of Explore’s cameras we see first hand to trust nature, trust the creatures we are watching. As we all fretted over Audrey’s behavior, I think she knew that maybe something wasn’t quite right with that first clutch. Now she and Tom have proven to us that they absolutely know what they are doing and hopefully we’ll have some siblings soon. Thanks so much for all of the work it takes to put these blogs together; we all appreciate your family so much. The photos were absolutely stunning and I saw the alligators too before reading your comment!! Have a wonderful rest of your summer on the Chesapeake! Also much thanks to Poppy for sharing her time and knowledge; I always looked forward to her daily posts. She is most definitely missed.
Hi, Debbie! Thanks so much for posting your insightful and complimentary comment. It’s always rewarding to know that folks like you are enjoying the camera and blog. Finger crossed for some good news over the weekend! Mrs. COM
Thank you so much for another wonderful blog. You do such a great job with the narrative and the pictures, I always look forward to reading your blogs. I have my finger crossed for two new osprey babies to love and watch grow this year.
Hi, Mary! I am very happy to hear that you enjoyed my latest blog. It is definitely a labor of love, but receiving nice comments like yours keeps me going! We all have our fingers crossed for two new little heads in the nest, should be very soon! Thanks again for being a faithful camera watcher and blog reader. Mrs. COM
Ya know, when or if you ever mention to someone about watching an Osprey Live Cam, usually I get a funny look from the person I’m telling, but then…if they seem interested, I tell them about some of the drama, they almost always want to know more…and we’re extra lucky to have the COM Family and Mrs. COM with her behind the scenes story and her wow factor photos. I just received a message from a friend that we have a chick, I must dash off to see what’s happening! Have a wonderful day…
Yes, a gorgeous, healthy new little one! So exciting and so wonderful that Tom and Audrey were able to rally and make history at our nest! Fingers crossed for #2 on Monday! Mrs. COM
What for a wonderful day.Congrats to our pair,to you Mrs.Com and all osprey lover.Baby1 arrived nest and i`m so happy.Thank you for the wonderful new blog with such great photos and infos.
Hi, Uta! Thanks for reaching out! It’s always super special to hear from you! It has been a crazy season, hasn’t it? Fingers crossed for number two in a couple of days. I am very happy you like my blog. Thanks for sticking with us all these years. Fondly, Mrs. COM
I am saddened are so many others with the passing of the little osprey! Crazy how things happen for sure. I didn’t want to believe it at first. Wave to the nest as I always ask you to. Audrey still a great mom and Tom a fishing fool!
So sorry, Mrs. COM, to see our hopes dashed once again. Nature can be so unforgiving, but Audrey and Tom will still be here for awhile, so all is not lost. Love this nest through good times and bad. Love to all the COF as well. Evelyn from Macon
As the pandemic becomes endemic, we have all speeded up. I am hoping that you will still continue to regale us with the antics of our two favorite ospreys. Hoping your winter is cold (wishing global warming away) but filled with the warmth of family and friends.
Thank you for all the pictures and stories…love Tom and Audrey I also miss poppy, all her info and knowledge was great..
With all the info I have learned so much about the awesome osprey, I look forward to them each year!!!
Your blogs make me feel part of all this and CB like I’m there seeing it and look forward to each new blog… thank you soo much💕💕💕