A nestful of osprey

Yesterday was a very ospreyey (is that a word?) day. When the osprey woke me up with its loud screeching in the morning it must have been a sign that I would get my closest view of ospreys just a few hours later.

Young Osprey

It’s still very windy here (although still in the 80’s) and I decided to go to Marathon (our nearest proper town) to do a bit of food shopping (can’t live without croissants and jellybeans – not eaten together you understand!). Opposite the entrance to Publix (the supermarket) is Crane Point, a 63 acre natural history museum and nature centre.

You might remember that I wrote about Crane Point when I was here in November. I try to visit it at least once when we visit the Keys and last time I was shocked by its run-down state and worried that it might be sold off for housing.

Large Yellow Butterfly

Large Yellow Butterfly

Happily they have secured some more funding, taken on some experienced naturalist trained staff, and the place looks sooooooo much better. It now looks like someone actually cares about it again and they seem to be putting on lots of education events for kids in the area. Really good news. I must admit I was worried!

Strange Looking Insect

Unknown Insect – Strange upwardly pointing tail…

One of the main attractions (if you can call them that) at Crane Point, are the spiders. Thousands of Golden Orb spiders. Their golden webs span the nature trails, and you have to duck if you don’t want a mouthful of sticky web with a spider attached.

Golden Orb Spider

Golden Orb Spider – disentangling a leaf

This one was very delicately getting rid of a stray bit of leaf that had blown into it’s web. It’s amazing what they can do with those long hairy legs (about 6cm long).

Unknown Bird : Flycatcher?

My little brown bird friend

Walking (and ducking) along the 1.5 mile nature trail (with absolutely no one else about – no one seems to like walking in the Keys!) I was accompanied by this little brown and yellow bird (about the size of an English blackbird). Who flew from bush to bush as I walked along, cocking his head from side to side and hanging upside-down on twigs (just to amuse me I think!).

Unknown Bird : Flycatcher?

Another view of my little bird friend

I’m hoping someone will know what he was (I certainly can’t find him in my bird book).

I could hear the osprey before I could see it. I knew there was an artificial nesting pole at the end of the trail and had been desperately hoping that it would have an osprey nest. It did, so I wasn’t disappointed.

First I spotted one youngster.

Young Osprey

Then another. Both very well grown and healthy.

Young Ospreys

They called incessantly to their parents, who were circling overhead, but they didn’t get fed. I think that Mum and Dad had decided that the kids were big enough to do their own fish catching and were keeping them hungry.

Young Ospreys

There was a lot of wing flapping and hopping about.

Young Ospreys

These youngsters won’t be in the nest much longer – me thinks.

Young Ospreys

It was a complete pleasure to sit and watch/listen to them. Through my binoculars I could see every feather and watch every movement. A total privilege.

There you see TBR I said I’d get you some better osprey pictures!

For more osprey pictures (and other wildlife), go to my Florida pictures on flickr

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~ by Jane on April 26, 2009.

8 Responses to “A nestful of osprey”

  1. Wow!

  2. To be woken by an Osprey! Early mornings can’t get much better than that!

    Excellent pictures of some lovely subjects Jane 🙂

    • Thanks Tricia. Haven’t seen him again since then, but we now seem to have a resident mockingbird who sings to us in the morning and evening. Bliss.

  3. Jane – just replying to your comment on my ‘Florida’ Blog. I have actually seen yours before (last year), but never linked it to Corfe Mullen. I should read the side bars more! we were thinking of going to the Keys next time, and your pictures have certainly got me keen. Not sure about the bird, even after quick look in my book. Was it singing at all?

    • You will love the Keys. I’d probably stay at Key Largo, then you have the benefit of going to the Everglades or going Key hopping. Some lovely wildlife (birds, insects etc). Hope you decide to come here one day.

      Found out that the bird was a Great Crested Flycatcher…

  4. What a marvellous experience. Beautiful photos all round.

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