Finally, I was able to see the head of a baby on the eagle’s nest in my neighborhood on 2/11. He still had gray fuzz on his head. This nest has been really annoying this year. They rebuilt it farther back on the tower and the nest has sunken in quite a bit. And so many sticks “sticking” up in the way. But I was glad to see at least one baby!
It looks like one of the parents was adding to the nest.
Both parents together on the nest on a sunny morning.
This was the view from the other side of the nest. You can really see where it was sinking in the middle so the babies are hidden far down in the bowl.
At this point there was always one parent on guard on the tower.
One morning I saw an eagle on the big pine tree in front of the Oldsmar pier. He spent a lot of time up here last year but this was this first time seeing him here this year.
Flybys close to the nest included a pelican and osprey. There is an osprey nest close by the eagle’s nest and the osprey will fly close but the eagles always yell at them and they take off.
I heard the pileated woodpecker screaming as he landed on top of the utility pole right in front of where I was standing at the nest. I quickly snapped this and off he went again. I hear them screaming all over the neighborhood.
One of the many osprey nest in the neighborhood. This one is a few towers down from the eagle’s nest. I caught them bringing in padding for the nest. This one is pretty far away.
A full moon before dark.
I was back at the Dunedin marina in late December for a quick walk (can you tell this is one of my favorite places to walk?). That damaged abandoned boat is still stuck to the channel marker. You can see where it’s cut into the boat. It’s a great place for birds to rest and I caught a green heron sitting on it the morning I was there.
A great egret was fishing through the little hole around the floating piling. I kept seeing him sticking his head down thinking he couldn’t catch even a tiny fish that way but he sure did.
A little blue heron was creeping around the dock, also looking for fish.
There’s always a lot of pelicans around the marina.
I caught this grackle eating some kind of seeds.
I saw this osprey flying across the marina with some sticks and moss in his talons. It’s the start of nesting season for osprey so I thought he was heading to one of the 2 nests in the marina parking lot. He flew around with it for a while. Then it looks like he’s going to land on a light pole that didn’t already have a nest and I’m thinking “What is he doing?”. He did land but then took off across the marina and headed to the nest on a pole at the other end of the marina.
There’s a nest high up in a tree near the boat ramp and another nest across from it on top of a pole. There’s always a lot of osprey flying around so they guard them pretty well during nesting season.
Far out in the water I could see a dolphin coming up every few minutes. I was bummed he didn’t come close to the pier.
While we were in Naples we took a boat ride around the bay and out to a spoil island. We passed the big boats and big houses near the marina.
It was a beautiful day out and there was not much traffic on the water.
We saw so many dolphins along the way. They were coming right up to the boat. The bottom two shots I took with my phone.
A lot of the channel markers had osprey nests on them. Most of the babies were grown up and yelled as we went by.
We cruised for almost an hour to a spoil island where there was no one else on the beach. Just us and a few other people that were on the boat. We walked around for close to an hour looking for shells.
Not many birds on the beach but far away we saw an osprey had caught a fish and had landed on the beach with it before taking off again.
On a Saturday morning in February, I walked out on beach trail and saw this massive osprey nest above. It must have been here for years but on this particular morning, I noticed how much bigger it had gotten. Maybe it was sinking in and the osprey kept adding to it. On Sunday, someone had posted on the Facebook Fort Desoto site that the nest had completely collapsed and fallen to the ground. The osprey couple did not let this get the best of them. They spent an entire week bringing sticks back to the nest, starting from scratch. They were seen all over the area bringing sticks back (although if they were that smart they would just fly down to the ground underneath the tree and bring the same sticks back up). The next Saturday morning I went back out on the beach and saw the below. The birds had already built a pretty good size nest.
Even a week later, they were still flying in with sticks. They didn’t want to waste anymore time. As I was leaving and heading back to the parking lot, I took one last glance back and saw they were mating.
Farther down the trail, this guy was just starting breakfast and didn’t seem to mind me standing on the trail watching him eat.
True to its name, the Osprey Trail on Honeymoon Island is known for having a lot of Osprey along the trail. There are many nests along the trail and when I was there in late January, the osprey were working on refreshing the old ones.
Both eagles were sitting in a tree near the nest which was a bad sign. They were sitting on eggs earlier so something must have happened to cause them to abandon the nest. They might try again. It was still early.
Towhees, catbirds and yellow rumped warblers were all along the trail.
Lots of vultures here.
New growth in some of the prescribed burn areas.
This guy walked right in front of me on the trail.
I hadn’t been to Honeymoon Island since last spring. I wanted to see if the osprey were nesting yet. Honeymoon Island is a barrier island north of Clearwater Beach. In the 1940’s the island was a place known for people to spend their honeymoon in the cottages on the island. Once World War 2 started people stopped coming to the island and later the cottages were torn down.
Linking to Wednesday Around the World
This is the 2nd year in a row that an osprey couple is raising a family in the light post at work. The babies were pretty big by the time you could see them peeking out over the nest. I finally remembered to bring my camera to work and took the above after work. At first I thought there was only one baby, but there were two.
A few days later I was able to catch one of the babies being fed.
A few days after that, I caught the other parent flying in. He didn’t have a fish with him so I’m wondering if that’s why she was screaming at him.
The next week the babies were fully grown and looked just like the parents except they still have the white spots on their wings and orange eyes. Now the babies are flying around and every morning when I drive into the parking lot I see them on different light posts. When I leave after work, they are both back on nest for the night. Soon they will be gone for good and we’ll all be empty nesters in the parking lot.
These two female red breasted mergansers are still hanging around the fishing pier. They should be north for the summer by now.
A ruddy turnstone on the rocks.
A royal tern brings her a fish. Since she’s eating it, I guess they are an official couple.
The laughing gulls are pretty this time of year.
Having a conversation about something. All of the gulls are pairing up.
The juvenile reddish egret is still hanging around the pier.
Two baby osprey on the smokestack tower nest.
Someone got their snack stolen. Or maybe, the bird is being paid to advertise.
Saturday morning at Fort Desoto.
This black bellied plover was washing his face.
Is this a Cooper’s hawk or a northern harrier? It was flying across the north beach.
White pelicans all in a row.
Stumpy getting a snack.
The osprey was not going to share his meal.
The osprey nest at the fishing pier. I guess that trash makes a nice cushion.
Low tide at North beach.
A few shots from a recent morning walk at Fort Desoto.