After almost two weeks away …

I got back out to visit the birdies today.  The Osprey nests seem to be fine. Moms sitting on eggs. Dads nearby or off on a fishing trip for Mom.

But the most fun was when I pulled into the #1 parking lot at Fort Pickens and discovered that some Least Terns had decided it was bath day.  Rain sometime yesterday was just enough to fill some low spots on the edges of the lot.

Here’s the best sequence.  It’s a new first for me. I’ve never seen a Least Tern doing the backstroke.

wet-1

wet-2

wet-3

I loved my time away with Jerri, but I have to admit – I  missed these little buggers.

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I’ve been lazy, and not posting for a couple of weeks

So, here’s my makeup day.

Yesterday, May 8, 2017,  was such an extraordinary day. Gorgeous weather and lots of birdies doing lots of things.  The last place I visited was the causeway at Navarre, where the Skimmers and Least Terns are nesting right now and very active. I became enthralled by this one tiny female Least Tern who had laid two eggs right in the midst of a gang of (15 or so) Black Skimmers, each one at least five times her size.

among-the-giants

I didn’t get a lot of good images but became a fascinated by-stander as some of the Skimmers began to creep closer and closer to the little Tern. Suddenly she burst straight up, then swooped time and again at them, pecking at their huge heads, squawking, and making all the menacing gestures her tiny little winged body was capable of. At last, they seemed to back off a little, so she settled back onto her nest and those two precious eggs.

All during this, I did not see another Tern come to her aid, and I fear that without a strong partner to feed her and help her fend off the big, clumsy Skimmers, it will not go well for her or for her babes.

But this is nature. And, much as I’d like to, I can’t possible interfere.

Meanwhile, back toward Opal Beach and Fort Pickens: a collection of this ‘n that:

A flock of Cattle Egrets6-cattle-egretsLeast Tern male bringing mom her lunchhead-on-Tern

A handsome juvenile GBH, determined to sharpen his bill on a sign posthandsome-GBH-juvie

‘Where have you BEEN? I’m starving!”it's-about-damn-time!

Morning Glories afootmorning-glories

On the lookout … for something (I’m pretty sure that this is the male half of the couple who had nested in a tree that was blown down a couple of weeks ago in a heavy wind storm. Too bad, because he had been an attentive protector and provider as she sat on the eggs. But now, it’s all gone. I wonder if they’ll try again this year.

on-the-lookout

Sometimes, it’s just about the trees, the place … the world …sometimes,-it's-just-the-trees

Here. How do you like THIS wing? (I think she was just showing off for me.)wing-1

“Thank you, dear. I knew you’d come through.”gimme-2

 

And then, after all that, I stopped at the Shrimp Basket, ate a wonderful lunch, had a couple of beers, and went home.