Sunday, April 3, 2011
We are parked at an osprey nest. Grey clouds roll overhead. A gathering of starlings in a nearby top of a walnut tree sit facing into the breeze. The osprey nest looks in need of refurbishing. Not many sticks up there and some lush green forbs growing. A female osprey standing on the nest when we arrived. She soon leaves.
Here comes the female, carrying a three foot long stick. She lands and puts her stick down … picks up another and another. Very deliberately she rearranges her sticks, moving them from one side to the other. She finally settles down and I wouldn’t even know she is up there if we hadn’t been watching. We came hoping the osprey would be busy bringing one stick after another, but we are beginning to wonder if the male has even returned from the south. Did he survive the winter?
She has been sitting up there so long, doing nothing, that the turkey vultures are gathering! I’m kidding, of course, but three vultures did swing over her. We have a sense she is waiting for her mate. Meanwhile a shower came through and now the clouds have broken into big cotton balls surrounded by blue sky.
Two hours of watching. One stick brought in. One bird. Pretty quiet.