Nest #6024

Nickname: Sandy Cove
Nest substrate: Osprey Nest Platform
Nest Location Description: platform on marina bulkhead
Nest Cam URL:
Monitoring Groups: Delaware Fish and Wildlife
Latitude: 38.5743112681053
Longitude: -75.0951869724651
Followers: 3

Past Seasons

Show reports, diaries, and photos from:Current 2017 2016

Activity reports

2016 Nest Activity Report by Delaware Osprey Watch
Adult arrival Nestlings
Nest Occupied   Fledglings
Nest Active   First chick fledging
Egg laying Chicks last observed
Incubation initiation Nest failure
Clutch hatching Reason for nest failure
2016 Nest Activity Report by baygirl
Adult arrival 03/23/2016 Nestlings 3
Nest Occupied Yes Fledglings 3
Nest Active Yes First chick fledging 07/15/2016
Egg laying Chicks last observed 08/31/2016
Incubation initiation 04/10/2016 Nest failure
Clutch hatching 05/24/2016 Reason for nest failure
2017 Nest Activity Report by baygirl
Adult arrival 02/26/2017 Nestlings 3
Nest Occupied Yes Fledglings 3
Nest Active Yes First chick fledging 07/03/2017
Egg laying Chicks last observed 08/08/2017
Incubation initiation 04/01/2017 Nest failure
Clutch hatching 05/09/2017 Reason for nest failure
Nest Activity Report by baygirl
Adult arrival 03/04/2018 Nestlings 3
Nest Occupied Yes Fledglings 3
Nest Active Yes First chick fledging 06/30/2018
Egg laying Chicks last observed 07/31/2018
Incubation initiation 03/30/2018 Nest failure
Clutch hatching 05/03/2018 Reason for nest failure

Photos of this nest

Nesting Diaries

09/05/2018 by baygirl
adult male is still coming around, perching either on the new dock perch, or the short bush he loves so much late in the season. but he is allusive now and only seen early in the morning or late evening.

08/18/2018 by baygirl
adult male is still guarding his territory, i see him daily, eating or perching on various spots near the nest, he has moved over to his favorite bushy tree top closer toward the stray male on the old dock, this is what he has done for the past few seasons. i love seeing him at sunset perched on the bush, surveying the creek.

07/31/2018 by baygirl
8:30 am, one juvenile on nest, adult male on favorite dock perch

07/30/2018 by baygirl
one fledgling perched on the nest past couple of days, appears to be female, she was there at 8:30 am today,she cries a little and the adult male is still around although he has been at the old dock instead of the new dock. i have not seen him bring her fish but from past seasons I know he is watching over her.the adult female is gone as are at least 1 of the fledglings, they were born so early, lucky youngsters have a head start.

07/24/2018 by baygirl
3 fledge are still using the nest to call for food and rest, today all 3 were in the area with 2 on the nest and one on the dock perch, then the 2 on the nest got into a spat and both flew to opposite jetty pilings. one was crying loudly. i did not see an adult and i do not know if the female is still in town. someone placed a large "no wake" sign on the pole of the platform, directly on the predator guard which negates the predator guard and could give any ground predator a step right up onto the nest.i called the mgr of the community to tell him #1-they just ruined the predator guard #2-the nest and osprey including their platform are protected as long as it is active nest site. I do not believe these 3 youngsters are still using the nest to sleep at night but it is nesting season and the birds are using the nest.

07/22/2018 by baygirl
2 fledglings today around 7 pm.one on the jetty and one calling for fish on the nest before a paddleboarder flushed it off and over to the dock perch where the adult male normally perches, did not see the third fledgling or the parents this evening but there was much human activity near the nest.

07/21/2018 by baygirl
2:30 today during intermittent heavy rains and E 18 mph winds with gusts I checked this family and all 3 fledglings were present with one on the old jetty, one on the dock perch with the adult male perched right next to it and one on the nest calling for fish. have not seen the adult female in a day or 2 and wonder how long now she will stay. she has been here since february and her chicks are now flying for about 18 days. i hope she sticks around into middle of august but lately she has mostly been perching in the old half dead tree that she has preferred for a number of years. she lets her mate do all the work of fishing for the kids. she raised her brood.

07/05/2018 by baygirl
86, sun, clouds occasional rain showers, SSE 9 mph. All 3 chicks on nest this morning after night of heavy fireworks. then a huge downpour around 9 am and one chick flew to a pole, then when it tried to fly to the nest it fell into the water but was able to fly out of the water and got itself onto a dock where it dried out a little before flying back to the nest. later 2 fledglings on the dock with one chick possibly not flying yet. this group seems to be slow learners or maybe I am just not remembering from season to season how hard it is for osprey young to learn their flying craft.

07/05/2018 by baygirl
around 3 pm the nest was empty! all 3 had flown and 2 were sitting on the nearby dock with one on the tall pole. momma was flying overhead calling to the 3 to be sure they were ok i guess...then at 7 pm I decided to check the 3 before sunset and more excitement- 2 were on the nest with momma, and one was on dad's fave dock perch ( no dad in site), this little one decided to jump up on the piling cover that is rubber and very pointy and of course he couldnt grab that cover but it didnt worry him as he simply took off and did a few turns over the nest and then dipped down to the water and "play fished' by touching his fett into the water 3 times then returning to the dock perch. so fun to watch this new flyer already trying his hand at fishing! he looked like he was showing off for his mom and siblings at the nest.

07/04/2018 by baygirl
at least 2 chicks flying, probably one still reticent, more than likely the largest female. saw one take his part of a fish to the pole to eat in peace, ah freedom!

06/30/2018 by baygirl
Finally I have a confirmed Flyer! Been watching for the past few days, all 3 young were active on the nest but no one including me saw a flight although I do suspect one probably flew briefly before today. This evening I drove past the nest in the boat,about 5:15, all 3 were on the nest with mom and the adult male was on his guard perch on the dock next door, and then I went back out on the SUP and from my channel I saw the obvious outline of a fledgling on a tall scraggly piling near the nest, the piling is always a favorite of fledglings every season and there it was, all hunched over staring into the water below. I paddled over as fast as I could and I watched for about 30 minutes as mom flew over and back and forth to the nest sometimes getting seaweed, sometimes a branch and then dad took a fish to the nest right by the fledgling and then dad flew off for more fish and mom went to her guard tree all the while the fledgling was flapping its wings and re-positioning on the piling until finally it lifted off, banked right and made a perfect flight landing back onto the nest. hmmm, I think it might have flown before but it was still the thrill I wait for and work for every osprey season. My first flyer of over 35 nests. Happy evening!

06/25/2018 by baygirl
3 very large chicks on the nest today and I checked them 3 times as it is time to fly. No wingersizing seen today either. The barge was moved away and then back for overnight. Lots of workers around and that may be keeping the chicks down in the nest. appears to be at least one male and one female chick in the nest. adult female has been spending time on the old knarly tree this adult pair loves so much late in each season. with such big chicks its quite a full nest when both adults are on it.

06/24/2018 by baygirl
6-22-18 a large barge parked at the platform- again. the homeowner of the closest condo was very upset so they were asked to move the barge and they only moved it about 5 feet away. the chicks are quite large, 2 are wingercizing. the fear of course is they will be flushed off the nest before they are ready. there is only water under them. today the female was flushed off the nest repeatedly by boats, kayaks, and 2 boys fishing way too close. she was clacking loudly and circling the platform for most of the afternoon. we were out in the creek on SUP and kayak and could hear and see her from quite a distance.i am praying the 3 chicks fledge soon. there will be work done in the marina all this coming week with probable disturbance at the nest site. fingers crossed for the chicks safety.

06/18/2018 by baygirl
The chicks look like they want to fledge but they have a few weeks to go. They are very well cared for and so far not too much disturbance from the locals altho sunset is a tough time as people will sit near the nest and the female gets very stressed flying around with the fish she wants to feed her young. dad just sits on his guard perch and watches.

06/07/2018 by baygirl
3 growing chicks flapping around low in the nest today, wings stretching up at all angles!

06/05/2018 by baygirl
2 growing chicks visible today during feedings, have not seen third chick in about 1 week but nest material is very high so I hope I just am not able to see the third.

06/02/2018 by baygirl
the male is bringing is large fish and the female is very busy feeding and shading and so far the increasing boat and jet ski activity hasnt caused them much stress. last few days i have seen just 2 chicks heads

05/23/2018 by baygirl
male on the nest rim with the female in the nest bowl clearly feeding 3 growing chicks, one appears quite a bit larger and more active. they look to have some feathers now

05/21/2018 by baygirl
everything seemed to be going well and i was happy that this pair has not been bothered and their chicks should be able to handle the coming weekend disturbance with almost 3 week old chicks being able to thermoregulate on their own... i hope i hope... but today a large barge was parked at the nest so that the bulkhead company could begin placing boat lifts in the marina, the crew was using a plank up onto the bulkhead area of the nest platform to get off and on the barge. the female was feeding when i arrived but she was flushed off the nest when the crew took the barge about 100 feet into the marina, then she flew around a few times and landed back on the nest. she was loudly warning them and the ospr male remained on the nextdoor dock perch. I did talk to the homeowners mgr and he asked they not dock at the nest. Just before sunset the female was laying deep in the nest and the workers appeared to be leaving the barge further into the marina for the night so i think they got the message.. hoping with rain coming tmr that they wont flush her off the nest, she is so close to having chicks old enough to deal with people swarming her nest area.

05/20/2018 by baygirl
6 pm today I watched the male take a fish to the nest and the female began feeding. I saw 2 heads pop up! My first osprey chick sighting for the 2018 nesting season! There may be more chick (s) but 2 were clearly visible this evening. beautiful warm clear evening and no rain, finally.

05/19/2018 by baygirl
17 days since first signs of chick hatching and so far the pair is still at the nest even with the extreme rains for 7 days and more to come. I cant see any chicks but the female appears to be hunched over them and I do see feeding behavior. if the rains would stop i could spend some time watching for some little noodle heads to appear over the nest rim!

05/08/2018 by baygirl
yesterday the male stood by on the nest rim as the female got up and down from the nest bowl about 3 times, then she was messing under her chest but I didn't confirm feeding behavior. Today at 11:30 I arrived to see the male once again standing on the nest rim but this time the female was feeding chick(s)!!! I think most likely all of the chicks are now hatched and hope in about a week I can count heads.

05/03/2018 by baygirl
This morning I observed this pair for over 30 minutes and sensed hatching might occur very soon. The male was off and on the platform, perching up on the high t perch and the female was very chatty and they were looking into the nest when the female would get up and re-position herself on the eggs. This evening I went back just before sunset and watched the male bring in a fish and sit on the favored dock perch, eat the head and then take the rest over to the nest. The female flew off with the fish and the male got down into the nest but very briefly. The female flew around twice with the fish and it seemed she would go to the dock perch but went back to the nest. The male got up onto the high t perch again and she began to eat in the nest. She seemed ravenous, eating very fast and then she stopped and dropped her head deep in the nest ever so gently. She did this a few times as she continued to eat. Then she delicately postioned herself down into the nest once more as the male watched intently the entire time. He did not leave the nest. I had to leave as the bugs were biting badly but so exciting to watch the first chick feeding of the season so I sure didn't mind some bug bites! Can not wait to check again in the morning. We are supposed to get a few days of rain but hopefully not heavy downpours as that can be very hard on hatchlings.

04/25/2018 by baygirl
4-23-18 the boat lift construction began on a boat slip 5 slips from the nesting platform. there are at least 4-5 workers very close to the nest but so far I have not seen disturbance that has caused harm to the nesting pairs ability to incubate but I do not observe the nest more than a few minutes a couple times each day.

04/20/2018 by baygirl
the pair is still doing very well at this sometimes busy location. there is work going on at the town home closest to the platform but the female is so deep in the nest she doesn't seem to let it bother her. However there is a float ready to be placed into the marina for boatlift installation construction and I am praying it wont be too close to the nesting platform to disturb her. The ospreys are 3 weeks into incubating their eggs. The life of an osprey monitor can sure be stressful.

04/16/2018 by baygirl
one incubating with one enjoying the dock perch

04/16/2018 by baygirl
one incubating with one enjoying the dock perch

04/14/2018 by baygirl
so far so good with this pair peacefully incubating. expect hatchlings some time first week of may

04/07/2018 by baygirl
everything appears to be going well for the pair, incubating quietly with no signs of disturbance.

04/02/2018 by baygirl
The ospreys have been incubating since 3-30-18 but I wanted to be certain because sometimes the osprey will lay low in the nest before they are incubating and its usually when it very windy and its always the female. But this pair is definitely on eggs and they were the first to arrive this season so it makes sense they are the first to incubate.

03/16/2018 by baygirl
Another day of intense winds, out of the WNW 20 mph with gusts above 35 mph, some sun and clouds, 44 temp. The female has been staying on the nest and male is directly across the marina channel perched on the edge of the bulkhead where he gets a windbreak from the high grasses. There has been a bulkhead company working on the boat docks and that flushes the pair onto nearby platforms. This morning they were on CM9 for a short time, apparently one was eating.I watched 2 eagle osprey battles this morning, both times it was an immature eagle with at least 5 osprey capping the eagle and they kept if from stealing one ospreys fish. Had it been the mature eagle the fish would have been his! But it was cool to see so many osprey have arrived and are in full offensive mode for the colony.

03/14/2018 by baygirl
Another day of getting wind whipped on White Creek. It is just brutal outside with 20 mph and up west winds pummeling the marsh. The Sandy Cove osprey are taking it in stride and offering me another great opportunity to intimately watch osprey behavior without the rest of the colony at nest sites. The pair seems to follow a regular routine of the female staying on the nest as much as possible even in the crazy wind and the male takes shelter, if you can call it that, on the downwind side of a low bushy shrub line along the edge of our marsh. He sits on a horizontal branch of a downed snag, about 4 feet above the swampy marsh, facing the wind. I believe he is somewhat in hearing distance of the female on the nest but not in sigh tline of it. He spent at least 3 hours on the branch mid day. Around 3:30 pm I saw him launch into the air and fly over to the nearest nest platform, "Pine Needle", and there was his mate also on the platform. Both braced into the fierce wind for about 20 minutes until he flew off in the easterly direction of the Salt Pond or the ocean whatever the destination might be. She stood on the nest, on guard, in the stance an osprey will take when they are not actually on their "own" nest but enjoying the view from some other birds perch, and after the wind just slammed her silly for awhile she lifted off and got tossed around finally flying in the same direction as her mate had flown. I was at my desk in front of the windows, still watching a webinar 30 minutes later, when the male came back with a small fish and it was funny to see him flyin, highover the Pine Needle nest (again this aint his usual nest,) and strut his stuff doing the fish dance hoping to impress his mate and finally he realized she was no longer on that nest platform so off he went toward his true nest site only to run into the bald eagle heading toward his nesting mate across the creek at the Bethany Forest eagle nest! The osprey quickly flew down to the 4x4 pole in our marsh where he has been enjoying his meals and the eagle just continued on to his nest area. I have seen this happen twice this week...the eagles do not engage with this pair of osprey or attempt to steal their fish...hmmm? I wonder if its just too early, no eaglets to feed -yet- and the bald eagles are not hungry or interested in the smaller fish the osprey have currently been getting..I do not know.. but it is very interesting. The male osprey took just a few minutes to finish his fish, scraped his bill on top of the pole a few times to clean the fish scales off, then flew over to the beach and dipped his talons at the edge of the water to clean up a bit more and the last I saw him he was enroute to HIS nest area at Sandy Cove. Just a great day to enjoy the early birds!

03/13/2018 by baygirl
Both osprey are quietly staying on or near the nest most of each day even during the nor'easters. Today we had yet another day of extreme weather and high tides following last nights storm. Temps were 36, clouds with WNW 20 mph winds gusting up to 40 mph all day long. the osprey pair, mostly I presume the male, spent the day off and on a downed snag on the downwind edge of a bushy marsh line, out of the wind and keeping an eye on all the other ducks, geese and herons that were enjoying the high water in the marsh directly in front of my house.I left to do errands around 12;30 and the female was on the nest bracing against the wind while the male flew off towards the Salt Pond. At 4 pm I watched the male on a pole in our marsh. He had a large fish, he ate the head, small part of the body and then flew towards the nest most likely to deliver as a gift to his mate. It has been interesting watching this pairs behavior when no other osprey are on the creek. They seem to enjoy all the open territory and are getting enough to eat although some days I see one fly by with small fish. The nest area is quiet of people so they have had no human disturbance but the community is growing with more town homes built this winter.

03/06/2018 by baygirl
Both osprey on nest at noon today. Female (definitely the first to arrive as she is the dark one with slight necklace) was on t perch and male (no necklace, smaller and much lighter feathers) was in the nest. They were very quiet, just perched-both facing south. Weather was 43, E 8mph winds that have shifted to ESE 9 mph with a storm approaching. No other osprey seen or heard along the creek today.

03/04/2018 by baygirl
Following a massive nor'easter storm I went to check on the single osprey at this nest and on my way down the road an osprey was sitting in a tree and gave a soft call and flew to the Sandy Cove nest. A second osprey was already on the nest. Hard to believe any bird would be migrating north into the NW20 mph wind with wind gusts over 30 mph today but indeed there was the pair perched together on the nest! This is their second year to be first to arrive to White Creek. Tough birds they are!

03/02/2018 by baygirl
I have continued to see the lone early arriving osprey on the nest at Sandy Cove. It appears to be a female, as it is very dark and has a medium necklace but I recall last season the 2 birds were difficult to tell apart unless they were together or deeper into the season when the male took on a bleached feather look.I have seen the osprey flying past my home and gathering nest material and fishing in the creek on the warmer sunnier days. Yesterday- 3-1-18- I checked on it since we are now getting a very heavy nor'easter today and I will see how it makes it thru the storm. We have heavy rain, winds gusting out of the NW up to 50 mph and coastal flooding. The other species of birds I can see from my home are all staying on or low to the ground.Or they fly into the safety of downwind tree branches.I am glad we dont have more ospreys here-yet!

02/24/2018 by baygirl
I have seen the osprey at the nest everyday except 2-23-18. I saw the bird with a fish on the t perch of nearby platform CM7 2-22-18 when workers were close to the sandy cove nest. Today the bird was on the nest in dense fog and an immature eagle was on the t perch of CM7 platform. They appeared to be having a faceoff.

02/21/2018 by baygirl
one osprey is at the nest site, can not tell if it is male or female until second osprey arrives. it is very quiet since no other osprey are in the area. it flew off the nest and was fishing over the creek today, 72, sunny winds SW19 mph

02/20/2018 by baygirl
I have been waiting for these osprey to arrive since they were so early last year and received a phone call today from the homeowner that an osprey was on the nest this afternoon. With high south winds and a beautiful balmy day for February I am not surprised one of the pair flew in early again this season but it IS a week earlier than last years record arrival date...let's see if this is a trend for 2018. I will try to confirm at sunset or early tomorrow morn.

09/30/2017 by baygirl
9-29-17 I was amazed to see the adult male from Sandy Cove nest site back at his favorite perch on the dock near the platform. it is a unique special design osprey perch that only these osprey use so I am 99 % certain this is the male remaining at the location and not a migrating osprey. if it is he has been here 7 months as I first saw him Feb. 26. He loves this place:) Today I did not see him but it was a very windy cool day- 66, WNW winds at 22 mph. good day to fly. I had a very busy 2017 osprey season. I began monitoring 50 nests sites. 6 nest sites were not active due to geese (1), no osprey adults using the nest (4) nest down from winter storm (1), 1 osprey pair did not incubate, leaving 43 active nesting pairs with a total of 78 chicks counted. 14 nests sites then failed (19 chicks died) with a final total of 29 productive nesting pairs at the end of the season and 59 chicks fledged from those nests for a nest average of 2.03 chicks per nest.

09/26/2017 by baygirl
9-25-17 3:30 pm boat ride- surprised to see and adult male perched on the pine branch that sandy cove male always uses.. I think some males are still returning to nest sites to guard them

09/21/2017 by baygirl
update today at noon the adult male was on the nest T perch and had brought a fresh pine branch to the nest! he spent most of the afternoon sitting at the nest.

09/15/2017 by baygirl
I saw the adult male at the nest area on August 8 and then saw no osprey until Sept 8.. a full month later and the adult male returned and was perching back on his favorite dock perch early mornings and at sunset. He must have taken quite en extended trip around the Delmarva peninsula! Yesterday I saw an adult male that I can not be 100 % certain belongs at the Sandy Cove area but he was on the nearby gazebo and hanging out at the dock. I will assume it is time for a trip south very soon and close this nest data for the 2017 season. It was a very successful and stress free season for this pair that was the first to arrive in Feb. A record for me. Godspeed beautiful birds. fly around the hurricanes. Make good choices until 2018!

08/08/2017 by baygirl
One fledgling often seen on the nest calling for fish, sometimes it is perched in the nearby dying pine tree. The adult male makes an appearance mostly when the fledgling is not in attendance but today I saw and heard the fledgling crying for fish and then saw an osprey skim in low over the water and seemed to be heading away from the nest when suddenly it veered right and dropped a huge fish on the nest for the crying youngster. Dads are amazing eh?:)

08/05/2017 by baygirl
one fledgling still visiting the platform and bringing fish to the dock pilings. the adult male is still on the tree at sunset.

07/30/2017 by baygirl
just one fledgling on the pole near the nest. saw many flying overhead and singing the fish song but no others at nest site when I was present.

07/27/2017 by baygirl
both adults still at nest site, both bring fish. the fledged young are often on the pilings and today I watched one practice diving into the water as the 2 adults were perched on the dock pier apparently watching the progress. the young osprey got deepr subemerged into the water with each dive, until his wings were under the water. he was able to propel himself up out of the water and into the air but rested after about 6 dives. I wonder how many young osprey succumb to exhaustion while learning to fish? all 3 young from this early nest are very dark in color now and much harder for me to pick out who is who. I assume the adult female will migrate soon as she has been here since Feb. 26th if not before!

07/11/2017 by baygirl
Today all 3 fledglings were perched on jetty pilings staring into the water. One adult was also on a piling with them. At sunset all 3 back on the nest with one eating and the adult female at the nest. This pair arrived so early in the spring I expect the female to be gone early also.

06/29/2017 by baygirl
male brought a fish to nest and female took it and flew over the nest a number of times as if to tease the 3 large chicks. eventually she landed and had some fish and then fed one chick but mostly she ate. the chicks are flapping like crazy and the winds are high, hope none fledges early.

06/24/2017 by baygirl
3 chicks very active today

06/21/2017 by baygirl
All 3 chicks are growing and appear very healthy. The female is at the nest except to get nest material and the male continues to sit on the nearby dock perch built just for him. The community has been very respectful of the osprey family. I expect, if everything goes well, that the chicks should fledge around July 4th.

05/28/2017 by baygirl
female feeding one small chick while 2 larger chicks popping their heads up at opposite end of the nest.

05/25/2017 by baygirl
jet ski came right up to the nest today and the man actually stood p on his jet ski and hovered right at the platform until the female, who was feeding chicks, flew off the nest. argh. but she came back and so did the male and I was able to see 2 growing chicks as mom was feeding them. hoping to see 3 chicks again soon

05/22/2017 by baygirl
the pair is spending much time together on the nest, feeding and protecting the chicks from heavy rains. there is a jet ski parked super close to the nest but so far the pair is handling disturbance ok

05/17/2017 by baygirl
I observed the nest at 8:00 this morning before the heat arrived. The male brought a fish and remained at the edge of the nest while the female ate and fed what seemed to be 3 chicks by the positioning of her dipping head but could not be certain at this early date. Then at sunset I returned and once again the male brought a fish and remained at the nest edge as the female ate and fed...3 chicks visible pooping their tiny heads up above the nest material! there could of course be 4 hatchlings but I clearly saw the 3. one was smaller and sitting further back from the 2 larger chicks. After the female finished eating and fedding both adults fussed into the nest a few minutes and then the male flew off to a pier with the remainder of the fish. guess it was one big fish or perhaps he is just a very skilled and good provider! early in osprey hatchlings lives I do see the male come with a complete fish. later as the chicks grow I often see the male bring a fish, sit nearby, eat the head and then give the female the rest to share. this was such a warm day I was thankful the community and marina are still quiet giving these little chicks time to grow. but alas a barge is now parked about 50 feet from the nest platform and the bulkhead company will be putting a boat lift in all day tmr. I can only hope they do not cause the adults to remain off the nest in the second day of 90 plus temps. it is always something in osprey world.

05/16/2017 by baygirl
at sunset today I watched the male bring female a fish, he stayed on the edge of the nest while she ate and fed what appeared to be at least 2 hatchlings by the motions of her head dipping deep in the nest but of course I have no idea, yet anyway. the nearby seasonal homeowners do have a vantage point from their third floor so hoping when they come for holiday they can see the chicks:) it was beautiful to watch the feeding tonight, the female didn't feed long and then she settled back down deep into the nest and the male sat on the corner perch. gorgeous seen as the sunset down river

05/15/2017 by baygirl
I observed feeding behavior past 2 days. male is very busy bringing fish and staying at nest while female feeds.

05/13/2017 by baygirl
During brief break in heavy rains I checked nest and female was deep in nest with mate on platform perch. I will check tomorrow during clear skies and warming temps to confirm normal nesting activity.

05/10/2017 by baygirl
last evening I observed the female in the nest with the male coming and going. she was very fussy, looking down into the nest and moving nest material etc. I was pretty certain a chick had hatched but decided to go back today and sure enough she was up off the nest, fussing in the nest and then the male brought fish and she was feeding chicks! he left and came back in about 30 minutes with more fish.this may be the earliest clutch hatching in my years of monitoring, but it makes sense since this pair arrived feb. 26th, also a record for me!

05/03/2017 by baygirl
This pair on a busy summer season marina bulkhead are doing very well. the community has not yet been crowded but end of May craziness is approaching. I am hoping we see chick feeding behavior before the weekend of May 13th. This will give the tiny chicks very precious time to be sheltered before the crowds descend for Memorial Day weekend.

04/22/2017 by baygirl
incubation continues except I did witness the female flushed off the nest today when a man was walking his dog at the nest area. I believe dogs are the biggest stressor to osprey, more so than people. I don't understand why people insist on walking their dogs right up to an osprey platform.

04/17/2017 by baygirl
the male loves the perch a man placed on the nearby dock and neither osprey seems bothered by the kayakers going by, at least not yet!

04/10/2017 by baygirl
just before sunset both osprey on the nest, male on the perch and female deep in the nest incubating. happy to see this since it seems a few other nearby pairs are off their eggs.

04/09/2017 by baygirl
the homeowner closest to this nest had a large group staying at their home but so far the osprey are still incubating:)

04/06/2017 by baygirl
female still in the nest incubating, as far as this morning , prior to the huge storm that just moved through the area. I will check her later this day.

04/04/2017 by baygirl
I continued to watch the females behavior and yes she was incubating! not surprised as they have been here for over a month! but this may be a record for me in the 5 years I have monitored!

04/02/2017 by baygirl
This pair is doing well. they have built the nest up nicely and don't seem to have any territorial issues with other osprey down the creek. A few times I thought the female was incubating but then next visit she was up on the perch. We have had high winds and the females do sometimes get very low in the nest. I expect this pair to incubate early but so far I cant confirm egg laying.

03/24/2017 by baygirl
both birds coming and going with the female spending the most time on the nest and the male spending most time on the bulkhead across channel from platform. They are making short visits to nearby empty platforms

03/22/2017 by baygirl
female very busy in the nest on this extremely windy day. male on bulkhead just across the channel. I wont be surprised if she isn't incubating eggs soon.

03/21/2017 by baygirl
Both osprey back on the t-perch, facing opposite directions. I flushed them off as I kayaked past with signs the community asked me to place on the nearby bulkhead. Stay Back Signs help a little thorughout the summer crush of people, but this pair does have a rough go, the community keeps building more town homes and more rental people coming and going so the ospreys are under seige all summer.Life on White Creek 2017

03/19/2017 by baygirl
Today the male osprey has been spending time on a downed snag in the marsh outside my window. Still no signs of any nearby osprey and very quiet..no osprey calls yet.

03/19/2017 by baygirl
At 4pm I check on the pair and they are both perhced on the tall nest T-perch, facing opposite directions...I need a good camera:)

03/18/2017 by baygirl
The storm arrived the evening of Mar. 13. Very intense Nor'easter with winds 25-40 mph and gusts 50 mph, temps from 35 dipping into the low 20's, rain, overcast skies and med to poor vis. No osprey on the nest Mar. 14. Mar.15 still no osprey on the nest but at 1:45 pm a single osprey appears on the nearby Pine Needle nest just outside my windows , it sits facing into the driving wind and storm conditions..and after about 15 minutes it flies away from the nesting areas to a stand of loblolly pines and I watch as it attempts 3 times to land on the back side and deep in the pine tree.It finally is successful. So this is where it is sitting out the storm! Mar. 16 the storm and extreme winds continue..no sign of the Sandy Cove birds today..Mar. 17 the sun returns and the winds are WNW 9 mph. both Sandy Cove osprey are back at the nest! they made it through that insane storm. Mar. 18 the female holds court on the nest but no sign of incubating..it will be interesting to see if they start very early or wait till more local osprey arrive.

03/13/2017 by baygirl
March 8th, noon, both osprey observed-1 on dock and 1 on nest. March 11 just one osprey on the nest on a very cold windy day. Today with a storm approaching I checked the nest first at 3 pm and the female osprey was sitting in the nest, the male not around. At sunset 7pm I see both adults on the T-perch of the nesting platform. Both were huddled close together and facing into the cold north winds. We are expecting a nor'easter with 50 mph winds and snow changing to rain by tomorrow morning. I will keep an eye on this first to arrive osprey pair throughout the week. Still no other ospreys on White's Creek.

03/07/2017 by baygirl
No other osprey have shown up along White Creek where I have monitored the past 4 years. The "colony" nesting area is still very quiet of activity except for the Bethany Forest adolescent eagle pair that likes to visit the empty osprey nesting platforms. Mar.2 I saw both Sandy Cove osprey off and on the nest. Mar. 3 I checked the nest at sunset and did not see the birds on the nest but it was extremely windy and turning colder so they may be taking some jaunts southward for fishing...Mar. 4 I saw the adult male perched on a wood pole in the marsh opposite the front of my house. It was super windy and he just sat on the pole for an hour or so. He was very scruffy looking, feathers puffed up. After an hour he launched over the marsh and headed to his nest site at Sandy Cove community. Today I checked the osprey at 10:00 and the male was once again on my friends dock and the female was standing in the nest. As I walked along the nearby bay trail the male osprey flew over to the nest. Both osprey are quiet, no vocalizations, but that should change as soon as a few of their peers arrive:) It seems they are getting enough fish as they aren't spending much time away from the nest. I have seen them flying over the creek next to my house, they follow the channel and hover looking for fish. I have seen them eating on the nest and on the dock.

02/28/2017 by baygirl
9:30 am I checked the nest site to be certain the pair was actually the pair bonded to the nest site. Still amazed at the early arrival of both birds! But again at 9:30 I see both osprey. The female (brown necklace, slighter darker larger of the tow birds) was perched on the nest t-perch and as I approached from my friends yard I saw the male ( clean white chest)standing on friend's dock and the male flew directly over to the nest, briefly mounts the female then lands on the nest. the females behavior is accepting and calm. I am pretty darn certain this pair belongs on this nest, no matter the early arrival date!

02/26/2017 by baygirl
Both adult osprey on nest today. A few days ago I saw an osprey flying in the vicinity of the nest but did not see any activity on the nest. Today at 1:45 I saw an osprey on the dock next to the nest. The osprey was eating a fish. I decided to check the nest site just before sunset and arrived to see one osprey on the nest perch and then the second bird flew onto the nest. It appears to be a male and female and I can only assume the same birds from 2016 due to their comfort in my dog and my presence on the nearby bay beach. The female remained perched on the nest perch and the male started clearing the nest of clam shells left from the resident winter gulls. In the past 5 years this is the earliest date I have seen an osprey pair along White's Creek. The first solitary bird of 2016 arrived to nest #6005 (very close to this nest) about Feb. 16, 2016. I have not seen any other ospreys in the area until today. Its is not too surprising now though with the recent strong southerly winds and warm weather. Let's see when the nest "spreys" arrive on the creek.

09/22/2016 by baygirl
The last day: The past few days I saw the adult male either on his early morning shrub bush or surveying the creek from his high pine perch. This evening after 5pm I checked the creek via my boat and about 5 adult males were at their known guarding perches- Sandy Cove male was one of the remaining guys! This was the last night I saw the adult male from Sandy Cove. A few other nearby adult males remained toward the end of September but with the continuing strong N winds most of the White Creek ospreys were on the wind toward their wintering grounds. My hopes are they made the journey safely and missed the hurricane season. I have monitored numerous osprey nesting sites the past 4 years but the ospreys at Sandy Cove and Pine Needle (#6039) hold a special significance for me. I grew up on these waters and marshes, clamming, crabbing, fishing, swimming and camping. I see the extreme pressures on the environment, including the ospreys, every year. The quiet creek is now a constant roar, a water freeway of sorts during the summer months. As the state of Delaware allows for non stop high density development at waters edge I witness the wildlife and marsh being directly affected by the jet ski's, high horse-powered boat engines and general lack of respect for water craft regulations. The marsh continues to break up creating wider yet shallower channels, the terrapin turtles are fewer and the osprey who have nested along or over the water ways are increasingly stressed to the point of abandoning their young. I see this with my own eyes and data. I can only hope people learn to respect the osprey and inland bays and appreciate how much they enhance our world.

09/16/2016 by baygirl
The sun had just set as I drove my boat past the Sandy Cove dock and out of the corner of my eye I see the adult male making a beeline for his high perch in the pine tree. He had a large fish.

09/13/2016 by baygirl
Boat ride out past the old dock- one stray (possibly sub-adult) sitting on the old dock. This is a normal occurrence though out the season as the old dock attracts numerous osprey to dine or attempt nesting. The local birds chase them off until the fledglings are gone, then they look the other way. And on this day the adult male from Sandy Cove was perched on his nearby low shrub bush just watching the interloper, while the Pine Needle adult male watched from his high snag branch.

09/12/2016 by baygirl
This morning as I walked the trail to the old dock I saw the adult male sitting on a broken down jetty next to the new dock. he took off at the sight of me and did a low fly over his nest and then out towards the ocean.

09/11/2016 by baygirl
Just before sunset as I returned from a boat ride I saw the adult male perched on his high pine tree branch. The high pine is used all season by the osprey family. Now it is just the adult male remaining to guard his marina platform.

09/09/2016 by baygirl
Again today I saw both the adult males from Pine Needle and Sandy Cove platforms perched in the low shrub bushes they enjoy late season. The bushes are right along the waters edge.

09/08/2016 by baygirl
The last sighting of the remaining female osprey fledgling was on 8/31/16. She may have been around and using the new dock perch but with the homeowners in town during this period she would have relocated except for night time. Today is the first day I have seen the adult male since the end of August. He was sitting on the low shrub bush near the Sandy Cove dock. The adult male from Pine Needle was sitting in another shrub bush. These 2 males tend to move to this location once the fledglings and other local osprey move out. They tend to sit in this area early morning and before sunset.

08/31/2016 by baygirl
Today is the last day of August and the past week I have checked this nest site a few times each day and I see the same two birds- the adult male and a fledgling that appears to be female because of her dark brown necklace. The adult spends most of his time on a low bushy tree near the water and then at sunset he occasionally moves over to a favorite snag. The fledgling is usually on the nest early morning and cries for fish but later in the day I see it perched on a new dock perch a man made for the ospreys. Often it has a fish. I have not seen the adult male bring a fish to the fledgling but I have seen the fledgling fly in with a fish. Most likely the adult steps up when necessary as that is the behavior I notice later in the season and once the adult female is gone. So this site is becoming so quiet now with most of the family gone.

08/23/2016 by baygirl
Time has passed but I have continued to monitor this nest site throughout a very busy time rehoming chicks at 2 other nest sites. I do believe the adult female has moved out to her wintering grounds as I have not confirmed her presence since 7-31-16. Surely she has been here but with the people walking past the adults favorite guard tree and her need to stay clear of screaming fledglings there has been no sighting. The adult male has been present almost every time I check the area. I would guess the adult female gone by 8-16-16. This guess is based on past seasons data. Most females stick around for approximately one month after the chicks fledge, but only if the nesting began at a normal time and not a re-nest late in the season. As for the fledglings I have not seen 3 at one time for a few weeks and this is a good sign. Usually some are much faster at learning the art of fishing. I often see the female fledglings lingering the longest. This sprey family now has a new perch on a dock next to their platform and each day I have seen one fledgling enjoying a fish on it. the man who owns the dock got tired of osprey perching and fouling on his boat awning so I recommended a wood perch on the end piling and voila!, it is a big hit:) But alas- I can feel the 2016 osprey season winding down. This has been my busiest season of the past 4 years with over 20 active nest sites to monitor. My passion is observing osprey behavior and I can truly say the more I learn the more I realize this species will always surprise me. As I sit here with my door open onto the creek marsh of a colony of 8 osprey nest sites my office room is filled with the dulcimer tones of osprey vocals. There is nothing more joyful than those sounds. And right now I am pretty sure those songs are coming from the many osprey fledglings still enjoying the camaraderie of their parents and newfound friends. Godspeed to them that they return in 2018!

07/31/2016 by baygirl
A lot of action here today. One fledgling walked into the water at low tide and began dipping it's head under the water and walking around in the shallows. the other fledglings hung out in the tree and on the jetty and eventually I was able to confirm both adults still tending their babes. It is getting harder to find the adult female, no doubt she has a new quiet spot elsewhere to stay out of the fray.

07/29/2016 by baygirl
2 fledglings on the nest and both are eating. both adults are over on their favorite tree. I guess they both shared their catch with their young. Do not see the third fledgling today.

07/27/2016 by baygirl
I kayak out in front of the marina to watch the family dynamic as it has moved to a nearby pine tree just as it has every season. The tree has some dead branches that allows for the adults to perch and watch the youngsters as they learn to fish from the nearby dilapidated jetties. Sometimes at low tide they just stand at waters edge looking down at the minnows swimming around them. Today 2 fledglings begin on the nest but quickly fly off for a game of chase.

07/21/2016 by baygirl
An empty nest today! Exciting to see them all off the nest and sitting on a nearby jetty staring into the water. Their new lives are just beginning and they can now get away from human disturbance.

07/19/2016 by baygirl
The third chick fledged late in the afternoon. By evening all were back on the nest. This is so great to see the runt catch up and thrive attesting to the abundance of good fishing by the adult male. People at the community have been watching out for the nestlings and educating the renters about keeping away from the nest. I think the sign placement has been beneficial this season also. But there is no doubt that this pair gets a high amount of disturbance from boaters, kayakers, SUP's and sunset watchers. If the same pair survives to nest here the next few seasons they should continue to acclimate to the ever increasing Sandy Cove community. there has been a request for a second platform to be placed in the marsh next to the crabbing dock and I do not think this would be safe for the new osprey pair or this existing pair. Too close to one another and far too close to people on the dock not to mention the high amount of dogs that visit the dock each day.

07/18/2016 by baygirl
I still think there are just 2 fledglings on this nest. The third seems quite a bit less active and I have not seen the nest empty of chicks thus far. One always seems to be down in the nest or huddled close to mom. It is the runt of course and so it may take some time to fly. But the other 2 are doing well and able to get away from boat and kayak traffic...finally!!

07/15/2016 by baygirl
2 chicks fledged together just after noon today. The adult female has been with holding food and the babes are getting cranky! One returned to the nest when the adult male brought a fish but the second fledgling spent many hours on a nearby piling while the others were then treated to more fish. Adult male did a few fly overs dangling the fish and finally around 6 pm the second fledgling returned to the nest to get a tiny bit of fish! All were on the nest for sunset.

06/01/2016 by baygirl
Today I was finally able to count chicks and sadly there are 3 with one a tiny runt. I could see the runt under the adult females chest while she fed the other 2 larger active chicks. They are all quite young but the size difference is shocking and always makes me sad to see. I hope that time will allow the little one to thrive but reality is much harsher. But, I certainly have seen miracles with runts in seasons past, so will keep my thoughts as positive as possible. It will be that much more important to keep people away from the nest so that all the fish the male gets makes it to the family!!

05/27/2016 by baygirl
Still quiet at the marina and both adults on the nest with one often on the nearby piling. I see feeding and shading and no disturbance from water recreation thus far.

05/24/2016 by baygirl
I checked the nest 4 different times today. I didn't see what I think is feeding behavior until I took the pontoon out and hovered within binocular distance of the nest and sure enough the female was up on the nest rim eating and dipping her head deep in the nest obviously feeding chicks. The male was sitting on his satellite perch. just before sunset I walked to check the nest again and the female was sitting high in the nest and then rocked down into the nest for sunset and night time.It is still very quiet at the marina so the pair is able to hopefully get a few good days in with feeding and sheltering the chicks before the boating and picture taking activity begins. The nest is on a bulkhead the jutts straight out into the spectacular creek sunsets and so people spend time very close to the nest almost every evening.

05/23/2016 by baygirl
Still not 100% sure there are chicks. With the past few days of rain and a cool and overcast day today there doesn't seem to be much action at the nest. I visited about 5 times and stayed at least 10 minutes each time and I saw the male perched nearby and being very vocal with all the extra ospreys passing overhead but no visible signs of feeding during my visits.

05/21/2016 by baygirl
I believe there may be chicks but the weather is so bad I can not confirm. Male is staying on nest even in the downpour of rain. Chicks are due any time now.

05/08/2016 by baygirl
I check on this pair at least once a day as it is visible from my dog walking route. Also I am aware of the high human activity near this marina so I like to see how the pair is doing. So far its very quiet in their neighborhood. Sometimes a few stray osprey harass the nest but the pair is good at guarding their territory. They have a thriving sparrow population living in their downstairs nest area too.

04/20/2016 by baygirl
Its possible this pair started incubating a day or 2 prior to 4/10/16 but with the high winds and high nest material it can be hard to confirm incubating as the birds will hunker into the nest to face the wind. This pair is handling the human traffic along the marina but at request of manager I did tack a few laminated cardboard "stay back" signs to the bulkhead in anticipation of transient seasonal renters who often get very close to and linger near the nesting pair.

04/06/2016 by baygirl
This osprey pair is doing well. building up the nest material, bringing fish, copulating and generally tolerating the construction crew in the community. With permission of the Sandy Cove community I placed temporary "stay back" signs on the bulkhead area today-before the adults get down to incubation.

03/29/2016 by baygirl
Began monitoring this nest site in 2012 when 2 osprey attempted to build nest on a barge. Nest failed. 2013 pair built a low nest on nearby bulkhead piling and fledged 2 chicks 2013 and 3 banded chicks in 2014. Fall 2014 nest destroyed by storm and replaced with a higher placed platform. 2015 season fledged 2 chicks. Platform is on end of busy marina with increasing human disturbance. Drone flown over nest in 2015.