One afternoon, as an update on social media, somewhere, I wrote an account about a murder of crows. I just looked it up. It was a poem written on Divine Mercy Sunday. I was mistaken. The great bird with the huge wing span that flew out from the branches of the tree was an osprey, not an owl. I know that now.
As I’ve picked litter at Frank’s Flats, I’ve been wondering if the osprey would return this season. For some reason all of the nesting material that was heaped up on the platform disappeared early in the spring. I find it impossible to believe that those strong winds blew it away. There were many very heavy looking branches entwined and it had been there for a few nesting seasons. The osprey couples have been very entertaining and I have watched them diligently, given their proximity to Frank’s Flats. One of the greatest episodes was captured by a photographer who posted on our local birding blog, Birds Calgary and I highly recommend that you take a ‘gander’ at the photos of one particular event that I witnessed with great delight…a Canadian goose stubbornly trying to take over the osprey nest. Please take a look!
I was pleasantly surprised as I headed home yesterday evening to see one of the osprey perched on the empty platform. At the very same time, I saw its mate performing an amazing balancing act as he carried a very large branch across all four lanes on 22X and landed it on the nesting platform.
Tonight, I decided to cross over and hike my way along the dirt road…the old Sheriff Road that leads to the two platforms. I hadn’t been there before. I stood at the side of the water and watched the interactions between the two and witnessed how much the nest had changed in just a single day. I also had opportunity to see how quickly a magpie headed stage left once the male decided to take control of the nest. Unfortunately, not having a camera, I was unable to record any of this diving, moving, loading and unloading…but was blessed in that I enjoyed a spectacular display of nature all on my own.
Taking off from a tall dead tree, one (the male, I believe…because the female mostly sat demurely, observing) mounted the breeze and sailed across to the far side of the water and so I decided to leave. Hopping back into the car and heading east on 22X, I looked out the passenger window to see the handsome bird sailing no further than fifteen feet to the side of my vehicle, another large branch held tightly in his talons. I had to literally praise God…I had such chills. What wonders!
This photograph was taken by my cousin, Mike Moffat, living in Hamilton, Ontario. He is an amazing photographer. My brother, Stuart Moors, is also becoming very competent with his camera these days. I feel proud of both of these gents. Mike said that his attempts at osprey have been difficult because the sun seemed to always be to the back side of them. I wanted to post a photo of an osprey here tonight because I just couldn’t capture this on my own. If you have opportunity, take time to step out into your natural surroundings over the next while. The sights are sometimes astounding.
I did take these photographs…discovering a new place. I will be driving here often now and exploring, especially during this nesting season.