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Sunday, September 9, 2012

The one that didn't get away

We've all heard of the one that got away -- this is about that one that didn't. This Osprey (seen at Little Estero) caught a big one; but, unfortunately, the fish proved to be too heavy to carry off to the Osprey's feeding perch. The osprey was caught in a quandry; stay exposed with its kill on the ground; or, abandon it and fly away. After much thought, it chose neither and tried to take off with the fish; wings beating powerfully, trying to gain altitude, fish firmly in talons. Finally, all it could manage was a big, low loop and he was back pretty much where he started.

Around the area there were typical birds of the season:

A spoonbill [left, seen at Bunche Beach] fed in the tidal pools left by the withdrawing waters at low tide; a little blue heron [upper right] did the same, but much more stealthily and with great cunning. A red knot, a global sandpiper, was found with a foraging flock at Little Estero.

Also at Bunche were the first arriving Piping Plover [right] that were seen among the ubiquitous sanderling [upper left] and black-bellied plover [lower left].

Completing the roundup of shorebirds were short-billed dowitchers [upper left and lower right], marbled godwit [upper right], western sandpiper [lower left] and ruddy turnstone.

As the Osprey found out, you can count on Nature to serve up surprises in coastal Southwest Florida!

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