Season’s end

Empty osprey platform at Horseshoe Cove, Sandy Hook

I’ve been so out of it this summer that I missed spending any time with the local ospreys and before too long they’ll be gone south for the season until late March.

There’s a pair that nests on a cell phone tower here in town and mostly I watch them while stopped at the railroad tracks that pass beneath their nest. I don’t see much besides an osprey-shaped shadow perched high up, but I’m glad to have them so easily within view. I tried a few times to photograph them from the parking lot nearby, but they always seemed to be off fishing when I was there with the camera. I see the pair though, and their young from my yard once in a while. Their calls stream down from above and I think myself blessed to have osprey as a yard bird.

My favorite nests to watch are the platforms on the marshes at Sandy Hook – especially at sunset. It wouldn’t take much to convince me to set up a home with such a pretty view! I don’t know that this or the other platform at Horseshoe Cove were used this year – the birds seem to have some mysterious preference for Spermacetti Cove or the chimneys on Officer’s Row instead.

I always miss the osprey when they go. What birds do you miss the most when the season changes?

19 thoughts on “Season’s end”

  1. Arctic Terns and Hawks. Arctic Terns always seem so spasticly graceful. Hawks outline in the sky always makes you look up and stare.

  2. I’m currently missing the RB Grosbeaks that learned to come to the stick-on feeders on our windows. It was so nice to see them for much of the summer. They moved on elsewhere sometime over the past month.

  3. I don’t so much miss birds when they go, as notice when they return. Due to our warm climate, there’s just not such a big change in wildlife as you folks up north have.

    Dan says he thinks the big tree in our backyard is home to an osprey. I haven’t seen it, but it would be pretty cool if it were true.

  4. I miss the chimney swifts, I think largely because they come and go on such a regular schedule. Every year they appear over my house within a few days of May 1st, and just about September 1st, they are gone. I blew it this year and forgot to pay attention to their departure. Now they’re gone, I didn’t say goodbye, and it will be such a long time before they come back.

  5. I’d LOVE to have ospreys nearby. I have to go to Maryland to see them in the spring and summer.

    I will undoubtedly miss the hummingbirds. It’s difficult for me to realize they’ll be gone in a few weeks…

  6. I miss the song of the wood thrush. Their song is a constant presence during the time they are here, and the woods seem a lot quieter when they leave.

    Carolyn H.

  7. Such a lovely evocative sunset photo.
    As for birds I miss, since we either don’t have exotic ones, or I don’t see/hear them–I’ll settle for robins. They are the harbingers of spring, so their departure must be the harbinger of fall.

  8. Great photo, Laura.
    Even though they are annoying, cranky, and loud, I am always excited when the mockingbirds so up in the spring. We still have them here now, but they have grown very quiet, and will soon be gone. It seems to me that they interact with people more than most birds.

  9. So many have left already….catbird, brown thrasher, field & song sparrows….and when I’m home on the weekends and out early in the morning I realize there’s just not much singing anymore. I miss them all except for the grackles!

  10. Dave: Yep, I miss the terns too.

    Z: I look forward to those common birds – don’t see very much of them during the breeding season.

    Jean: Hi! The hummers… I don’t see enough of them during the summer.

    Lynne: Yes! The house wrens just vanish! I haven’t heard one for weeks, but lately the Carolina’s are very loud.

    Bev: Oh you’re lucky to see them! Do you get Evening Grosbeaks too?

    Bunnygirl: Oh that would be something!

    Delia: Me too, but this summer I had chipping sparrows nesting and they were fun.

    Mojoman: Hi! They’re another bird that just seems to vanish before we realize it.


    Mary: I would love to hear how late you have them.

    Carolyn: I think you’re so lucky to have that cabin with them singing nearby. Do you ever see Hermit thrushes later than expected?

    KGMom: The robins are still around – just hanging out in the woods where the berries are. I love that first day in Spring when we see them out on the lawn!

    Sandy: I love the mockers too. They’re very noisy in the neighborhood lately – guarding berries for the fall, maybe.

    Monarch: Yea – I missed so many warblers this spring.

    RuthieJ: I think the grackles are fun for a while – until they and the starlings wear out their welcome!

  11. I don’t really miss birds because I’ve watched them so much by the time they’re gone. I do look forward to their return.I will be looking forward to the song of the Wood Thrush next spring.

  12. beautiful photo, Laura. It hums with “farewell.”

    Can’t say I miss any particular bird; I’m not that attuned to them. In any case, I know they return, and that’s enough.

  13. I miss the catbirds most, they are the most friendly of the folk that visit our little wooded haven in the middle of suburbia. It’s not uncommon to have one light on the end of the patio table when we’re sitting there and hang out for a while. They follow me around when I’m working in the gardens and around the outside of the house. The seem truely curious as to what’s going on. I once read that the Lenne Lanape believed they were the souls of the departed, come to visit the living, sometimes I believe they are right.

  14. Larry: I think you make a good point, in that there’s always some birds to be found year round.

    TDharma: Yea – there’s a comfort to that, like knowing the cherry trees will bloom again.

    Gregor: Nice to see you!

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that Lenni Lenape legend, but I like it and the ideas it gives me. The catbirds ARE friendly (and friendlier still if you offer them a bit of grape jelly now and again).

    I used to spend a lot more time in the shady part of the garden where they like to hang out in the tangles, so I miss their company.

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