May Evening at Mariner Point Park & Osprey Update
A nature-filled evening with a walk at Mariner Point Park, a check on the osprey nests, and a stop at a marsh –
Mariner Point Park
I sensed a change in the diversity of “wildlife” at Mariner Point Park (MPP) since my last visit a few weeks ago. The theme tonite: insects, squirrels, insects, cardinals, and did I mention insects? on the ground, in the air, on the water.
MPP is a gem of a little park for observing and learning about nature. Its 38 acres include Chesapeake Bay wetlands along creeks that lead into the Gunpowder River, a central marshy plot thick with grasses and shrubs, a forested section with a wide diversity of trees, and an area that is undergoing reforestation.
This evening’s sightings include:
- a great blue heron
- an osprey carrying a fish back to its nest
- many squirrels; black squirrels are prevalent here & I’ve never seen them anywhere else. People feed them; now they’ll come up to you & beg. It’s very adorable. I haven’t been able to capture a pic of a black squirrel though
- rabbits, including young ones
- about a dozen cardinals, including a pair of baby ones
- a bluejay
- a few common grackles
- a European starling
- did not see, but heard mourning doves
- and there was a lot more chirping and tweeting that I can’t ID yet
Pictures are few tonite; my camera battery died. These give a sense of the diversity of the park:
My favorite tree:
Cardinals often line up on this railing; only one posed for me this time:
Since I was out & about, I headed up Rt. 40 to the Belcamp/Riverside area to check on the osprey nests I’m monitoring.
Some bad news – the big nest is gone! Totally dismantled. Looks like BGE installed little metal canopies on the arms of the electrical towers to prevent nesting.
Here’s a pic of the nest when it was still there:
The nest at the Leight Estuary Center is still sprawling across the top of the cell phone tower, but I didn’t see any activity.
Luckily, I saw both dad and mom osprey at the newest nest on Rt. 40. Dad was standing guard while mom was busy at something – her head and tail were bobbing up & down. Maybe there are babies …
A trip along Rt. 40 isn’t complete without a stop at the marsh across from Home Depot. The spot is a red-wing blackbird haven; I always see several there. A lone mallard caught my glance; otherwise, I didn’t spot anything else tonite.
I’m off work tomorrow. I hope to wake early enough to get somewhere to watch nature activity at sunrise.