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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:

Osprey Update

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 …

Marsh

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.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Big osprey nest gone??!!! 😦 I hope BGE had an empty nest if they or whoever else dismantled it. We had an osprey nest last year on a Kent Narrows channel marker that was so big it eventually began to cover the flashing light. DNR waited until the young had fledged a couple weeks and then dismantled it for obvious boat safety reasons. The osprey family still could and did return to the marker to hang and meet up the rest of the season til migration so it was fine for them, they still had their ‘home’. They returned this year and have a whole new nest with young already, I just hope they don’t get all architectural and go big again!

    Sounds like momma was feeding her brood at the Rt 40 nest! 🙂

    June 2, 2012
  2. I’m hoping it was empty but it was so big it’s hard to tell. I’m trying to get a picture of the little canopies they installed to prevent any kind of nesting.
    Will be checking on nests again today!

    June 2, 2012

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