Now this is a fine mess!

An unfortunate sailboat plays dining room for an osprey while he finishes his menhaden lunch.

We have surely mentioned it before, but the Chesapeake Bay is Ground Zero for Ospreys, aka “fish hawks.” They are far more common here than seagulls. Within site of where Harmonie is docked right now there are at least four nesting pairs preparing to raise this seasons chicks on the huge pile of sticks they call “home.” Their screeching cries are the common bird call here.

There are a few unfortunate boats that for one reason or another become a favorite perch for these fish eating machines. Guts, bones, fins, and other smelly debris rain down on deck… Yuck.

Other birds are more broadly welcome visitors. The marina has a large metal “tree” hung with gourds to attract nesting purple martins. Up until yesterday, the birds were conspicuous by their absence. Suddenly, the whole colony arrived at once in a chirping, bug eating, horde. Each pair claiming their own nesting gourd.

Fortunately for the purple martins, this neck of the woods has lots of bugs. Mostly non-biting midges that appear every evening in huge swarms, and a few scattered mosquitoes. On calm, windless evenings, (like last night) the evil, nasty, blood sucking no-see-ums can appear in horrifying numbers.

They look a lot like mosquitos, but are not. Midges swarm the dock lights.
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