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Sasanoa River, Maine

July 18, 2010

One of the osprey chicks at the osprey cam nest in Woolwich fledged this morning, so Charlie and I decided to have lunch there and see if we could see the fledgling (click for details). And since we were in the neighborhood, we decided to check the Sasanoa River nests as well. It was a much better visit than the last one, when we thought the osprey nest might have failed (click for details).

We started on the bridge, which generally offers the best view of the osprey nest. And it looked like Mom osprey was sitting at the front of the nest - and behind her, almost blending in with the tree - was a large, healthy looking chick! (All pictures click larger.)

Sasanoa osprey

A couple more views of the chick - since we'd waited so long to see it

Sasanoa osprey

Sasanoa osprey

Then we noticed one of the adults, perched down below the nest, maybe fishing.

Sasanoa osprey

And as we were editing the pictures for this report, we had our next surprise - we could see more of the feathers on the osprey in the front - and discovered that it had the white-tipped feathers of a chick, rather than the solid dark feathers of an adult - it looks as if there are two chicks! It's hard to see the feathers of the second chick in this picture even when you click it to full size, but I think they're there - and I know that adults don't lie down in nests unless they are incubating or brooding - once the chicks are this size, they perch nearby.

Sasanoa osprey

We took a quick look at the eagle nest and saw that the eaglet was home, so decided to head down to the riverbank so we could get a few pictures of her(?). But before we left the bridge, when we had been looking around for the newly fledged osprey chick at the osprey cam nest at the Taste of Maine Restaurant in Woolwich (click for details), we noticed a bird that might be an eagle or osprey out on a rock - and discovered that rock was also visible from the bridge - so we took a couple of pictures to compare with those from the other angle (even with binoculars, we weren't sure what we were seeing).

First, we saw some of the ducks we'd seen from the other nest.

ducks in Sasanoa River

And while we couldn't tell until we got home and downloaded the pictures to the computer - it looked to be a juvenile eagle - and not the same bird we'd seen from the Taste of Maine!

Sasanoa eagle

As we were leaving the bridge, we noticed an osprey perched on the other side which flew towards the top of the bridge, so we think it might be one of the pair that seems to be thinking about nesting up there. And we're quite certain we saw an eagle circling high above, though it mostly looks like a spot in the pictures.

When we arrived at the riverbank, we found the eaglet looking very comfortable, on the perch that sticks up from the nest, where the adult had been a couple of weeks before.

Sasanoa eagle

We decided to clamber over the rocks a little bit to see if we'd be able to see the rock with what turned out to be a young eagle on it if we went nearer the end of the point (we couldn't). But we did have a better view of the nest, so decided to take a few more pictures - and had surprise number 3:

Sasanoa eagles

There were two eaglets!

Now that I know there are two, I looked back through the last few reports, and can see the second one lying down in the pictures from June 27, and I think both may be standing up, one in front of the other, in the last picture from July 4. But at the time, we only had a clear view of one.

And we're now thinking that the juvie we saw down on the rock was likely one of this pair.

It did occur to us that one of the adults should be nearby - and we did indeed spot one perched in the trees in sight of the nest. Unfortunately that picture isn't sharp enough to see the adult. But we did also get this - and that might be an eagle flying in the upper corner:

Sasanoa eagles

And we'll end with something completely different and a whole lot smaller: