Ospreys at the Naval Academy

I took another long hike yesterday morning down to the U.S. Naval Academy for some birding.  It was interesting to remember that the many times I was here before, when our Marine son and family lived there, I was not a birder.  So today, I walked some of the same routes I’ve taken in past years, past the grave of one my squadron commander (killed in North Vietnam) and by the apartments where the kids and their babies lived.  It was a pretty morning but the wind was tough and the Severn River had whitecaps.

I encountered a nice mix of waterfowl (ducks, grebes, gulls, cormorants) and birds (tree sparrows, starlings, mockingbirds, cardinals) as I made my way around the perimeter of the academy grounds.  Lots of young runners, older walkers, and patrolling campus security on a nice Maryland Sunday morning.)

As I neared the end of the walk on the southern edge, adjacent to Annapolis Harbor, I heard a gull crying overhead.  I’d seen a Greater Black-backed, a few Herring, and several Ring-billed gulls but couldn’t spot this one, which seemed right overhead.  I walked further and it was behind me — then I spotted the Osprey nest on a tall light tower and a juvenile begging for food.

This noisy juvenile was waiting for his parents.  It looks like an owl decoy on the platform as well -- not working too well.

This noisy juvenile was waiting for his parents. It looks like an owl decoy on the platform as well — not working too well.

One of the parents came back with a fish -- not this one.

One of the parents came back with a fish — not this one.

And the other parent just hovered over the scene in the stiff breeze, giving me some great looks.

And the other parent just hovered over the scene in the stiff breeze, giving me some great looks.

I did not attend the academy but through Robb and Mary’s work there, have come to appreciate it as a lovely, historic campus adjacent a neat little city.  As I expected, it’s a pretty decent birding site as well.  Hope to get back before we leave.

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