There is a robust population of breeding Western Ospreys Pandion haliaetus in this area, many of whom have now left for their southern wintering haunts. Some juveniles, still dependent on their parents to provide food, still remain however, with at least one dutiful parent staying to make sure its offspring is provisioned.
I have been watching this young bird for several days and when I see it in the early morning it calls incessantly, begging for food.
The adult (I believe it is a male) perches on a distant snag, usually with a fish in its talons, quite visible I am sure to the agitated and hungry youngster.
This morning there was a strange twist to the usual sequence of events. A Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura glided in and seemed to buzz the osprey. The deliberate intent of the vulture became clear as it repeated the action, and the osprey became extremely agitated and screamed and flapped vigorously, food forgotten for the moment it seemed. The Turkey Vulture kept up its harassment until the osprey had had enough and launched itself into the air and attacked the vulture. No longer able to crest on thermals the vulture had to resort to flapping flight and was clearly no match for the aerial agility of the osprey. It was soon seen off.
It was a great show to watch, but I was left puzzled by it, since neither bird represented any threat to the other.
Perhaps the adult was pleased with its offspring for minutes later it delivered a fish.
Soon the parent will leave and head south, leaving the young bird to start to catch its own food and migrate alone. The most difficult part of its young life is about to begin.
In the river a Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus was drying its wings; as the weather gets colder this species too will leave our area.
There is always a nice variety of species in the various wetlands around here and this scene looks especially tranquil with a number of species taking advantage of the rich source of food the wetland provides.
On 19 August I took this picture of Common Cattail Typha latifola.
Now, the flower head is popping open and fluffy seeds are dispersed by the wind, or carried by water, to new locations.
Numerous Viceroys Limenitis archippus were flitting about in the meadow, mainly patronizing Goldenrod as this picture shows.
Viceroys mimic the similarly marked Monarch Danaus plexippus as an anti-predator strategy. Monarchs are toxic to birds and are therefore left alone. Viceroys benefit from looking enough like a Monarch that birds pass them by too.