Falcon!  The Merlin.
 
This small raptor is slightly bigger than our American kestrel.
I am used to seeing a few merlins each winter at Jordan Lake.
But, oh my, this morning at the dam, a merlin came in and made my day shine!!!
Note that in the last picture he was quickly leaving me and my camera behind.
Like all falcons the merlin is a speedy raptor!!
 
 
 

a different aggression
 
I have seen eagles chase ospreys and other eagles, trying to get their fish.
I have seen fledgling ospreys chase each other trying to get the other’s fish.
Today I watched 2 adult male ospreys, over the Haw River, below the dam, get into a chase.
I don’t know what started the chase.  
There is not an osprey nest anywhere close by the dam so I don’t think nest protection was the basis.
These two tumbled and rolled and screamed above the riprap and up and out over the dam toward the lake.
You never know what you will see at Jordan Lake!
 
 
 
 

First Nest
 
The lake level was so high that I could not see the nest.
The sky was sunny, but I was not because I wanted to see the chicks branching.
I had turned around to go back to my truck when a shadow blew past me.
Not a sound had been made in the cove. Yet, here was Kate at a high speed heading for the nest.
She didn’t have a fish.  She did look angry.
Into the branches around the nest Kate disappeared.
No sounds. I waited another 30 minutes then had to leave, wondering why the dash to the nest.
 
 

 
First Nest
 
The pine pollen has not abated and the lake level has risen.
Both situations make watching the nests a difficult task.
 
Oh what a determined face as Caramel contemplates maybe making a try for the other side of the nest.
 
Uh, maybe I ought to think some more about heading across the nest.
 
 
I wonder if that human down there has noticed me.
 
As if you haven’t seen enough pollen this week … this is what the lake looked like this morning!