Posted May 25, 2023
In February, I was asked to respond to an email from Alan Schwartz, a summer resident of Lydia’s Island Road, who had emailed the Wareham Land Trust (WLT) about an osprey nesting platform that had blown down in a storm. Alan said the pole and platform were put up by Eversource about 30 years ago, after a nest on a utility pole in the same area had caught fire, killing the osprey pair. Alan was hoping the land trust could help get the nest back up in time for the pair’s return in mid-March.
According to Alan, the old pole was on land under a conservation restriction with the Buzzard’s Bay Coalition (BBC). After visiting the site and determining that the old pole wasn’t salvageable, I reached out to Stuart Downie, Vice President, Outdoor Exploration for the BBC, who was already aware of the downed pole. We met at the property to scope out the pole location, then Stuart offered to work with Wareham Harbormaster Garry Buckminster to obtain a new pole and platform.
Garry took equipment and a crew to the site and got the pole and platform up just days before the pair’s expected arrival! Soon they were back and perching around near the new platform. You might be thinking “job well done”, but that’s not the end of the story!
Instead of building on the new platform, they were starting a nest on top of a nearby transformer!
I contacted Scott & Peggy Gray, Lydia’s Island Road residents and WLT members who said they had already contacted Eversource since they did not want another nest catching fire. When I emailed Garry, he said he would work with them to move the nest from the transformer onto the new platform.
It worked! Once the nest was moved, the pair began enlarging it on the new platform and soon they’ll be incubating their eggs. The next time you’re on Shell Point Beach, point your binoculars across the bay, to the right of the flagpole that looks like a mast. You’ll probably see one osprey on the perch and one in the nest.
I was happy and impressed with this team effort on the part of local osprey advocates. Everyone pitched in and now it’s up to the ospreys to fledge a successful brood of chicks from their new home. Hopefully they will return next year.
Written by Lori Benson, Wareham Land Trust Board of Advisors