Dennis Puleston Osprey Cam
Message Board
2004 Season



Season Summaries





  — Archive

  — 2009 Season

  — 2008 Season

  — 2007 Season

  — 2006 Season

  — 2005 Season

  — 2004 Season

  — 2003 Season


  — 2009 Message Board

  — 2008 Message Board

  — 2007 Message Board

  — 2006 Message Board

  — 2005 Message Board

  — 2004 Message Board

  — Search Message Board



  — Guest Book World Map



Thread subject: Saturday at Wertheim
Name Date Message
Cecilia 05/03/04 10:45 am W.O.W...stands for "Wertheim is Osprey World" :-)

What a treat is was to see this incredible sanctuary from the water!

I wish that I could take everyone of you out to see the Carmens River and Wertheim from the vantage point of a canoe. We were surrounded by ospreys and the river is teeming with wildlife.

Wertheim is one of the best kept secrets on Long Island as far as we can tell; the first we had ever heard of it was when I stumbled on the osprey cam last year. It is an amazing slice of wilderness in the middle of some of Long Island's most developed areas. Once we got on the water, and far enough from Sunrise Hgwy. not to hear the traffic anymore, we never saw another human being or house. I imagine that this might change, if you are on the river closer to the Great South Bay, but where we were there was nothing but water, pants and animals.

The river meanders through several miles of seemingly pristine wetlands. The reeds are a golden wheat color (this time of year) and are at least 8 feet tall. The river bottom is dark brown and it was only 1 to 3 feet deep for most of our trip. When you see how dark it is, it is easier to imagine how ospreys can see the fish from up so high. Flounder and trout must look silvery against that dark background. The whole area smells "rich" good compost or the garden after it rains.

The weather turned out to be stayed partly cloudy and even looked like it might rain at one point. The wind, as we all know from watching Betty and Dennis, was relentless. We were paddling into it for 2 hours but consoled ourselves by thinking that at least we would have it behind us on the way back to the dock. Of course nothing on the water is ever that easy...on the way back we had to fight the tide going out :-)

But it was worth every minute of work! We were escorted by ospreys almost the entire time we were on the water. They were flying over us, sitting in trees, diving for fish, landing on nests and riding the thermals. Sometimes there were 4 in the sky at a time making big loops and swoops around each other, obviously just enjoying the moment.

We saw two ospreys fly right overhead carrying fish, head forward just as we have read. Then, as we were paddling through one particularly wide open area, we watched an osprey make a fantastic dive. He hovered and dropped a little a couple of times and then suddenly folded his wings, turned head to the water and went down like a rocket. At the very last second he pulled his head up and hit the water feet first. One or two beats later he was flapping really hard (and not terribly gracefully) and he headed back up, empty handed (taloned?). It was so exciting! We kept hoping to see one actually catch a fish but that turned out to be the only attempt we saw all day. Something to look forward to on our next visit!

I was tickled to add two birds to my Life List...a Belted Kingfisher and, I think, a pair of Northern Pintail ducks. We also saw 4 turtles (one the size of a large dinner plate) and a gorgeous little brown and green frog, along with all of the very common wetland birds. Oh, and a muskrat...a big muskrat...swam along side of us for a couple of minutes and then just seemed to evaporate into the muck. He was not pretty :-)

We didn't make it as far as "our" nest...too much wind and cold (May is pretty early to be that close to the ocean). But the Wertheim nest is right next to the 3/4 mile trail that circles out from the parking lot. We walked the loop with Mickey, and his friend John, and got to see both of the parents on that nest fly around and land just 25 feet above us. That path winds by ponds and inlets and ends at a lovely wooden observation platform built on the edge of the wetlands. If you live any where near Long Island you should try to come and take that walk. It is such a delight to be able to hear 4 or 5 ospreys calling, chirping and whistling while you amble through peaceful, verdant woods.

I took some pictures but found that my digital camera was agonizingly slow to capture anything moving. By the time the shutter would click the birds were generally in the next county :-) I did take pictures of the river and some of the plant life so that you could get a sense of the habitat that Betty and Dennis fish in and fly over.

It was so nice to put a face to the "voice" of Mickey after a year of postings. I know he told us a little about himself on the Message Board but you have to meet him to really appreciate his wicked sense of humor and deep love for animals and all things natural. I definitely think we should plan an Osprey Cam Reunion for all of us in the fall!

Mickey is going to tell me how to Post the photos on his community site. I'll let you know when they are available.

Sorry this is so long but I wanted to try to give those of you who live far away a mental picture of where "our" birds live. If you decide to go canoeing or kayaking there I suggest that you put in at the boat rental place that is right on the highway, by the bridge. They charge you $5.00 to use their dock and park but it is worth it because the Government dock is a looooong way from the water and doesn't have bathrooms.

Regards, Cecilia
RonS 05/03/04 12:02 pm Cecilia,
Thanks for a great post!! Do you know the name of the boat rental place, and if they rent canoes? You might be responsible for this outta shape bird voyeur getting some much needed excercise. LOL
Cecilia 05/03/04 12:03 pm Cecilia, your words were beautifully descriptive. I really could "picture" it. Thanks for taking the time for sharing with us your wonderful adventure.
Mickey 05/03/04 12:08 pm WOW ! It sounds like you both had a nice paddle.Im very jealous! After we left you having lunch,John and I went over to Beaver Dam Road. At the dead end (East) is a put in for canoe or kyacks and its free. Its only about 1/4 of a mile paddle South to the DPOF nest. We rushed back up to tell you but you had already put in :(
Lets not wait till the fall to all meet. :)
Shelley 05/03/04 12:19 pm Cecilia, what WONDERFUL post!!! Thank you so much for this! I felt as if I were right there with you (but without the anxiety that grips me when I'm actually ON the water --I'm a non-swimmer and rather water-phobic ;-))

I would love to meet you all someday. Fall sounds like a beautiful time to be there but would we see as many birds? Do osprey migrate or do they stick around all year? Come to think of it, I don't know.........

Thanks again for this glimpse of true wildlife and the natural beauty of Wertheim. You paint a vivd picture with your words.
Cecilia 05/03/04 12:52 pm Cecilia, your words were beautifully descriptive. I really could "picture" it. Thanks for taking the time for sharing with us your wonderful adventure.
Celeste 05/03/04 12:54 pm This is Celeste, and I am trying to do too many things in between sneaking a peek at the computer on my day off....not once but twice I posted the above message about Cecilia's words being so descriptive. So sorry.
Cecilia 05/03/04 12:56 pm Ron S, The rental place is: Glacier Bay Sports, located at 2979 Montauk Hgwy. I think their phone number is: 631-286-0567 but double check that with a phone book if you don't get an answer. I tried it today and there wasn't even a machine but they probably take Monday and Tuesday off this time of year.

Shelly, Yes! the ospreys do migrate - I think they left in Sept. and Oct. last year. Early September is probably the best time to visit because the osprey population could, potentially, be double, because of all the chicks. Plus the weather on Long Island in September can be the nicest of the year. Warm and dry, not muggy like August. By October the fall migration is well underway and this is a great place to see birds heading south. A place like Wertheim is probably visited by many birds as they stop to rest for a day or two.

You've seen Niagra, now come see the real jewel of New York state...Long Island :-)
Kathy 05/03/04 03:17 pm Cecilia, you had me at "W O W". As I continued reading it got better and better. It was like a
nature program in my head and I wanted to "see" and "hear" more.
Great Post!!
Jack 05/03/04 03:18 pm Cecilia............. Let me add my name to the list of us that appreciated your beautiful decription of your day on the Carman's River. I think it would be so wonderful if we all could meet at the refuge some day to enjoy what it has to offer together
Lori 05/03/04 08:00 pm Cecelia I am so glad you had a wonderful trip! Wertheim and the Carmens river is beautiful; I've always know it --- but you described it much better than I ever could. Enjoy
Cecilia 05/04/04 02:14 pm Thanks for the nice comments! I'm so happy that you all enjoyed the "travelog" of our day at Wertheim. I've posted the pictures at:
Member name: Osprey2004

Copyright © 2004 DPOF

Tom Throwe
Last modified: Fri Dec 31 23:49:43 EST 2004