Exactly one year ago, Westport was all aflutter over a pair of ospreys.
Every spring, the magnificent raptors return “home.” They build nests at Longshore, Sherwood Mill Pond — and, most visibly, on a utility pole between Fresh Market and Terrain.
Last year though, Regency Centers — the owner of the property — suddenly removed the pole.
It took awhile to untangle who exactly did the deed — the management company or a sub-contractor (who claimed falsely to be Audubon Society workers). They also lacked the required permit from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
Then we found out that the illegal osprey nest removal was done prior to Planning & Zoning Commission approval for parking lot renovation work.
A year later, the parking lot project is still underway.
But — as Westport hungers for a bit of good news in the midst of a brutal pandemic — we’ve got some.
The ospreys are back!
Eagle-eyed “06880” reader Carolyn Doan — who took these magnificent photos — reports, “They are doing their mating ritual. She calls out to him from the nest. He brings her food, and sits in a nearby tree. Sometimes he helps tidy up a bit.
“The construction guys who are there love to talk about them,” Carolyn adds. “They fill us in about the activities — what food the male is bringing in (mice, fish), which trees he likes to keep watch in, when she calls out. It’s very sweet.”
Meanwhile though — because every silver lining has a cloud — there is this, from equally alert “06880” reader Dick Stein:
The last tree standing at the Fresh Market shopping plaza was cut down on Wednesday.
The 80-year-old oak sat on state property. The town of Westport had no say.
A new sidewalk is being installed in its place.