Saturday, March 15, 2008

First of Spring

"First of Spring" is a phrase you can expect to hear from me more often over the next few weeks, as spring migrants arrive in increasing numbers. This afternoon I saw two "first of spring"* birds at Manasquan Reservoir: an eastern phoebe near the maintenance yard and an osprey flying over the eastern dam. Other than that, the birds today were the usual late winter mixed flocks; yellow-rumped warblers, brown creepers, and golden-crowned kinglets were the highlights.

Manasquan Reservoir is better known among birders for an active bald eagle nest on the north side of the lake. The pair has nested at that site for several years now. This year, they have already hatched chicks. If you visit, the best way to view the nest is via a video screen in the park's nature center.

If you would like to watch a nest cam online, you can view happenings at a bald eagle nest and an osprey nest at Blackwater NWR in Maryland.

* I know astronomical spring starts next Thursday, but meteorological spring began March 1.