Winter gives way to Spring in New Jersey

Winter has receded and Spring has sprung in central New Jersey, and we’re seeing the changing of the guard in the birds that frequent these parts. Warblers are starting to arrive, although I have yet to get a confirmed sighting in my recent outings.

Who’s on the way out? White-throated sparrows and American tree sparrows will soon be gone. Within the last week I’ve seen just one of the latter and a few of the former, at the Mercer Meadows Pole Farm and at our main feeder at home. Dark-eyed juncos are gone from the parks but are lingering at the house, but won’t for long. Taking their places in abundance are my friends the field sparrows, one of whom sings out at the top of this post, and chipping sparrows.

At John A. Roebling Park at Trenton marsh, I was thrilled to see great egrets fly in for the first time in many months. An even greater treat at the park was to watch three Caspian terns flying over and diving into Spring Lake. They are infrequent visitors in Mercer County.

After finally finding the parking lot, I paid my first call to the Millstone River Impoundment in Princeton on Saturday. Although I didn’t see any warblers, I was able to see several recently returned double-crested cormorants and more great egrets.

A double-crested cormorant floats toward Lake Carnegie at the Millstone River Impoundment.

It’s a wonderful time of year, and the variety of birds will be increasing in the coming weeks as the great migration heats up. I look forward to it.

As the moon recedes shortly after sunrise, a red-winged blackbird sings its raucous song at the Mercer Meadows Pole Farm.

Published by Dan

University media executive by day, blogger by night, I am a well-traveled resident of New Jersey

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