Spring is here

March 19, 2024

Spring has arrived in coastal North Carolina. Trees are in full bloom, patches of Carolina Jessamine exude their a beautiful aroma, and pollen covers everything. It's also time when birds are on the move.  Waterfowl left early this year.  It's often said that most ducks leave on the first full moon in March; this year it was the last full moon in February...or thereabouts.  While there's still a few ducks around, most have departed for the north.  Shorebirds and seabirds are arriving from their overwintering areas.  The northern breeders will stick around for a short period before leaving on their next leg of migration.  It's a good time to get out and enjoy everything the season brings.

I spent a morning this week on a creek near my house.  The Ospreys that nest nearby were back and staking out their nesting sites.  A Bald Eagle entered their space and was not welcomed.  The Ospreys harassed the eagle until it had no choice except to leave the area.  Laughing Gulls were back in great numbers, very vocal as usual, and getting the black hoods.  I focused my lens on a less dramatic but very interesting shorebird -- Greater Yellowlegs.  These medium-large shorebirds are migrating along the Atlantic coast on their way to breeding areas in boreal forest wetlands. While their population is often listed as "stable" a new study suggests that the species has declined by more than 40% between 1980 and 2019.


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