Ron Shields of Kearny photographed this Osprey eating a fish dinner on March 17 of this year.
Jim Wright, who keeps this blog for the Meadowlands Commission, also writes a twice-monthy column for the South Bergenite. Here's his latest, on Ospreys.
For bird-lovers, there are four guaranteed signs of spring in the Meadowlands: killdeer, tree swallows, great egrets and ospreys.
The killdeer arrived near DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst in mid-February. The tree swallows followed suit two weeks later. On Saturday, March 16, came the first great egret.
Then, last week, came perhaps the best news of all. Photographer Ron Shields e-mailed me to say that he had seen his first osprey of the year – eating a fish on top of a pole on Disposal Road, not far from DeKorte Park.
Ron’s comment: “I believe that's a white perch on the menu.” [See the accompanying photo].
As far as we know, this particular osprey did not stick around. But several sure did last spring, including a pair that successfully nested on a nesting platform on Berry’s Creek along Valley Brook Avenue. It was the first time in several decades that ospreys had successfully nested in Lyndhurst.
The story continues below.
The Rules Committee has been asked whether the Red-necked Grebe in West Hudson Park can be counted as part of the Meadowlands Big Year.
After much deliberation, we have decided that it is up to you. If you feel comfortable counting a bird that is technically not in the district, that's fine. After all, we certainly didn't mind posting all these wonderful images of said grebe, like this one by Ron Shields.
However, if you saw the bird from Harrison, not Kearny, then it is tough noogies — unless the bird was in Kearny when you were in Harrison. Sorry you asked?
We have plenty of nifty nature events on tap for April, beginning with a DeKorte Park bird walk at 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 7. The park should be open until 3:30 p.m. that day.
Our Third-Tuesday walk is in Harrier Meadow. Both events are sponsored by the Meadowlands Commission and the Beregn County Audubon Society (BCAS).
We are also hosting the BCAS' Birding for Beginners series on three Sunday afternoons in the Marshview Pavilion at DeKorte Park.
Full listings follow.