This week it looks like the weather here has finally changed, hopefully for good, away from winter. Sunday it was still a bit brisk, but with the sun shining for much of the day the temps managed to get quite comfortable. I spent about 9 hours outside birding since the weather was so nice. I started out at Black Dog Lake, then moved across the river to the Old Cedar Avenue Bridge, then up the river to the Bass Ponds and then over to Wood Lake Nature Center. It was a very good day for birding and I got some got shots. I also saw a few firsts of the year for 2008. The most exciting of these was my first warbler of the year.
When we start to see warblers, here in Minnesota, then we know that spring is finally here. My first warbler of 2008 was the yellow-rumped warbler, which is probably the most common warbler that we see around here.
I spotted it at Wood Lake Nature Center in an area that I usually call Warbler Woods. This is a small wooded area that borders on their grassland area and it is usually the best place at Wood Lake to look for warblers.
The yellow-rumped warbler is the only warbler able to digest the waxes found in certain types of berries, such as wax myrtles and bayberries. This allows the yellow-rumped to winter further north then other warblers. It is probably also the reason why it is typically the last warbler that I see in the fall and the first warbler that I see in the spring time here in Minnesota.