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Falls Lake birding

    Bert Fisher, Leto Copeley, and I paid a visit to most of the "major"
shorebirding areas of upper Falls Lake today (Sunday). Migration is
definitely underway and with the dry weather, there's lots of great
habitat at the lake. Here's what we found:

Redwood Road RR trestle - This was our last stop and by far the most
productive of the day. A great deal of excellent habitat can be accessed
by walking down the exposed bank of the river  from the trestle toward
I-85. The view from the tracks is not as good as in past years since the
low water level means that the flats close by are quite dry.
Solitary Sandpiper -8
Spotted Sandpiper -12
Semipalmated Sandpiper -40
Least Sandpiper -20
Dowitcher -2
Greater Yellowlegs -9
Lesser Yellowlegs -2
Pectoral Sandpiper -15
Semipalmated Plover -7
Stilt Sandpiper -1
Killdeer - many

Will Suitt Rd-
As Will Cook noted in a previous posting, things are dry at this site
but plenty of good habitat is available. Shorebirds, except for
Killdeer, were few.

Olive Grove Church Rd-
This area has yet to reach its full potential. Some sandbars and flats
have emerged and a few birds including a Semipalmated Plover and a
couple of Least Sandpipers were present. For those of you unfamiliar
with this excellent spot, it can be reached by taking the Creedmore exit
from I-85north and turning right. Turn right onto Will Suitt Rd and
follow it on past the parking area for the birding spot noted just
above. You will cross one road at a stop sign and then turn right at the
next paved intersection which is Olive Grove Church Rd. Park where the
road ends and walk straight ahead to a power line easement. Turn right
and follow the power lines to the lake. Walk to your left along the
shore until you round a point. Much shorebird habitat should be before
you at this point. If you continue along the shore you will fairly
quickly reach a point at which you can view the swimming beach at
Rolling View Recreation Area in the distance across the lake.

Cheek Rd Bridge-
Some mudflats have developed on the north side of the bridge, but the
lake level will have to drop a bit more before extensive flats are

Les Todd
Durham, NC