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Re: RFI Charlotte, NC (fwd); Powerline perchers; yard woodpeckers
- To: Carolinabirds@duke.edu
- Subject: Re: RFI Charlotte, NC (fwd); Powerline perchers; yard woodpeckers
- From: Joshua Stuart Rose <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2002 17:24:34 -0400 (EDT)
- Sender: email@example.com
In reply to Ritch Lilly's query, forwarded below is a list that Judy
Walker posted a few years ago. It appears to be oriented NORTH of
Charlotte, unfortunately not the direction Ritch was most interested in;
but maybe someone can compose and post a southerly alternative list...
As for oddball birds on powerlines, at the third annual Dragonfly Days
festival a few weeks ago, I saw a duck perched on a powerline! Black-
bellied Whistling-Duck, to be specific. Really funny-looking.
Added Hairy and Red-bellied Woodpecker to the new yard list today! The
Hairy was a fledgling of this year, with red over most of its cap, and was
"peek"ing at us as I took our cat for his first walk outside since we
moved. We were sad to hear that two large woodpecker-prone trees were
removed by neighbors from their yard just before we moved in, but
apparently there are still enough dead limbs and such around to draw some
Joshua S. Rose
Department of Biology (Zoology, R.I.P.)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 22 Nov 1997 13:28:23 -0500
From: Judy Walker <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Birding North of Charlotte (Long)
Quite a few people requested information about where we were birding near
Charlotte last weekend. Actually there are lots of good places to bird in
Charlotte but I have only included the areas we did last weekend. All these
locations can be done in one day as a loop from the UNC-Charlotte area
although I did not necessarily give directions as if one was doing a loop.
If you want that loop route let me know.
Birding the North Charlotte Area
UNIVERSITY CITY HILTON POND [W. T. Harris & Rt. 29 (North Tryon); exit 45
This is a man made pond in the middle of a rather large
shopping/hotel complex. But the numbers and variety of ducks on it in the
winter are very impressive. Regular winter species include canvasbacks,
ruddy ducks, ring-necks, scaup, redheads and of course grebes, coots and
mallards. Last year we had 2 oldsquaw for 2.5 weeks. It's a great place to
grab a bite to eat, sit down and study the ducks up close and personal.
FRANK LISLE PARK [Rt. 49 about 5 miles north of Harrisburg; turn left at
Although we did not go to this park last weekend it is another good
place to observe ducks up close and personal. We get the same species here
as at the University Pond. Also check out the large field with the antenna
in it and the brush along the railroad tracks. They are a good places for
winter sparrows - white crowns, siskens, tree, etc. Please park in
designated parking areas only. They get real up tight if you don't.
CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY [Rt. 29 just over the line into Cabarrus County]
This does not have any ponds but it is the best place to find
wintering horned larks, pipits and sometimes longspurs. Also if you know
your gulls you might be able to pull something unusual out of the BFI
landfill which is adjacent to the property.
CODDLE CREEK RESERVIOR [on Rt 73 just about 3 miles west of I-85. Take
Davidson/Rt 73 exit (I think it's ext 53)]
There are three places where you can look out over the water. DO
NOT disobey trespassing sign. The area is heavily patrolled. You can stand
outside the barriers on the road. For the first stop go west on Rt 73 from
I-85 to the first blinking light (you will pass 2 regular traffic lights)
at Macedonia Church Rd. Turn right and follow it to where it dead ends at
the lake. This gives you a good look at the main portion of the lake. There
are some marshy areas along the edge where you will find some of your
dabblers. The open water area is good for the diving ducks, loons, gulls,
and terns. Eagles and harriers have also been seen here. Check the fields
for sparrows and other open field songbirds.
To get to the second lookout go back to Rt. 73 and turn right to
continue west. About 1.5 miles on the right just as you come up a rise and
see the lake there is a pull off on your right. Make sure you pull off the
road. This can be tricky because there is a lot of traffic on the road.
This is the deepest part of the lake near the damn. Dabbling ducks can be
scoped along the reedy edges but mostly you will find the diving ducks,
gull, terns, loons, grebes, gulls and terns. During migration shorebirds
have been seen on the rocks.
To get to the third spot. Get back on Rt. 73 heading west. At the
first light (Pitts School Road) turn right. About a mile or so down the
road Pitts School Rd. makes a sharp left with another road continuing
straight, stay on this road (don't go left on Pitts School). This road will
end at a T with Mooresville Rd. Turn right and go about 1 mile. Just before
the birdge which goes over the north end of the lake there is a dirt road
on the right. Turn in there an park. This is probably the best place to see
the ducks from a closer range and study them. This is the shallower marshy
end of the lake so there are a lot of dabbling ducks - teal, wigeon,
pintails, shovelers, etc. But the diving ducks seem to like this end as
LAKE NORMAN [Rt. 73 west of I-77] For our Xmas count we patrol a
lot of the developments which have been built on the lake but the best
places to see birds and not get lost or run off is near the damn. Take exit
26 off of I-77 which is Sam Furr Rd./Rt 73 and head west for about 5 miles
until you see the sign for Duke Power's Energy Exploratorium (there will be
a light) and turn right. Contiune straight on this entrance road. You will
cross over a small canal and pass a now empty guardhouse. After you pass
the guardhouse bear to your left then take the next left into an unpaved
parking area. Go to the furthest end of the parking area to the point. You
will be looking out a the damn and the deepest part of the lake. Do not go
past the guide wire onto the grassy point where the osprey nest is. The No
Trespassing sign has disappeared but they still do not want you out there.
This is were you can see the greatest concentration of loons and grebes in
the winter. Mostly common and horned but we regularly have red throated
loons as well as some eared grebes. Bonapartes are common here as well.
Other diving ducks may also be seen including scoters, mergansers, ruddies,
etc. If you go back to the Exploritorium there is a nature trail which will
give you additional looks a other parts of the lake.
COWAN'S FORD WILDLIFE REFUGE [at the end of Neck Rd. off of Beatties Ford
From the Exploritorium on Lake Norman go back out to Rt. 73 and
turn left on Rt. 73 retracing your track about a mile to Beatties Ford Rd.
which will be the first major road on to your right. There is an older gas
station/convience store on the corner. Turn right. Go about 5-6 miles until
you see a wildlife watching sign (brown with binoculars) and a large stone
pillar on your right. Turn right at the sign onto Neck Rd. This is a little
tricky to see since you will be coming around a curve and the right turn
onto Neck Rd. is very sharp. Follow this road until it sort of Ts with the
paved road going to the right and a dirt road going to the left. This will
be after the water treatment plant on the right and an old stone graveyard
on your left. I believe there is another wildlife viewing sign at the T.
Follow the dirt road to the end where there a small shelter over looking
two small ponds. What you will see here will depend on the water level of
the ponds and the time of year. In the winter diving birds such as hooded
mergansers, ruddies, buffleheads, etc. can be found. During migration a
variety of shorebirds will show up in small numbers. In spring and summer
there are grasshopper sparrows. Back up the road in the scrubby area
prairie warblers can be found. This is a protected area and you are not
allowed off the road without an official guide. So DO NOT going wondering
around the area.
This is only a description of the most easily accessible areas (and
easiest to describe in an email message) to look for birds in the area
immediately north of Charlotte. They are by no means the only areas. If you
are going to be in the area and want more detailed directions, suggestions
of additional spots and/or someone to go with you give me a call. If I
can't go I am sure I can find someone who can. My number is 704-547-2559
(W) or 704-537-8181 (H).