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Morehead City CBC--summary

The Morehead City, NC CBC was held on Sunday, December 15th.

Weather was good--the best in years, and coverage was good as well.  It
was a lot of fun.  Most observers found one or more rare species.  The
total species count, about 165, was very good.

The rarest species, by far, was a Long-billed Murrelet, which was seen
by Eric Dean, Sharon Funderburk, and Tommy Wade, in the ocean off Fort
Macon SP in the early afternoon.

Other truly rare species were 3 Sandhill Cranes (probably the same 3
found last year), a Selasphorus hummingbird, Nashville Warbler, Northern
Waterthrush, and a Loggerhead Shrike (a species not seen in the area in
about 20 years).

Other nice finds were:  at least 3 Bald Eagles (a species that has been
rare in the circle), Peregrine Falcons at several sites (including
perched on a tower in downtown Morehead), Wild Turkeys, Black Rail,
Wilson's Plovers, several Piping Plovers (including 2 banded ones)
Whimbrel, 2 Barn Owls (a species that has been hard to find in recent
years), several Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, White-breasted Nuthatches
(which continue to increase in the area),  Blue-gray Gnatcatcher,
Prairie Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Painted Bunting, Clay-colored
Sparrow, and White-crowned Sparrow.

As usual, several waterfowl species were missed (a traditional problem
on this count), and no Red-breasted Nuthatches or winter finches were

The previously reported albinistic Black-crowned Night-Heron was seen

In the early morning, my group was exposed to someone who has to be the
dog-calling champion of the world (and we'd thought the hunting dogs
were noisy).  I bet that guy could call up a Barred Owl in seconds flat.

Count week but not count day birds were Green Heron, Spotted Sandpiper,
and White-eyed Vireo.

John Fussell
Morehead City, NC

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