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scissor-tailed watch

Dear Carolinabirders,

Although I was unsuccessful finding companion to go to look for the
flycatcers, yesterday I was able to go to Monroe. The directions were very
good, it is easy to find the place. I was there around 7:15 AM, and stayed
till 10 o'clock. 
 The first "wire-bird" I actually saw was a lovely Loggerhead shrike. Later
I saw 2 shrikes perching on the wires. Back to the flycathers,first it was
hard to see the nest, actually I found it only after I saw the male sitting
on the tower next to it. A hint: watch where the tower has the smallest
diameter in that corner which is closest to the road. From the incubating
female all I could see was the head and the tail feathers. However, the
male was preening showing the beautiful pink underwings. Also, there was a
big flock of starling perched on that tower, and the male flycatcher
attacked the starlings that were too close to the nest a couple of times
with fluttering wings and fanned tail-feathers - it is quite a sight!
Than around 8 the female left and flew out of sight whereas the male was
sitting next to the nest, or on the rim, but I never saw the male actually
sitting into the nest. When the female returned the male flew out hunting.
They both always headed into the same direction. I never saw them sitting
elsewhere than the tower around the nest. Also I never saw the male feeding
the female. As the hours passed by the hunting excursions for the male
became longer and longer, and the female almost disappeared in the nest.
However, even the waiting periods offered some good birdwatching. I saw
altogether 24 species from that spot at the small cemetery, including a
male Blue Grosbeak, a singing first year male Orchard Oriole, and numerous
Cliff Swallows hunting overhead. The only disadvantage was that lighting
was pretty bad in the morning, probably late afternoon would offer the best
view. Also a scope would have been an advantage. All in all it was a treat!

good birding!

Ferenc Domoki
Winston-Salem, NC