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Spring Weekend Part II: Craven and Carteret County
- To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com>
- Subject: Spring Weekend Part II: Craven and Carteret County
- From: "Wallace, Heather" <Heather_Wallace@earthtech.com>
- Date: Tue, 1 May 2001 06:03:35 -0700
- Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
As I mentioned earlier (in "Part I") I shared a fabulous spring weekend of
birding with a friend from Virginia, and day two of our adventure was spent
almost entirely within the Croatan National Forest in Carteret and Craven
Our morning began on Billfinger Road (FSR 147) where the dawn chorus was
nearly deafening. Barely off the pavement of HWY 101, we were treated to
innumerable WHITE-EYED VIREOS, RED-EYED VIREOS, NORTHERN PARULAS,
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLERS, PROTHONOTARY WARBLERS, OVENBIRDS, GREAT-CRESTED
FLYCATCHERS, ACADIAN FLYCATCHERS, EASTERN WOOD-PEEWEES, SUMMER TANAGERS, and
Farther down the road a GREAT-HORNED OWL pair were dueting. The serenade
continued and eventually we turned right onto FSR 169. We were in search of
SWAINSON'S WARBLER, and we heard two!! Never got a good look at either of
the little buggers, but we watched and waited for a good thirty minutes. At
the end of the road we decided to hop the gate and walk to a shrubby area in
search of a Kentucky Warbler. No luck. We did scare up three WILD TURKEYS
who quickly ran ahead of us down the dirt road. (Watching a Gallinacious
bird run always reminds me of a dinosaur.) A BARRED OWL called in the
distance for several minutes.
Next we ventured out to Old Winberry Road (SR 1155) and Mill Creek Road (SR
1154) where we saw a beautiful male BLUE GROSBEAK, several ORCHARD ORIOLES,
and a BLACK VULTURE still perched in a snag waiting for a thermal. Further
down the road at Merchant's Millpond we were greeted by an OSPREY nesting in
plain view. In the vicinity of the pond we also picked up EASTERN
MEADOWLARK, PRAIRIE WARBLER, BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER, and AMERICAN
Heading slightly northwest to Millis Road (SR 1112, FSR 128). What a unique
spot!! Here we managed to find several BACHMAN'S SPARROWS, RED-COCKADED
WOODPECKERS, tons of PINE WARBLERS, PRAIRIE WARBLERS, EASTERN TOWHEES,
BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCHES, and another SWAINSON'S WARBLER. Many of the
species we had already seen were present as well in the wetter deciduous
areas, including our first HOODED WARBLER for the day (as we were just about
to give up on them).
By this point we were pretty hungry, but still fired up for more great
birds. So we made our way to Morehead City for an early lunch (mmmm,
shrimpburgers!). Moving on to Beaufort, we stalked a male PAINTED BUNTING
near the airport. Don't these birds remind you of something found on a
kindergarten art class bulletin board?
Quickly to Atlantic Beach and Fort Macon.... more PAINTED BUNTINGS were
found near the main parking area and along the Elliot Cous trail.
WHITE-EYED VIREOS, RED-EYED VIREOS, and CAROLINA WRENS continued to sing. A
flock of 15 WHITE IBIS flew overhead.
At this point we were still psyched about the birds, but tired of being in
the car. A quick scan of carrot island from the Morehead City waterfront
yielded FORESTER'S TERN, COMMON TERN, ROYAL TERN, GREAT EGRET, and a large
flock of BLACK SKIMMERS on the point. High tide didn't help our shorebird
A stop by my parents' house in Riverdale found a pair of BROWN-HEADED
NUTHATCHES making good use of a Bluebird box.
Thanks to those of you who helped direct me to the most productive areas for
a few target species, and to John Fusell for writing such an informative
book for birders!!
Biologist, Earth Tech
701 Corporate Center Dr.
Raleigh, NC 27607