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Re: Red Crossbills @ Mt. Mitchell State Park

I had the restaurant concession at Mt. Mitchell State Park for 6 years and
lived on the Mountain from late April until early November, I have a home
below Mt. Mitchell at about 3,100 ft.  In 1997 I observed a Prarie Warbler
in October beside the restaurant for about a hour and from within 8 to 10
ft. He was still brightly marked and had the tail bobbing

There were questions about Black-Capped Chickadees, I would occasionally
hear and see Carolina Chickadees but 2 years occasionally heard and
identified Black-Capped Chickadees, the sound was very distinctive but I did
not find them every year.

Red Crossbills, I always kept a salt block beside the restaurant which
attracted Red Crossbills and Pine Siskins, they would visit it several times
a day.  They love their salt.

Goshawk, one winter I saw a very large accipiter hanging in one spot facing
into a strong wind, it's wings somewhat bent and very long tail straight
back.  It was larger than any Coopers Hawk I had seen.  All my instincts say
it was a Goshawk but I can't be 100%.

Occasionally the Mountain draws some birds you wouldn't expect, a exhausted
Coot, a very tired banded homing pigeon which we caught and released after
he rested a few days and Rock Doves once. Last winter a sick or tired Least

The overlook at Black Mountain Gap, mile post 355 at Hwy 128 that leads to
Mt. Mitchell is a terrific place for fall migrants.

Don Patterson
Mt. Mitchell Lands
Yancey County

----- Original Message -----
From: Harry Legrand <harry.legrand@ncmail.net>
To: <scbirder@email.com>
Cc: <carolinabirds@duke.edu>
Sent: Monday, June 25, 2001 1:14 PM
Subject: Re: Red Crossbills @ Mt. Mitchell State Park

> Prairie Warblers would not be at Mount Mitchell, probably not at any
> time. The elevation is too high. What you heard singing was presumably a
> Black-throated Blue Warbler. The song often consists of about 4-5
> whistled notes -- "hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hee", with each note higher than the
> last, and the final note much higher than the others. This is quite a
> bit different from the very husky, burry "bzz-bzz-bee" given by
> migrants, such as through Columbia. Quite a few folks think they are
> hearing Prairie Warblers in the higher mts. of NC, but in reality these
> are BT Blues. Prairies occur in clearcuts and other brushy places,
> generally below 3000 feet, and mainly below about 2000 feet.
> Harry LeGrand
> scbirder@email.com wrote:
> >
> > For anyone interested, the Red Crossbills were pretty easy to find
> > yesterday (Sunday, 24 June) at Mt. Mitchell SP. Mark Peoples and I found
> > them on the trail between the Visitor's Center and the restaurant,
> > to the Visitor's Center.
> >
> > A couple of questions: (1) Would a Prairie Warbler be unusal at Mt.
> > Mitchell? I heard one, but didn't see it. For no good reason that I can
> > think of, it struck me as unusual. (2) I also heard, but did not see,
> > chickadees. As I have heard Black-cappeds only once (in Virginia) and am
> > no expert, I am wondering if the chickadees I heard were likely Black-
> > capped or Carolina. Any thoughts are welcome.
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Bob Ellis
> > Columbia, SC
> > scbirder@email.com
> --
> Harry LeGrand
> NC Natural Heritage Program
> 1615 MSC
> Raleigh, NC 27699-1615
> (919) 715-8687 (work)
> FAX: 919-715-3085
> e-mail: harry.legrand@ncmail.net