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Fort Fisher, NC

Hi Folks,

Had a great time down at Fort Fisher on Sat and Sun, with the time 
fairly evenly split between hunting down a few local birds and 
cooling off in the ocean.

A total of 48 species in about 6 hours of birding with no efforts to 
increase this with early starts (I didn't start birding until after 
noon on either day) or any sea scoping (wind was a bit too high to 
risk sand scratches to the lens). But my real target was to see a 
male painted bunting, which I finally managed on Sunday in the scrub 
behind the aquarium parking lot: he was gorgeous and singing like a 
mad man! There is also a "brancher" great horned owl in a pine in 
this scrub. It was absolutely still and silent and I only saw it 
because I happened to look up as the shadow of a white ibis passed 
over me. Another lifer for me was a loggerhead shrike present on both 
days in the windswept trees along the road side at the fort itself. 
Specifically, in the two or three trees on the left as you walk 
around the side of the welcome center, right opposite the large fort 
earthworks. It was busy catching insects and beating the live out of 
them on the tree branches. Also of note was a single glossy ibis 
among mobs of white ibises, prairie warblers, a pair of ospreys and I 
think I saw an anole running up a tree.

I passed up on the GT towhee, by the way. Sorry if anyone was wanting 
to know if it was still there...

Steve Perry

Receptor Biology Lab, Duke Uni Med Center, Durham, NC