Date: 9/22/17 12:35 pm From: Jim G (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...> Subject: Roseate Spoonbill & Wood Stork - NOPE - Jordan Lake
Good Afternoon Everyone,
This was all between 9 AM - 1 PM
Thanks to all those who aided me in my unsuccessful quest for the Roseate Spoonbill and Wood Stork seen in the Morgan Creek mudflats or the New Hope Creek mudflats. I can say with certainty that missing the birds wasn't for my lack of trying. After a failed first attempt at the New Hope Creek side, I returned to the sandy "railroad spur point area, " and wait for about 45 minutes to see if the birds would fly in. After no success, I made my fourth trip underneath the power lines to the gravel road at Transis Camp Rd. I must say, I have never seen so many Blue Grosbeaks and Indigo Buntings in one spot! There must have been 50 of each species on the > 1 mile grassy, brushy and flower-filled hike to the New Hope Creek Side.
Then, I got word that the birds may be located in the New Hope Game Lands at the southern end of Transis Camp Road. So, I drove down to the parking area in front of the official sign for the game lands, and started another long hike. After following a nicely cut grass trail, I took the first overgrown trail fork to the right (marked with a decomposing plastic bottle). After getting slammed by some spider webs, I grabbed a large stick to clear the way. I pushed on through the dense woods and uneven terrain for approximately .75 miles and made it to the western finger of the lake, or the Morgan Creek area (say steve schultz). The water was very low, and while there were Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons and a pair of Bald Eagles, the Wood Stork and Spoonbill were no where to be found. I spent about an hour at this location exploring and walking the banks.
Overall, I figure i walked about 8 miles this morning, and gained a new appreciation for all those who bird these spots frequently. These are not easy spots to get to, but those who make the journey could be rewarded with surprises beyond belief (hence Spoonbill and Wood Stork). I realize now that we definitely got it easy on the Outer Banks, and I shouldn't ever take it for granted.
OH, and how about those massive freshwater clams on the banks of the Morgan Creek side? Some of the bivalves were 2 inches bigger than the palm of my hand! I believe they are called Pyganodon grandis and are a relative harmless exotic species (Thanks Ed Corey).
OH OH, and i saw my first fruiting Euonymus americanus or "Strawberry Bush / Heart's-a-bustin Bush!!!