Date: 1/7/18 2:02 pm
From: Harry LeGrand (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Re: Lake Crabtree, NC, waterfowl
The waterfowl are best observed from the county park side. Turn right at
the boat rental sign, which is where the observation tower is located. You
can certainly check for waterfowl at many places, but as the birds are now
in the center, where the open water is, you really need to get high off the
water, and thus the tower is your best bet now. Of course, you will need a
scope; binoculars are almost useless from there. As you are looking south,
midday you will be looking directly toward the sun, if a sunny day.

As it warms back up, the dam -- reached from Old Reedy Creek Road off
Weston Parkway, is a great place to see waterfowl -- in the morning (You
are looking west here.) There is a new parking area here, with restrooms.

On Sun, Jan 7, 2018 at 12:06 PM, Harry LeGrand <hlegrandjr...> wrote:

> The mass of waterfowl in the center of Lake Crabtree west of Raleigh is
> now larger than ever. The opening in the ice is larger than the last time
> I was here a few days ago, thanks simply to more birds piling in and
> heating up the water and stirring up the thin ice.. I estimated about 1500
> birds then, with at least 800 Hooded Mergansers. Here are my estimated
> totals, today, which include all 5 winter Aythya duck species, plus all 3
> mergansers. Roughly looking at numbers below, I would now estimate 2,000
> waterfowl in the middle of the lake. Nothing rarer than Common Merganser
> could be found by 4 of us in the tower from 9 - 1040 this morning. Still,
> it is a great spectacle! This is copied from my eBird report:
> Wood Duck 4
> Gadwall 20
> Mallard 175
> American Black Duck 4
> Canvasback 6
> Redhead 1 male
> Ring-necked Duck 250
> Greater Scaup 2 undoubtedly more
> Lesser Scaup 200
> Greater/Lesser Scaup 150
> Bufflehead 15
> Hooded Merganser 1,200 most I have ever seen in the Triangle; more
> present that a week ago
> Common Merganser 3 females; bright rufous head; strong contrast with
> white of breast and white of throat; essentially no crest
> Red-breasted Merganser 2 females; seen in comparison with female
> Commons
> Ruddy Duck 40
> Pied-billed Grebe 6
> Horned Grebe 1
> Great Blue Heron 33 actual count of birds lined up along shore near
> the causeway
> Bonaparte's Gull 5 surprisingly few
> Ring-billed Gull 150
> Herring Gull 3 all first-winter birds
> Interestingly, no cormorants seem to be at the lake now. Most of the
> time, cormorants and RB Gulls dominate the waterbirds.
> Harry LeGrand
> Raleigh

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