Date: 1/8/18 4:57 pm
From: John Fussell <jofuss...>
Subject: North River Preserve (Carteret County, NC) on Sunday
On Sunday, several of us birded the North River Preserve in Carteret County.
Because of the cold, we mostly stayed in and birded from our cars, driving
along the east-west and mostly east-west shrub lines, hoping that the
somewhat milder microclimate along those sites woud produce some birds of
interest.

Further, along the shrub lines are ditches, and some sections of these had
unfrozen water, which obviously was attractive to many birds.

Many birds we saw were very close, just a few feet away, although many were
somewhat hidden by vegetation on the other side of and overhanging the
ditches.

Some of the birds we saw were: a total of about 20 Bobwhites sunning
themselves, 15 American Woodcocks (well camouflaged--we probably overlooked
as many as we saw), 11 Wilson's Snipe, a Virginia Rail, 16 Eastern Phoebes
(some apparently going after critters in the ditch), 6 House Wrens, 13
Hermit Thrushes, 22 Gray Catbirds, and 2 Rusty Blackbirds. (In our ebird
list, there are several good photos by Marty Wall and Steve Howell)

The grassy areas south of the shrub lines were open (no snow cover) and had
many sparrows, including a Grasshopper Sparrow, and a few pipits--which we
could drive right up to.

We did not see any Orange-crowned Warblers and had only 1 Ruby-crowned
Kinglet and 1 Common Yellowthroat. It'll be interesting to see what we find
(and don't find) in the preserve once temperatures return to normal.

John Fussell
Morehead City, NC

 
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