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.