Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Local Rarities on the Southern Lale Norman Christmas Bird Count

 The Southern Lake Norman Christmas bird Count took place on December 14, 2014 with thirty nine participants tallying 101 species. Exceeding the century mark in total species is extraordinary for a piedmont count. It's a testament to the diligence and expertise of everyone who contributes to the census. You can't find 101 species without finding some unusual birds. Below are some of the ones we found Sunday

 Red-throated loons are common at the coast but are rare inland. This bird is in winter plumage. One red-throated loon showed up at Lake Norman.

Red-necked grebes are rare winter visitors to North Carolina. A single red-necked grebe was found on Lake Norman.

American wigeon are tough to find in Mecklenburg County. It had been a few years since I had seen one here.The male is on the left with a female on the right. A male wigeon was found at the Cowan's Ford Dam.

American wigeon by Phil Fowler

Blue-headed vireos are occasional here in the winter. I find them in mixed flocks of feeding passerines. this year one was found at the Davidson College cross country trails.

Blue-headed vireo by john Ennis

Black and white warblers are pretty rare in the winter piedmont. one showed up in huntersville this year.

Black and white warbler by Jeff Lewis

Orange-crowned warblers are more common at the coast but some linger into early winter here. One was found at Birkdale Golf Course.

Orange-crowned warbler by Jeff Lewis

Common yellowtroats brighten up any winter brush pile, especially the brighter males. A male was found at Cowan's Ford Refuge.

Common yellowthroat by Phil Fowler

Loggerhead shrike numbers have crashed throughout their range in the last few decades. formally a fairly common nester in Mecklenburg, they are all but gone now. One found near Wallace Farms is probably the only one in the county right now, and was a complete surprise on Sunday.


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