Monday, December 29, 2014

Birthday Trip, County Bird #100!

Today is my birthday! I turn the ripe old age of 16, which means a lot of things. I can drive legally, have a job (well, I got a head start), and basically be a teen. I actually can't believe it; time has passed so fast!

Anyways, today was a gloomy and rainy day, but I decided to make the best of it. I visited Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge, one of the best birding spots in the Piedmont (or so I'm told). It was a bit chilly but the rain earlier made it very humid. The forest was very flooded down on the boardwalk. Some of the birds I first heard and saw were Pied-billed Grebe, Rusty Blackbird, and Brown-headed Nuthatch. Northern Flickers and a Pileated Woodpecker called out too. I investigated the boardwalk/pond area and found Chipping, Song, and Field Sparrows in the marsh. On the lake were more grebes and many unknown ducks flew very high. In the flooded forest were plenty of Red-headed Woodpeckers, calling out repeatedly. Pine Siskins flocked deeper in the forest, probably eating gum tree seeds. Wood Ducks wailed deeper in the forest, and although they were tough to see I did see some. I heard them throughout the day.

Here is some interesting fungi I found growing on a stump.
It was very fun but honestly I didn't find anything too interesting. I was hoping for Northern Bobwhites, Wilson's Snipe, or more ducks, but I found the usual assortment of resident and winter birds.

So I did not see any lifers on my birthday, but I did see something interesting! Near where I live is a movie theater with a man-made pond. It's a quiet pond that is rather large, and every once in a while I ask to go check it out. It paid off today, for I found a lone male Lesser Scaup! It was pretty dusky when I found him, though, so the pictures are bad.

This makes me at 100 species for Union County! I was very pleased to find him here and hopefully he brings some friends over! I was concerned that I would never find ducks there... but I'm glad I have!

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