Bird Count Information

Christmas Bird Count 2009

The annual Christmas Bird Count will be held on Sunday, December 20th. Teams of volunteers will be covering our traditional circle, which is 15 miles in diameter and centered in Lakeview. We are scheduled to count all day, but most of the teams will be focusing their efforts in the morning. As always, we welcome new participants. If you would like to help count, even if it is only for a few hours, please let Susan Campbell know. She can be reached via email (susan@ncaves.com) or phone 910-949-3207.

Christmas Bird Count 2008

On Sunday, December 21st, 40 volunteers counted 96 species of birds during the annual Southern Pines CBC. The fifteen-mile diameter area is centered in Lakeview and encompasses most of the eastern portion of Moore County. Challenging field conditions (i.e. trouble seeing and hearing) due to morning rain made it hard work this year. Also, the higher than usual water level at Woodlake meant no shorebirds present and fewer dabbling duck species than normal. A common Goldeneye was a nice surprise on Ft. Bragg, perhaps due to the cold weather up north. Warm weather preceding the count most likely resulted in a number of Palm Warblers in three different areas of the circle. And, as we have expected would eventually be the case, Fish Crows were encountered by several observers this year, reflecting the fact that more of these birds are overwintering here alongside our non-migratory American Crows nowadays. The best bird for the count was a male Orange-crowned Warbler, a regular at the Campbell's feeder since November. Although this is a species that winters in eastern North Carolina, it has not been seen on our count before. Also, four Snow Geese seen both just before and after the 21st made the count as well.

Thanks to everyone who participated and especially to those who brought goodies to the lunchtime countdown. We would also like to express our appreciation to Weymouth Woods for once again hosting our lunchtime meeting.(Susan Campbell and Michael McCloy)

Christmas Bird Count 2007 by Susan Campbell

Yesterday (12/16) was the Southern Pines Christmas Count and---despite the weather---we did quite well!  Thirty-four people in thirteen separate parties (not including another six feeder watchers) managed to turn up a (preliminary) ninety-nine species.  We added several species later in the afternoon that were not noted at our lunchtime meeting.(i.e. northern bobwhite, fish crow, Cooper's hawk, gray catbird).

Highlights included spotted sandpiper, Lincoln's sparrow and, hold on to your hats: common redpoll!  I found a male mixed in with a large group of juncos (40-50; I stopped counting when I noticed the redpoll).  They were all foraging on the edge of the dam at the north end of Flyrod Lake here in Whispering Pines. This spot is not far from a yard with several feeders.  Unfortunately, efforts to relocate the flock later in the day were unsuccessful.  I will of course monitor the spot over the next few days to see if the bird reappears.

We also had not one but three species of hummingbird: Rufous (female), Black-chinned (immature male) and Ruby-throated (immature male). The Rufous (in Southern Pines) and Black-chinned (in Whispering Pines) showed up at feeders here recently.  The Ruby-throated (in Southern Pines) has been a round awhile but has yet to use a feeder.  He is foraging an extensive array of late blooming Salvias that have yet to be affected by the weather.

Our waterfowl numbers were down perhaps as a result of less hydrilla on Lake Surf (Woodlake) more so than the weather.  We missed merlin, wild turkey. Baltimore oriole, and common yellowthroat--all of which had become quite regular on this count.

All in all, a very good effort!!

Happy Holidays and good counting to all!

Spring Bird Count by Susan Campbell

The 2007 Spring Bird Count in Southern Pines was held Sunday, April 29. We had a record high number of both species and observers.  During the course of the day 33 observers in 16 parties tallied 6740 individuals of some 140 species.  Our fantastic day of birding was in spite of beautiful weather.  Often, without some wind or rain, birding is more of a challenge-- if one is attempting to encounter a diversity of species in the spring.  But at daybreak it was beautiful with winds light out of the northwest and temperatures in the upper 50s.  By late afternoon the mercury had risen just shy of 80 degrees and the winds had picked up with gusts around 18 mph.  But the migrants and breeding bird species were abundant across the circle throughout the count.

A single male Scissor-tailed Flycatcher located at Hobby Field (presumably the breeding male for 2006) in Southern Pines was the biggest highlight.  But there were plenty of uncommon migrants as well as lingering wintering species.  Not only were four different Pied-billed Grebes found with one being on Thagard Lake in Whispering Pines and three at Woodlake, but a late Horned Grebe was also spotted at Woodlake.    A female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was found foraging just outside Whispering Pines.  Notable migrant warbler species included: Chestnut-sided and Cerulean at Weymouth Woods State Nature Preserve and a Nashville in Vass.  Despite the late date, most parties were able to find numerous White-throated Sparrows, Yellow-rumped Warblers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets.  Conversely, late migrants such as Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Common Nighthawk and Blackpoll Warbler turned up in more than one area.

As usual the party at Woodlake reported the highest species total of 97 species.  Lake Surf, the largest lake in the county, at this site provides a variety of habitat unequaled in other parts of the circle. However, it is impressive that this year over half of the areas turned up some 70 to 80 species by the end of the day.  It is quite likely that the nice weather increased our effort in the field overall.

We were very grateful to return to the newly renovated  facilities Weymouth Woods for our midday countdown.  Thanks also go to Michale McCloy who compiled all of the count data again this spring.  Participants in the count were: Rex Badgett,  Brady Beck, Jeff Beane, Carol Bowman, Kerry Brust, Susan Campbell, Jay Carter, Dick &  Lois Dole, John Finnegan, Scott Hartley, Erich Hoffman, Tom Howard, Wayne Irvin, Alicia Jackson, Linda & Charlie Jones, David & Michael McCloy, Carolyn McDermott & Fred Shuker, Dan Pieroni, Todd Pusser, Lisa Richman, Patrick Shaffner, Bruce Sorrie, Lowell & Susan Strine, Rosalyn Walk as well as Charlotte Gantz, Mary Stephenson, Vaud Travis and Libba Watson at feeders.

Christmas Bird Count 2006 by Susan Campbell

December 17th was a beautiful day to be out counting birds.  Thirty-eight people covered 15 separate areas and 6 feeding stations during the course of the day.  We managed to locate 103 different species within our count circle.  Highlights of the day included 15 Evening Grosbeaks, a Spotted Sandpiper (both Woodlake), 1 Baltimore Oriole (Southern Pines), 6 Palm Warblers (northern section of area), a Lapland Longspur (Ft. Bragg), White-crowned Sparrow (Whispering Pines) as well as high counts of both Fish Crows (6) and Black Vultures (12) .  Many thanks to Scott Hartley who hosted our lunchtime countdown and picnic at his home. A wonderful time was had by all! 

The National Audubon Society sponsors all the Christmas and Spring bird counts nationwide.

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This site last updated on September 22, 2017.