Litchfield Beach, South Carolina — Jan 17–19, 2020
We will have multiple half-day and all-day trips to Huntington Beach State Park both days, as well as one on Sunday morning. We won't stay just in Georgetown County; there are trips planned to Waites Island, Cherry Grove Pier, MBSP, and Francis Marion National Forest (home of many, many Red -cockaded Woodpeckers). Additionally, a variety of field trips will be offered to non-coastal habitats like Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge, Francis Marion National Forest, and the Hemingway Sewage Treatment Ponds. Finally, we'll have educational trips for young birders, new birders, and even old grouses to HBSP and to the Center for Birds of Prey in Awendaw, SC. Plus, Chris Hill is our Saturday night speaker!
Litchfield Beach meeting. The Winter CBC meeting has wrapped up. Here is the preliminary checklist of birds seen. If you have additions or corrections to the list, let Kent Fiala know.
Do you know when your dues are due? Wonder no more, the enhanced online dues application will now tell you.
The October issue of the CBC Newsletter is available online. Lots of news there, including announcement of the Winter meeting at Litchfield Beach.
The CBC announces a bonus trip to Costa Rica, led by CBC members Paul and Amanda Laurent. The trip is 12 days, 4 regions of birding from the southern Caribbean to the cloud forest. The lead time on this trip is short, so act quickly! See full details.
Christmas Bird Counts It's almost Christmas Bird Count season again. Look for counts in your area at Carolina Christmas Bird Counts. If you are a count compiler, you can list the date of your count there, or send it to Kent Fiala .
Costa Rica trip report Carolina Bird Club sponsored a fantastic Costa Rica Tour with LifeBird Tours, LLC, August 10-20, 2019. We started in the Pacific lowlands and birded our way up to the cooler lush cloud-forests of Monteverde. Next we moved from the Pacific slope to the Caribbean to the beautiful Arenal Observatory Lodge at the foot of the Arenal Volcano. Finally, we descended into the Caribbean lowland rain forests of La Selva Biological Station which is one of the best birding sites in Costa Rica! We also visited other key birding areas including La Virgen del Socorro, Cope's famous feeders, the Old Butterfly garden and La Paz Waterfall Gardens. See the full trip report (Note: it's a 60MB download).
Charleston meeting. At the Fall CBC meeting, participants identified 176 bird species.
New Rare Bird Alerts. The Carolina Bird Club is sponsoring a new Rare Bird Alert for South Carolina on the GroupMe platform. To join the RBA, click on this link https://groupme.com/join_group/52879351/5PT34NjX
The link will guide you through setting up a GroupMe account if you don't have one, and you may also want to download the app for your smartphone. Also pay attention to the instruction to post at least one initial message, to avoid being kicked right back out of the group.
A North Carolina GroupMe Rare Bird Alert, not sponsored by CBC, has been in operation since last year. The link to join that group is https://groupme.com/join_group/44042177/tdYiPA
Communication in these groups is either via text message or through the app. To cut down on distractions for everyone it's requested that you limit communications to sharing timely location and presence information on chaseable "good" or rare birds.
Outer Banks bonus trip: December 14–15, 2019. Widely considered at the top of the list for early winter birding sites in North Carolina, the Outer Banks of Dare County are home to thousands of wintering swans, ducks, geese, shorebirds, waders, gulls, and more. Join members of the Carolina Bird Club as we explore the Bodie Island lighthouse area, Oregon Inlet, Pea Island NWR, the ocean beaches of Hatteras and Bodie Islands, and other “hotspots.” This trip is full, but you can join the wait list.
The Summer 2019 issue of The Chat is available online. Did you get an email about it? This issue contains a research paper on the breeding expansion of House Wrens, the annual report of the South Carolina Bird Records Committee (two new species!), the Spring Briefs for the Files, and a review of the book Gulls Simplified.
CBC member publishes a book: Jeyda Kathryn Bolukbasi is a fourteen-year-old writer who was born in Charlotte, NC. Her passion for birds sparked the inspiration for her first published book, Tuah, which she wrote when the was thirteen. She hopes to attend Cornell University and study to become an ornithologist. Currently, she is the first junior volunteer at the Center for Birds of Prey in Awendaw, SC and a member of the Carolina Bird Club.
A Terrific Spring Meeting in the Sandhills! The CBC Spring meeting in the Sandhills is now history. We had a terrific turn out: over one hundred members spent the first weekend in May enjoying the local flora and fauna-especially the avifauna, of course! The weather did not interfere with trips too badly: the rain that was forecast held off both Saturday and Sunday thankfully. Members enjoyed an assortment of opportunities in the field, wonderful evening speakers both Friday and Saturday night, tasty barbeque at the Saturday banquet and lots of time for fellowship with old and new birding friends.
Friday night's welcome reception sponsored by the Sandhills Natural History Society (SNHS) was a real treat with beautifully decorated tables and a variety of tasty treats. The local hospitality committee did an amazing job! SNHS's support of the entire event was invaluable. We are happy to report that they will receive a generous donation as a result of the profits raised from sales of our special meeting t-shirt. Shirts sold out before the end of the weekend-- which was a real testament to the artist: CBC's own Hal Broadfoot.
Groups set out on a total of twenty-six trips all over the area. Visits to a few Piedmont hotspots like Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge and Howell Woods provided for a real variety in habitat. Also we were very happy to offer a trip that stopped at one of North Carolina's newest State Parks: Carver's Creek in Spring Lake, just north of Fayetteville.
A total of 122 species were spotted during the course of the meeting. Local specialties like Red-cockaded Woodpecker and Bachman's Sparrow did not disappoint. Even harder to find species such as Kentucky Warbler, Swainson's Warbler and Loggerhead Shrike turned up in a few spots. And there were, of course, migrants passing through. Common Loon (Lake Auman on Saturday), Blue-winged Warbler (at Weymouth Woods Sunday), Bobolink (House in the Horseshoe on Saturday), Pine Siskin (Thunder Road Friday) and even a Merlin (Powell's Pond on Sunday) were very nice finds.
There was no shortage of other interesting observations during the weekend. Watching a family of White-breasted Nuthatches fledge right in front of our eyes was definitely a highlight for our group in Game Land Friday morning. One lucky group spotted a River Otter along the Pee Dee. And the Friday trip that stopped in the southern portion of the Game Lands located a new species of dragonfly for Richmond County: Cocoa Clubtail. It was a memorable meeting for sure! Hopefully CBC members are already looking forward to a return to the Sandhills-- but will not have to wait ten years to do so!!
Blue Ridge Parkway/Blowing Rock Bonus Trip April 27–28, 2019. A CBC bonus trip sought out and enjoyed early spring migrants on the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway and in the mountains and valleys near Blowing Rock, North Carolina in late April. Here is their bird list.
Outer Banks meeting. At the Winter CBC meeting, participants identified 174 bird species.
County eBirding is a new feature on the website. eBird county listers can track their progress toward their county listing goals, and compare progress with their fellow county listers. You can find it under the “Features” pull-down on the main menu, or here.
Birds of the Central Carolinas. The definitive book about the birds of the central Carolinas is available through Mecklenburg Audubon. The book is a first of its kind, an authoritative, comprehensive summary of the status, distribution, and historical context of all the birds regularly occurring in the Piedmont of both Carolinas. It includes original historical research never before compiled and published in online sources; full accounts of 312 species with additional partial accounts of another 60 species; over 400 color photographs taken in the central Carolinas; and the complete results of the Mecklenburg County Breeding Bird Atlas.
Make Birders Count: Buy Your Duck Stamp Through the ABA The American Birding Association has made it easy to buy a Duck Stamp. Birders use refuges too. Buying a Duck Stamp through the ABA shows your support—as a birder—for habitat and bird conservation.
If you would like to help us out by reading the newsletter only online and not in print, please go to member profile and select “I want to receive my copy online only”.
The Chat goes online-only: Beginning with the Winter 2018 issue, The Chat will be published online only. Discontinuing print publication will result in significant financial savings, a percentage of which will be deposited into the CBC Conservation Fund for future conservation efforts throughout North and South Carolina. This also of course saves trees by reducing paper consumption. Online publication is in full color; there will be no more black-and-white photographs as the print publication has been limited to. The Chat has been optionally available online for several years and about a quarter of the membership has already chosen to receive it only online. To access the current issue of The Chat online, go to the current issue link under “Publications & Checklists” in the main menu. Older issues are accessible from the archives link, also under “Publications & Checklists”. Access to issues from the last two calendar years requires club membership; older issues are freely accessible to all. When a new issue is published, members will receive a notification via email, provided that we have your correct address on file.
We need your email address! The Chat is now published online only. To read The Chat (or the Newsletter) online, you will need to create a login account. If you still haven't done this, now's the time.
If creating a login account doesn't work because your email isn't recognized, it could simply mean that you are not a member of the club. Remedy that by joining!
If you are a member and your email isn't recognized, it means that either we don't have any email address for you on record, or we have an old one that you don't use any more. Please email email@example.com to update us on your correct address.
You can always check the website main page to see if there is a new edition of either The Chat or the Newsletter. However, we will also send you an email notice of publication of either The Chat (all members) or the Newsletter (online subscribers). Naturally, this only works if we have your correct email address. Also, sometimes these notification emails get filtered to your spam folder (so check there occasionally), or even suppressed entirely by your ISP. It seems that Microsoft email services (hotmail, live, outlook) are especially troublesome about this. To increase the probability that you will receive our notices, it helps to create an entry for the email address of our notifier in your address book.
Membership directory: An online Carolina Bird Club membership directory is now available. In the past, we have published a membership directory on paper from time to time, but have not done so in ten years. The online directory has all the benefits of a paper directory, plus the benefit of always being up-to-date, and of course the benefit of being much less expensive to publish. The directory is accessible only to club members, not to the public; you must be logged in to access it. We hope that you find this new feature helpful in communicating with Club members and a “green” way to reduce the amount of paper used in publishing member directories! The link to the membership directory can also be found on the Member Services page.
How to access members-only content. This website has a large amount of content that is available to the public, but there are a very few things that we restrict to our club members, namely the most recent editions of our periodical publications, the Newsletter and The Chat. If you are a club member you can access member-only content by registering and using a personal login and password. When you go to open the most recent Newsletter, or a recent Chat article, you will be prompted to login. Only members can register a personal login. How do we know if you are a member? You can register a login only for an email address that we have on file. Unfortunately many of our email addresses go back pretty far and may no longer be valid, so if you find that we don't recognize your email, just let the Headquarters Secretary, Carol Bowman , or the webmaster, Kent Fiala , know what your current email is. For convenience, here is the link to register, and here is the link to login. The login link can also be found by hovering over the “Quick Links” button at the top of any page.
Finding Birds in South Carolina is here! Robin Carter wrote the definitive guide Finding Birds in South Carolina, published by the University of South Carolina Press, in 1993. After the new editor of the Press decided not to reprint or revise the book, Robin requested and received return of the copyright. After Robin's death in 2008, his widow Caroline had the book digitized by Lulu. Through Caroline's generosity, the full text of the book, in searchable PDF image format, is now available for download. Although the book is 20 years old, most of the information is still useful for finding birds.
Accipiter primer: Do you have trouble identifying Accipiters? Brush up on your skills with Mike Tove's Identification primer: Accipiters.
How much do you know about CBC history? Attendees of the 75th anniversary Spring Meeting in Raleigh competed for the high score on a history quiz. How well can you do?
The Birds of North Carolina is now hosted at carolinabirdclub.org! This site aims to provide a compendium of all of the bird species recorded in North Carolina, with general information about their distribution in the state. It is a huge project by Harry LeGrand, with assistance from Nate Swick and John Haire, and technical wizardry by Tom Howard. Much of the data that underlies the project has come from Carolina Bird Club members, as published in Briefs for the Files and General Field Notes in The Chat. The link “Birds of NC” in the navigation bar at the left will take you there.
Band codes: MODO? RTHU? NSWO? Would you like to understand more about those four-letter bird codes? Read more about them.
Accessing The Chat archives. There is a wealth of information about the birds of the Carolinas published in The Chat. We provide two ways to search for information from The Chat. We have a Chat searchable database containing all of the Briefs for the Files and Bird Records Committee reports from volumes 35–79 (years 1971–2015). When was a Red-necked Stint last seen? Little Stint? Have we ever had a good year for Evening Grosbeaks? Find the answers quickly here. We also have a 45-year index to The Chat, so far covering volumes 35—79, years 1971—2015.