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The Carolina Bird Club is a non-profit organization that represents and supports the birding community in the Carolinas through its website, publications, meetings, workshops, trips, and partnerships, whose mission is

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The Carolina Bird Club, Inc., is a non-profit educational and scientific association open to anyone interested in the study and conservation of wildlife, particularly birds.

The Club meets each winter, spring, and fall at different locations in the Carolinas. Meeting sites are selected to give participants an opportunity to see many different kinds of birds. Guided field trips and informative programs are combined for an exciting weekend of meeting with people who share an enthusiasm and concern for birds.

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Trip to Huntington Beach State Park, September 11–12, 2010

Paul Serridge

Eleven CBC members and three guests (including two from Minnesota!) participated in an excellent weekend of birding.

The weather was great on Saturday with highs in the low 80s, low humidity, and very little wind. Furthermore, the birds showed up! We spent the morning around Mullet Pond which, as a result of a leak in one of the water level control gates, was at a very low level and there were extensive areas of exposed mud. As it was only a couple of hours before high tide the mud held a variety of shorebirds, and the shallow water held the expected herons, egrets, and Wood Storks. A little excitement for both birders and shorebirds was generated at the causeway when first a Peregrine Falcon, and then a Merlin swooped over the area. We also saw a soaring N. Harrier.

On the causeway local birder, Ritch Lilly, stopped to tell us that he had seen 2 Lark Sparrows from the observation deck at the south-east corner of Mullet Pond. The observation deck was our next stop and, not only did we find one of the Lark Sparrows, but we spotted a Buff-breasted Sandpiper, well camouflaged against the light brown exposed mud. A careful scan of the area produced 5 Buff-breasted SPs! Also, 3 Roseate Spoonbills flew past, practically at eye-level.

An hour on the Atalaya carriageway was very productive: warblers, ducks, Glossy Ibis, and both Night-heron species. A Worm-eating Warbler, not currently on the HBSP checklist, was a particularly good sighting. (Later the author reported this sighting to the HBSP Education Center and was informed that a Worm-eating Warbler had also been reported on Aug 16 this year and would be added to the park checklist.)

After a picnic lunch on the grass at the north parking lot we walked north on the beach to the jetty. We stopped briefly at the pool just south of the jetty and found 2 Piping Plovers and several Semi-palmated Plovers. The jetty itself was practically birdless and we headed for the sandy point west of the bird nesting area. There we were able to observe at leisure a very large mixed flock of roosting terns, gulls, skimmers, oystercatchers, and a few shorebirds. Among the Black-bellied Plovers we found at least 3 American Golden-Plovers.

After our walk back we checked out Sandpiper Pool (an Anhinga had been seen there two days previously). No Anhinga, but a Yellow-billed Cuckoo was added to our list. A stop at the Education Center yielded the expected Painted Buntings and a few other common birds at the feeders.

We made one last stop at the causeway hoping to see the Wilson’s Phalarope last reported the previous afternoon. We did not find it and our birding finished for the day a 4 round pm. The list stood at 90 species!

On Sunday morning, despite the overnight storms, eight of us met between 7 and 8 a.m. on the causeway. We were able to observe three Roseate Spoonbills foraging very close to an observation deck. One of the Spoonbills walked out of the water with some kind of clam shell attached to a toe. Instead of trying to remove it with its bill, it simply walked around for a few minutes until the shell fell off. A walk on the road and carriageway around Mullet Pond added some common woodland birds to the trip list. Just as we arrived at the end the carriageway the rain started. We were able to take shelter under the camping store until it stopped. We made another trip to the observation deck at the south-east corner of Mullet Pond but did not find either the Lark Sparrow or Buff-breasted Sandpipers. We concluded the trip at the Education Center where a Tufted Titmouse was yet another lifer for one of the birders from Minnesota - a fitting way to finish what had been a very successful and enjoyable field trip.

The total trip list stood at a very satisfying 101 species (100 in the park itself and a Eurasian Collared Dove seen in the parking lot of the Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort where some of us had met to carpool on Saturday morning).

Species Observed

Wood Duck
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Pied-billed Grebe
Brown Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
Cattle Egret
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
Yellow-crowned Night Heron
White Ibis
Glossy Ibis
Roseate Spoonbill
Wood Stork
Turkey Vulture
Northern Harrier
Cooper's Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Peregrine Falcon
Clapper Rail (voice)
Common Moorhen
Black-bellied Plover
American Golden Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Piping Plover
American Oystercatcher
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Spotted Sandpiper
Ruddy Turnstone
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Caspian Tern
Royal Tern
Sandwich Tern
Common Tern
Forster's Tern
Black Skimmer
Eurasian Collared Dove
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker (voice)
Eastern Wood Pewee (voice)
Great Crested Flycatcher
White-eyed Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Northern Parula (voice)
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Pine Warbler (voice)
Palm Warbler
Black and White Warbler
American Redstart
Worm-eating Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Summer Tanager
Lark Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Blue Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Painted Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Boat-tailed Grackle
House Finch

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