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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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Few's Ford

By William Majoros


Few's Ford is the main access point for Eno River State Park. It features both forest habitat and meadows.

Getting There

In Durham County (NC), follow Cole Mill Road north to its very end; the road dead-ends inside the park. Cole Mill may be accessed from Hillsborough Road (business NC 70) or directly off of interstate 85.

Points of Interest

The first parking lot along the main road into the park is next to the park office, where restrooms and park maps are available. A trail leads down through the forest to the river. Several miles of trails are accessible from here. In spring, Tanagers (both Summer and Scarlet) are commonly heard singing in the trees around this first parking lot.

The second lot is next to the historic Piper-Cox house. Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and Carolina Chickadees have been known to nest in the trees bordering this lot; on some mornings one can do a fair amount of birding without leaving the parking lot, as mixed-species flocks are often encoutered here. A trail leads from the parking area down to the river, where is located the ford from which this site takes its name. In summer the water is often low enough to ford in hiking boots, though a trail on the near side running both upstream and downstream offers excellent birding in the warmer months. Louisiana Waterthrushes are very common along this stretch, as are Yellow-throated Warblers and Northern Parulas; other warblers can be seen in lower densities. Even Ospreys have been sighted here. Goldfinches are common at the ford. You're almost certain to hear, then see, an Acadian Flycatcher along the river from April through June.

Broad-winged Hawks can be seen soaring above the trees, fields, and river in spring from mid April on, less often during the summer. Red-tailed and Red Shouldered Hawks can be seen and heard throughout the year. Turkey and Black Vultures can also be expected at any season. Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s Hawks may be seen during migration.

The last of three parking lots (which also features restrooms) along the main road into the park is situated next to Fowler's Field, a meadow dotted with solitary cedars. In spring and summer Prairie Warblers and Indigo Buntings are plentiful here, with smaller numbers of Common Yellowthroats and Blue Grosbeaks.

Ticks also abound in the tall grasses, especially in early summer. A gravel drive (for foot-traffic only) runs the length of the field. On the opposite end of the field from the parking lot is a grassy area with a maintenance shed; this area tends to be very birdy all year round, with mockingbirds and brown thrashers frequenting the bushes by the shed. Privets on either side of the shed, Pokeberry behind the shed, and numerous other berry producing vines and shrubs behind and to the sides of the shed attract migrating and wintering thrushes and mimic thrushes as well as many local berry loving birds. Bluebirds nest in the box provided.

The area around the shed, which is on the west side of a mowed clearing dominated by three large trees, a Sycamore, an American Holly, and a Pecan, catches the morning sun. On cooler mornings during migration the area attracts any insectivorous visitors moving through or wintering there. Birders might want to check here first for warblers or flycatchers in the fall.

The west side of Fowler’s Field is also worth checking in late fall and winter. Wintering Sparrows are likely to be seen along the field edge. There is not a maintained trail on the west side of the field so you may have to walk through chest high vegetation, mainly Crown-beard and other herbaceous plants.

Continuing past the maintenance shed is a trail known informally as “Kinglet Alley”, since Kinglets are often found here in winter. The trail winds past cedars and pines. This trail ends at a power-line clearing. Keep an eye out for a Hermit Thrush here and elsewhere along this trail in winter. Turning right into the clearing, one may follow a trail down to the river. Common Yellowthroats and Bluebirds are often seen here. In fall and winter, look for sparrows (mostly White-throated and Song Sparrows, and Darked-eyed Juncos) all along the power-line cut down to the river. It can be quite exciting in late winter when the Upland Chrous Frogs are calling, salamander eggs and nymphs are in the wet area halfway down the cut and the sparrows, bluebirds and other birds are moving down the cut ahead of you as you walk along. A forest trail follows the river back toward the parking lot in a convenient loop.

Winter Wrens can be seen by the attentive birder on nearly every trip along this stretch of river during winter. In fact, it’s not uncommon to come across a Winter Wren anywhere along the Eno River in winter. You may also flush a Wood Duck or two as you walk this leg of the loop.

Species Most Commonly Seen

(varying by season)



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