Cleveland County, N.C.
March 9, 2013
We all met just this side of Shelby, NC early in the somewhat cold hours of the morning. Thankfully we were promised a gorgeous day in the mid '60's. We started our day exploring a stand of older trees that has in the past held Red-headed Woodpeckers. We did not find the woodpeckers, but did have a great start to the day with great views of several Fox Sparrows, a pair of singing Brown thrashers and both Golden and Ruby-crowned Kinglets.
A nearby farm pond surprised us with a large flock of Lesser Scaup along with 3 Gadwall and 1 single male Ring-necked Duck and a nearby very well-maintained Purple Martin colony of Purple Martins had at least 15 early arrivals which soared overhead and drank at the nearby duck pond.
The village of Lattimore, just west of Shelby, is a beautiful and quiet collection of buildings that time has almost forgotten and is the perfect base to explore the surrounding fields. Here we found some of the classic country birds that we were looking for such as Loggerhead Shrike, American Kestrel and White-crowned Sparrow. Lunch was back in down town Lattimore where we enjoyed our picnic lunch along the roadside on this beautiful spring day before heading across the county to Delight Road where we had good, but brief views of a pair of beautiful Barn Owls.