Trip Report

Cabarrus County – Concord Mills, Hector Henry Greenway,

Coddle Creek Reservoir, Moss Creek Nature Trail,
and Chantilly Ecological Sanctuary

February 9, 2021

Guide: Simon Thompson

We started the day in a most surprising spot, the rubbish-strewn pond at Concord Mills shopping mall where Lesser Scaup and Ruddy Duck were hanging out along with A few American Coots. A few Red-winged Blackbirds were also starting to display and sing. This could be a moderately attractive spot if it was cleaned up and the vegetation allowed to fill in a little. The wetland behind the mall is also a good spot for waterfowl, again despite the large amounts of garbage. Several Gadwall, Northern Shoveler and Hooded Merganser were feeding in the marsh and a splendid Red-shouldered Hawk sat atop a dead snag. It’s amazing how the wildlife will adapt if you give it some space. A brief stop on the new Hector Henry Greenway (HH was a Concord Councilman) on the other side of the highway added a Brown Thrasher and more Canada Geese feeding in the wetland. The sun was out when we got to the north end of Coddle Creek Reservoir but the lake was bereft of waterfowl. A Bald Eagle was circling nearby and its nest was on the top of a nearby tower, along with a couple of House Sparrows who were also home-making in the huge pile of sticks. A nice surprise was an Orange-crowned Warbler who was calling from the roadside and eventually it popped into view for a few distant photos. We finished the day at Moss Creek Nature Trail (another section of the HH Greenway) where a Rusty Blackbird welcomed us. The walk was very nice and paved and passed through riparian woodland and passed beaver ponds, where Shoveler and Ring-necked Duck were feeding. All of the classic mid-winter birds were along the creek, but the habitat looked perfect for great spring migration. I hope to be back again in a couple of months.