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Migration goodies
by Curtis Smalling

Latest Update: September 3, 2014

Swallow-tailed Kite was with the Mississippi Kites at Old Fort for a very rare western NC record. Photo by Marcus Simpson
We will have our regular Wednesday walk on the 3rd. We also will have walks on the 17th and 24th of September and for our last month of the year, on the 15th, 22nd, and 29th of October weather permitting. Walks begin at 8:30 at the Valle Crucis Community Park behind the Mast Store Annex. Bring binos and a field guide.

Migration is picking up with several good birds including Black Terns, Common Terns, Caspian Tern, and a Marbled Godwit at the Kerr Scott Reservoir in Wilkes County. Most of those are first area records and were all seen at the same time by Isaac Kearns. IN addition the Mississippi Kites reported on last week have persisted at Old Fort and this weekend were joined by a Swallow-tailed Kite for a very rare western NC record.

Warbler numbers and diversity are also heating up as are sighting of migrant Common Nighthawks. Step outside about dusk and look for large birds with white bars on the wings flying gracefully overhead. The local name for them is bull bats and they will remind of large bats as they fly and hunt. Chimney Swifts are also congregating now and the local Audubon chapter is having their annual swift night out on the 9th. Visit their website for more details (listed below).

For more information on birds in the High Country call the Watauga Birding Hotline at 828-265-0198. Also visit, and visit the Audubon North Carolina blog at and the High Country Audubon website at

A Marbled Godwit has been hanging out at the Kerr Scott dam in Wilkes. Photo by Dwayne Martin

Osprey have been common along area rivers lately. Photo by Steven Bullock

American Redstarts are being seen in decent numbers now. Photo by Steven Bullock