An easy walk through country fields and along roadsides The weather may be cold and chilly for starters but could warm up to more mild temperatures. Warm layers of clothing and good boots recommended, along with snacks, water and a bagged lunch.
Cleveland County, in the North Carolina piedmont, is largely agricultural and provides suitable habitat for a variety of late winter birds of the open country. While traveling around the county, we will have the chance to search for open-country species such as Horned Lark, American Pipit, Eastern Meadowlark, and Loggerhead Shrike. Wintering sparrows will be among our target birds, and we could see Song, Savannah, Swamp, White-throated and White-crowned Sparrows. We also hope to find wintering waterfowl on the farm ponds in the county.
A bonus may be the opportunity to see Barn Owls, if we can find one or more in any of the abandoned cotton gins or farm buildings in the area which have been known to harbor them in the past.
Our final destination will be a hot-spot Farm where we will have our lunch on a lovely porch which affords a beautiful view. From here we will scope waterfowl at the ponds below, and possibly spot a Loggerhead Shrike on the surrounding barbed wire fence. A walk around the farm can yield up to 40 species of birds such as American Wigeon, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, Ruby-crowned and Golden Crowned Kinglets, and many other Passerine species.
If time affords, we may head to nearby area Moss Lake as well, in search of Common Loon, Red-breasted Mergansers, and Bonaparte’s Gull.