As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday 28 September 2012

Rare Sabine’s gulls sighted at Lake Norman in September

Many serious birders occasionally will take an offshore birding trip in hopes of seeing some open-sea birds that are rarely seen from land. I’ve been on about a dozen such trips over the years out of Hatteras, Virginia Beach and Morehead City. The trips are not cheap, the drive is long and weather is always a concern. Recently, I have preferred boat trips on Lake Norman, the “inland sea.” During the right times of year some interesting birds can be found, some of them real rarities.

Last Sunday, I was able to grab a seat with 10 other area birders on a boat headed out onto the lake. A rare Sabine’s gull had been found earlier in the day and the large group was eager to try to relocate it.

The trip had a promising start when some white diving birds were spied off in the distance. We motored over to the area along Davidson Creek and soon were surrounded with a mixed flock of about 40 common, Forster’s and black terns – species you often see along the coast, but ones that also show up on large lakes in the fall. A particularly cooperative group sat tight on the water while we approached.


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