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Advice needed for one day in Charlotte area

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Old Monday 17th September 2007, 20:07   #1
napamatt
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Advice needed for one day in Charlotte area

I will have a little time on October 20th in the Charlotte area, particularly Waxhaw. Staying with my sister in law, her bird feeders will provide some interesting birds I don't see out west. But I would like any close recommendations for where I could see Eastern Meadowlark and Eastern Bluebird.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Wednesday 19th September 2007, 15:17   #2
ggwrn
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I can't promise that you will specifically see those birds, but here is a list of some popular birding sites:

McAlpine Greenway
Latta Park
Cowan's Ford

Good luck spotting the birds you are hoping to see!
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Old Thursday 20th September 2007, 01:15   #3
napamatt
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Thanks for the help. I will try and check at least one spot out.
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Old Tuesday 9th October 2007, 13:38   #4
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Hi Napamatt,
I'm sorry it's taken me this long to respond to your request, but I've been away from "cyber world" for a few weeks. I hope that you find some of this info helpful.

I doubt that you'll have much trouble sighting an Eastern Bluebird. You are very apt to see them roosting on the power/telephone lines in the Waxhaw area. Many people have Bluebird nesting boxes in their back yards. Bluebirds are now actually fairly common after making a remarkable comeback from the years of DDT (as well as other causes). In the 1970s, I went several years without seeing one. Their population, along with that of many other once common birds, had fallen alarmingly. I literally wept with joy when I finally spotted a pair. I just can't imagine our world without Bluebirds. They are one of my favorites, and sighting one always brightens my day.

Sighting an Eastern Meadowlark might take a little more effort on your part. Although, while being fairly common in the area, as their name implies you will need to find an open field or meadow. Waxhaw is near some rural areas that should provide you with your sighting. The highway to Lancaster, SC passes by many fields and farms.

Some other options:

The Anna Springs Close Greenway (donated by and named for Anna Springs Close) is located at Fort Mill, SC (only a few miles from Waxhaw.) It is a wonderful place to visit and will provide you with an excellent opportunity to sight both of your birds, along with possibly others that you can add to your list.

Mecklenberg County Parks and Recreation have several "greenways" that will provide excellent birding. Information can be obtained by logging onto their wesite: www.parkandrec.com/greenways

The higway from Lancaster, SC to Monroe, NC passes through some rural areas, as does US HWY 601 (the highway leading south from Monroe, NC.)

Landsford Canal State Park on the Catawba River is a few miles SW of Waxhaw. You might not see an Eastern Meadowlark there, but your chances of spotting a Bald Eagle are close to reasonable.

Latta Plantation Nature Preserve (not to be confused with Latta Park, which is a small neighborhood park in Charlotte and, although quite small, always provides many migrating species) is an excellent birding area. While there (LPNP), I frequently sight the rather shy and energetic Ruby-crowned Kinglet. LPNP has many hiking trails with a variety of habitats. I frequently sight the Kinglet either in or very near the picnic area, and I have seen Meadowlarks and Bluebirds on the hiking trails that follow the powerlines, as they provide a meadow type habitat. A trail brochure/map can be picked up at the nature/welcome center located just inside the entrance gate. LPNP is also the home of The Carolina Raptor Center which rehabilitates injured raptors with the goal of returning them to the wild. They have many live raptors in enclosures that allow close viewing. LPNP is located on Mountain Island Lake a few miles NW of Charlotte. From Waxhaw take I-77 north to the Sunset Rd exit (exit #16, I think), go west on Sunset Rd about 1/2 mile to the first major intersection and turn right onto Beatties Ford RD, go a few miles and turn left onto Sample Rd (this last turn is easy to miss), go 3 or 4 miles to the entrance (watch out for speed humps and horses.)

In conclusion, I hope you enjoy your visit to the Charlotte area and get to sight both of your birds. I would offer to go birding with you (if you wanted company) but I will be traveling the latter part of October and first part of November. If I only had a brief stay in the area, I think that I would probably try the Anna Springs Close Greenway, as it is located very near Waxhaw. If I had a little more time, then I would definitely go out to LPNP, but I would still go to ASCG. I also frequently go to the several of the Mecklenberg greenways.

Best Wishes,

Boomer

Last edited by Boomer : Tuesday 9th October 2007 at 13:46. Reason: Spacing, Easier to read
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Old Wednesday 10th October 2007, 15:36   #5
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Hi Napamatt,

Just a short update to my previous post. I went out to LPNP yesterday evening, and saw Bluebirds. I did not see an Eastern Meadowlark. It is late in the season and the open areas had a season's worth of growth. A closer mowed field, like a hay field or cow/horse pasture would probably give you a better chance at spotting one. I know there is a horse riding/boarding stable in the Waxhaw area. They might let you try to spot your bird. I still feel confident that you will have little trouble sighting a Bluebird. I am interested in your level of success. Please post a follow up. Good luck and best wishes.

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Old Thursday 18th October 2007, 15:28   #6
napamatt
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Boomer

Thanks so much for the info. I will post on my return. I have a long layover at SFO on the sunday before flying to Europe and have figured out that I can get to a good migratory layover spot for a couple of hours - I must be crazy!!
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Old Thursday 18th October 2007, 19:32   #7
Boomer
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Napamatt,

You are most welcome. Here is the web site for the Anne Springs Close Greenway:
www.leroysprings.com/Greenway.html

I really think that you will have a gerat opportunity there to see Eastern Meadowlark & Eastern Bluebird. The site is old famland and still has riding stables, and a great variety of habitats. There is a lake, open fields, creeks, woods and shrub/weeds. There are many hiking and riding trails. The only possible reason for not seeing EM is the severe drought we have been experiencing. You will have no trouble seeing EB, as there is currently a huge population of them here. Yesterday, I saw literally dozens of them in a couple of hours. I hope that you have a great visit, and sight both of your birds.

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