Caroland Farms, Pacolet Valley, Landrum, SC and FENCE,
March 7, 2012
The skies were still overcast when we met in Hendersonville on our way down to the picturesque farm country around Landrum, SC. Caroland Farms and the fields along the Pacolet River offer some fine walks through some pleasant countryside where we hoped to find a good selection of overwintering species and maybe a couple of newly arrived spring migrants.
We were not surprised and by the end of the day we had seen around about 60 species- not bad for a late winter day. We started our day by watching hundreds
of Cedar Waxwings, along with dozens of American Robins, all feeding on some smilax berries.
Our walk through the fields along the Pacolet River produced a very nice selection of typical wintering species, such as American Kestrel, Wilson’s Snipe and a nice flock of over 50 American Pipit that flew over us giving their quiet two note calls. Sparrows were common in the brushy edges with small flocks of Savannah Sparrows being the most obvious.
Swamp Sparrows gave their loud metallic calls from within the blackberry thickets and played hide-and-seek with us as we tried to see their rich red-brown and gray coloration. After a good lunch (liberally washed down with Bass Ale) we finished the day with a visit to FENCE. I had previously found an adult Red-headed Woodpecker and we were not disappointed today as we found not 1, but 2 of these beautiful birds. Another surprise was a Common Raven that flew over us along with several American Crows - allowing for a great comparison of both appearance and vocalization.