This is the fourth in our new series of County Birding Day-trips. Many of us enjoy County Birding with eBird’s new county maps and the multiple hotspots. We will explore as much as we can during our day and try to hit some of the best hotspots. The birding and pace will be easy, but there will be a fair bit of walking, so wear comfortable footwear and bring suitable clothing and your lunch.
Located in the piedmont of North Carolina, Lincoln County is predominantly agricultural with riparian forests following the rivers as they flow towards the coast. Mixed pine and deciduous forests are scattered throughout the open country and Lake Norman marks the eastern border of the county.
We will meet at Betty G Ross Recreation Park, the Number 1 hotspot in the county, where we will walk the river trail looking for winter species. Woodpeckers, nuthatches and other resident species will be possible in the tall trees, with more typical garden species in the edges nearer the adjacent houses.
It’s a short drive east to Forney Creek Greenway, which is beautiful and has great potential to be one of the best birding spots in the area and will soon probably turn out to be the top hotspot in Lincoln County. The forested trail border Forney Creek which floods into a wide marshy area which looks perfect for rails and winter sparrows. Hermit Thrush, Winter Wren and Brown Creeper are possible in the dense forested edges and Swamp Sparrow, Belted Kingfisher and Great Blue Heron frequent the beaver ponds.
We will also bird some of the agricultural areas and Beatty’s Ford Park on Lake Norman, which will be our chance for wintering waterfowl, Bald Eagle and other wetland species.
Join us for an enjoyable day exploring some of the varied habitats that make up Lincoln County; a very under-birded county with a total eBird list of just under 200 species. Let’s see if we can add a couple to the list on our day today as we explore the county.