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Monday, July 18, 2011

#9 - American Redstart; Mason Farm, NC

Mason Farm needs no introduction. Unless you’ve never heard of it, then I guess it does need an introduction. I’ve heard it quoted by several veteran birders as one of the best all-around birding locations in the Triangle, and I myself have often found this be true – be it migration, summer, or winter, I always find something nice at Mason Farm, and this was no exception.

For some reason this trip sticks in my mind. It was James’s first real birding trip to the location (I’d taken him there once before, but he seemed more interested in the omnipresent dragonflies, as I recall). It was the very tail end of migration, and there wasn’t too much left – mostly summer residents that had become ingrained, but there were at least a couple migrants sticking around (more on that later). But there’s one bird that, if you show up at a certain time of the year, is the most numerous bird present.

American Redstart - Mason Farm, NC; 05/22/2010

I’m talking, of course, about the American Redstart. What? You didn’t know that was what I was talking about? Must not be the right time of the year. Anyway, James and I found this guy along the willows that follow one of the small creeks of Mason Farm. And every time I see it, I think, man, I will never get tired of American Redstarts. Deep black and literally neon orange all in a nice common little bird. It’s one of those birds you don’t hear about before you start birding, but after you see one you can never forget it. I’m looking forward to fall migration, when I get another chance to see these guys again – it’s always a treat!

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