If you’ve ever flown into (or out of, I suppose) Raleigh-Durham International airport in
, you’ve flown over a little place called North Carolina . Formed as a flood-control lake by damming one of the nearby creeks, it’s had its fair share of rarities over the last couple of years – Brant, Red-necked Grebe, and Iceland Gull have all been seen there. But not by me - for whatever reason, whenever I head out there it’s surprisingly mundane. Lake Crabtree
Still, I keep hoping there’ll be something real good each time I go there, so I dragged James out there to try to find some of the Bank Swallows that’d been sighted there recently, and was immediately skunked. It was a little late in the year I guess, so the swallows were all gone, and the lake seemed pretty empty. Still, there were birds around, like an Orchard Oriole, a friendly little Eastern Kingbird, and this little guy.
|Red-winged Blackbird - Lake Crabtree, NC; 05/31/2010|
It’s one of the most familiar sounds once you start birding. Check out a lake, a marsh, or really anywhere with a little water and some reeds, and you’ll be greeted with a pleasant wanKAREE coming from every which direction. Despite being a little on the common side, Red-winged Blackbirds are really quite nice to look at, and I’ve had a handful memorable experiences with them, such as pair of males displaying those red wing patches to each other while I sat and watched at close range, or the constant stream of 13,000 of these little guys over Lake Mattamuskeet this past winter. But more on that later - all in due time!