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Our primary goals on this recent outing also included checking out the huge evening gull roost in Davidson Creek’s main channel.

Northern cardinals start singing this month. American woodcock males are in full display. And great horned owls and bald eagles may already have eggs.

Brutally cold and nasty weather flushed birds out of the frozen shallow marshes to more open environs.

As dawn broke over our day in the field Dec. 27 and the birds began waking up, we really started ticking birds off our list.

Last winter was unprecedented in the numbers of unusual waterfowl that poured into the Piedmont from the frozen Great Lakes.

Gastonia’s Rankin Lake also had loads of ring-billed gulls, double-crested cormorants and ruddy ducks.

The Southern Lake Norman Christmas Bird Count was held Sunday, and thanks to 39 participants it was a big success.

For thousands of birders worldwide, Christmas begins Sunday. That is the opening day of the National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count, which runs through Jan. 5.

The American oystercatcher is one of several shorebirds with a population low enough as to warrant special attention.

Many birds have white feathers that also can be used to identify a species.

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