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Date:         Sat, 5 Jul 2003 19:14:24 -0400
Reply-To:     bob zaremba <bobzarem@PRODIGY.NET>
Sender:       Georgia Birders Online <GABO-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:         bob zaremba <bobzarem@PRODIGY.NET>
Subject:      North Georgia report for July 4th
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

GABO;

We spent yesterday, Friday July 4th, in the field birding Rabun, Union, Towns and Dawson counties. It was a great day to be outside, even having to dodge thunderstorms and heavy rain! We started the day in Rabun County, just north of Clayton in Sky Valley. I was hoping to find Least Flycatcher and checked all the old reliable spots from previous years with no luck. There were good numbers of birds around and the highlights were CERULEAN (1), HOODED (2), CHESTNUT-SIDED(2), NORTHERN PARULA (1), OVENBIRD (2), BLACK-THROATED GREEN (3), BLACK-AND-WHITE (2) for warblers, and BROAD-WINGED HAWK, INDIGO BUNTINGS (8) and ACADIAN FLYCATCHER (2).

We left Sky Valley and drove down Hale Ridge Road, where Least Flycatcher have historically been seen. We found a single LEAST FLYCATCHER singing behind the house on the right side of the road adjacent to the chicken coops. From here, we continued to Rabun Bald. The hike up the jeep trail was great. The most abundant birds were BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLERS (8) and BLACK_AND_WHITE (8), both feeding young along the trail. There were also a good number of BLUE-HEADED VIREO (5), SCARLET TANAGER (5), DARK-EYED JUNCO (21), WOOD THRUSH (4), HOODED WARBLER (4), OVENBIRD (3), and CANADA WARBLER (2).

After Rabun, we drove back to Clayton and went past the Dillard House to the Little Tennessee River. We could not find the Willow Flycatcher or Yellow Warbler reported earlier this season, but we did see a CEDAR WAXWING, ORCHARD ORIOLE, EASTERN PHOEBE, and BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER.

Our next stop was in Young Harris at Ivy Log Gap Road. At this point, the skies opened up and Ivy Log Gap Road turned in to a river of mud, a 4X4 vehicle definitely comes in handy here. Eventually the rain stopped and bird activity picked up. This is probably the best place in Georgia to see warblers after migration, the highlights were BLACK-THROATED GREEN (10), BLACK-AND-WHITE (8), WORM-EATING (3), AMERICAN REDSTART (2), HOODED (5), CHESTNUT-SIDED (3), YELLOW-THROATED (1), OVENBIRD (1)... we missed Blackburnian and Cerulean here probably due to the late time of day and bad weather.

We started heading back to Atlanta and on the way stopped in Blairsville at the Ingles Shopping center. There was one WILLOW FLYCATCHER seen on the wire over the creek. We also tried several spots along GA 180 near Suches for Least Flycatcher but again had no luck.

Our final stop of the day was at Dawson Forest. Along the power line cut at the entry gate we added a few more warbler species, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT (3), COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (4), PRAIRE (1) and PINE (1). Along the flooded creek we also had GREAT EGRET (1), GREAT BLUE HERON (1), and NORTHERN BOBWHITE.

We ended up the day seeing 16 species of warbler, not a bad day in July in Georgia!

Bob & Deb Zaremba Marietta, GA

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