Chapel Hill Bird Count Circle — area 22N

22N. Stagecoach Road area. Bounded on north by NC 54, east by NC 751 (from 54 to Chatham Co. line), south by Chatham Co. line, west by Little Creek and Farrington Rd (1110). Notes: Much of this area is game lands. Good areas to check are the Stagecoach Road impoundment, the old railroad grade (just east of the Stagecoach impoundment) extending south from then southwest to Jordan Lake (2 miles one way), and the Southwest Durham Wastewater Plant on Farrington Road. The I-40 impoundment is on NC 751 north of I-40.

Strategy for covering the area: (Brian Bockhahn) Owling - anywhere along Stagecoach Road is good for all three species. Dawn - from eastern impoundment parking I walk out to the dam gates, crepuscular ducks and Woodcock. AM - walk railroad grade trail 2+ miles south from Stagecoach to the lake. On return taking side trails east to a pond and two field areas. Noon - water treatment plant. PM - subdivision feeders along Farrington, farm along Stagecoach Road and new subdivision south side of Stagecoach. Walk railroad grade trail north from Stagecoach to small field about one mile. I40 impoundments. Dusk - return to dawn spot if need be.

More on Brian Bockhahn's routine for 22N:

I can usually get all three owls along Stagecoach road at the various pull offs.

Next from the east side impoundment parking I walk NW on the spillway road to get woodcock and flyover ducks.

Then I walk the RR grade south which is easy, flat and always productive, BHVireo en route, all the woodpeckers, at end of grade viewing lake for Loons, Bonies, fowl, eagles, occassional shorebird or palm warbler.

The RR grade north leads to a little sparrow field which fills out the list, had Rusty Blackbird there once.

Water treatment NOT TO BE MISSED push the buzz box and they will open the gate, sign in at office and you can drive the whole thing. The open air drying bins can be driven around and in between. They are in varying stage of moist to solid drying waste, pipits, savannah sparrows, least or other sandpipers, yellowlegs, etc. Last year I was tipped off by their staff about the NE corner of the compound where there is a warm water discharge river. You can squeeze around a gate, cross a bridge over the outflow and walk down to the confluence with the main New Hope Creek. I didn't find much there last year but it looks like a good spot for something rare. Usually takes me an hour or so, sign out, pull up to gate weighted pad will cause it to open automatically.

Usually lunch by now I hit the hotel and residential pond to north, horse farm on Stagecoach, and inside the count area north of 40 off 751 is the I40 waterfowl impoundments which has some sparrows, lots of fox, but otherwise more interesting in the spring.

Revised 23 December 2011

Chapel Hill Bird Count Circle