Chapel Hill Bird Count Circle

A 15-mile diameter circle centered at the intersection of Franklin and Columbia Streets in downtown Chapel Hill. The circle is divided into 31 different count areas.
Please read the descriptions below carefully and click on the area titles for a more detailed map of each area.

Click here for the old map in case the live google map above doesn't display.
You can also download Chapel Hill Bird Count Circle.kml for use with Google Earth on your computer (doesn't work with Android version of Earth).

1. Maple View Farm area. Bounded on northwest by count circle, on south by Dairyland Rd. from count circle to Albert Rd. (1179), then Albert Rd. to Union Grove Church Rd. (1179), on east by Union Grove Church Rd. from Albert Rd. to Arthur Minnis Rd. (1113), Arthur Minnis to Old 86 (1009), and Old 86 north to the count circle. Count both sides of all boundary roads except count neither side of Old 86. Notes: Maple View Farm is high priority in Chapel Hill circle because it is the only area with extensive open fields. Target species include: American Pipit, Northern Bobwhite, Savannah Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Eastern Meadowlark, Bobolink.

2. Old 86 area. Bounded on north by count circle, on east by I-40 from count circle to one mile south of New Hope Ch Rd, then line southwest and south to 0.6 mile west of intersection of Eubanks and Rogers Rd., then Eubanks west to Old 86, Old 86 south to Calvander, on south by Dairyland Rd from Calvander to Albert Rd. (1179), on west by Albert Rd., Union Grove Church Rd. (1179) from Albert Rd. to Arthur Minnis Rd. (1113), Arthur Minnis to Old 86 (1009), and Old 86 north to the count circle. Count both sides of Old 86, Dairyland, and Eubanks Rds. Do not count Albert, Union Grove Church, or Arthur Minnis Rds. or the Duke FACE site, which is covered in area 3. Includes all of Homer Ruffin Road and Mountain Creek Road and offshoots. Notes: This area includes part of the Blackwood Division of Duke Forest which has nice forested hiking trails.

3. New Hope Church area. Bounded on north by count circle, east by NC 86, on south by Eubanks Rd. from 86 to Rogers Rd., on west by line from 0.6 mile west of Rogers Rd. north to include the FACE site, then diagonally to I-40 1 mile south of I-40/New Hope Ch Rd. interchange and then I-40 north to count circle. Count both sides of Eubanks Road and 86. Notes: Includes Camp New Hope, the Orange County Landfill (on both sides of Eubanks), and the Duke FACE site, with entrance on Eubanks Road. Stop for lunch at Allen & Son BBQ for the finest hickory-smoked eastern NC style Q money can buy (closed Sun-Mon).

4. Dodson's Crossroads area. Bounded on north by Dairyland Rd., on east by Dairyland and Bethel-Hickory Grove Ch. Rd., on south by NC 54, on west by count circle. Count the north side of NC 54 and both sides of Bethel-Hickory Grove Ch. Rd., but do not count Dairyland Road. Notes: Includes the American Stone quarry and pond. The pond rarely has anything on it, but had a Horned Grebe in 2008. The quarry is a suspected nesting area for Common Raven, but so far no birder has sought permission to check.

5. Lake Hogan Farm area. Bounded on north by Eubanks Rd, on west by old NC 86, on south by Homestead Rd., on east by NC 86. North side of Homestead Road (SR 1777) from NC 86 to Lake Hogan Farm Rd. Includes Lake Hogan Farm development, Rogers Rd. (1729) and offshoots; Southern Railway line from Homestead Rd. to Eubanks Rd. Excludes Eubanks Rd., Old 86, and landfill. Notes: Hogan's Farm, a dairy, was formerly a fantastic birding spot. The area is highly developed now, but the lake is still worth checking.

6. Bolin Creek area. West side of NC 86 (Airport Rd.) from Homestead to Bolin Cr. Walk Bolin Cr. (both sides) back to Homestead. South side of Homestead between Bolin Cr. and NC 86. Notes:

7. Carrboro area. Bounded on south by Business 54 (Franklin/Main Sts.) from Columbia St. to SR 1104 (Bethel-Hickory Grove Ch. Rd.); north by SR 1104 from 54 to Calvander, then Homestead Rd. from Calvander to Bolin Creek, then Bolin Creek; east by Airport Rd. from Bolin Creek to Franklin St. Does not count either side of Bolin Creek, Bethel-Hickory Grove Church Rd., or Dairyland Rd. Notes:

8. Turkey Farm Rd. area. Bounded on west by NC 86, on south by Weaver Dairy Rd., on east by Sunrise Rd./line north from Sunrise to New Hope Creek/New Hope Cr. to Turkey Farm Rd./Turkey Farm Rd./Mt. Sinai Rd./University Sta. Rd., on north by count circle. Excludes Carol Woods and NC 86. Notes: See Johnston Mill Nature Preserve for information on one great spot to cover.

9. Friends School area. Bounded on west by University Station/Mt.Sinai/Turkey Farm Rd., south by New Hope Creek, east by Erwin/Kerley Rd., north by count circle. Includes Korstian Division of Duke Forest south of Mt. Sinai to (but not including) New Hope Creek. Excludes the Hollow Rock section of Duke Forest north of Erwin along New Hope Creek (gates 27 and 33). Excludes 1716, 1720, University Station and Turkey Farm Rds. Notes: Includes the campus of Carolina Friends School and several nice forested trails in the Korstian Division of Duke Forest along Mount Sinai Road. See Duke Forest: Durham & Korstian Divisions for some ideas on where to go.

10. Duke Forest area. Bounded by New Hope Creek on north, Erwin Road on east, Weaver Dairy on south, and Sunrise on west. Excludes Weaver Dairy and Sunrise. Notes: Includes several nice forested trails in the Korstian Division of Duke Forest along Whitfield Rd. See Duke Forest — Korstian Division and Duke Forest: Durham & Korstian Divisions for some ideas on where to go.

11. Sandy Creek area. Bounded on south by 15-501 from New Hope Creek to Erwin Rd., on west by Erwin Rd. from 15-501 to Randolph Rd. Eastern boundary follows Randolph Rd. to Pickett Rd. to 15-501. Also includes the Hollow Rock section of Duke Forest north of Erwin along New Hope Creek (gates 27 and 33). Notes: A great spot to cover is the Sandy Creek Park, and old wastewater treatment plant, which is accessed off the end of Sandy Creek Drive.

12. Mud Creek area. Bounded on the east by 15-501 from the count circle to Pickett Rd. Bounded on the west by New Hope and Mud Creeks to Pickett Rd., following (but not including) Pickett and Randolph to Erwin. North of Erwin, bounded on the west by Kerley to the count circle. Includes Mud Creek swamp on Erwin Rd. at edge of count circle. Notes:

13. Eastwood Lake area. Area bounded by E. Franklin/15-501 on east, Erwin/Weaver Dairy roads on north, Airport Rd. (86) on west, Estes Drive on south. Notes: Mainly forested suburbs, a couple of spots to check are Eastwood Lake and Cedar Falls Park on Weaver Dairy Road across from Sunrise.

14. Ephesus Church area. Bordered by east side of New Hope Creek on the east, NC 54 on south, Farrington Rd. (SR 1110) and Ephesus Ch. Rd. on west, and US 15-501 on north. Notes: Includes New Hope Creek (both sides), New Hope Creek impoundment (western half) and Leigh Farm. See NC 54 impoundments for some ideas on where to go.

15. Hope Valley area. Bounded by count circle and NC 751 (Hope Valley Rd.) on east, NC 54 on south, east side of New Hope Creek on west, and 15-501 on northwest. Notes: This area does not include New Hope Creek itself, but does include the eastern half of the New Hope Creek impoundment. See NC 54 impoundments for some ideas on where to go. Click the link for much more detail on the good spots to cover.

16. Central Chapel Hill area. Bounded on north by Estes Drive (from Airport Rd. to Franklin St.) and Franklin St. (from Estes to intersection with 15-501 bypass), east by US 15-501, south by Raleigh Rd./South Rd., and west by Airport Rd./Columbia St. Notes: A good spot to cover is the Bolin Creek Greenway between Franklin St. and Airport Road, which can be great for warblers in spring. One access point is at the end of Elizabeth St. Battle Park, an old-growth hardwood forest, is great for warblers in spring. The main campus of UNC is also in area 16, including the arboretum and McCorkle Place (home of a pair of Barred Owls). University Mall and Eastgate Shopping Center are worth checking for "trash birds", Cooper's Hawks, and Song Sparrows in spring.

17. Little Creek area. Bounded on west by US 15-501, north by Ephesus Ch. Rd., east by Farrington Rd. (SR 1110), south by NC 54. Notes: Includes Little Creek impoundment. See NC 54 impoundments for some ideas on where to go.

18. Eastside area. Bounded on west by NC 751 (from Archdale Drive/MLK to Chatham Co. line), south by Chatham Co. line, east by count circle. Includes east side of 751. Notes: Click the link for much more detail on the good spots to cover.

19. Finley Golf Course. Notes: Check the large pond for water birds; several brushy areas between the greens are good for sparrows. The mature pines that dominate the course should have Pine Warblers and Brown-headed Nuthatches.

20. Mason Farm. All areas of the Mason Farm Biological Reserve, including the hackberry-warbler trail, the loop trail, and game lands to the south of the loop trail. Notes: Be sure to return to the open fields at dusk to watch for ducks making their evening commute and listen for American Woodcocks (winter).

21. Laurel Hill area. Bounded by 15-501 on northwest (from Mt. Carmel Ch. Rd. to Raleigh Rd.), NC 54 on north (from 15-501 to Farrington Rd.), Farrington and Farrington Mill Rds. on east, Chatham County line on south, Mt. Carmel Church Rd. on west. Includes NC Botanical Garden, but excludes Mason Farm, Carolina Meadows, and Finley Golf Course. Notes: The forested trails of the NC Botanical Garden are a prime spot to cover.

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. For more detailed notes, click the area name above.

22S. Southeast area. NC 751 from Fayetteville Rd. (1118) south to count circle, west to midstream New Hope Creek/Jordan Lake, north to Chatham Co. line; county line east to count circle. Notes: Includes game lands accessible from 751 (parking lot just north of the bridge over Jordan Lake).

23. Edwards Mountain area. Bounded by US 15-501 on west, Mt. Carmel Ch. Rd./SR 1008 on north and east, and Lystra Ch. Rd. on south. Includes Governor's Club. Do not count Farrington Road (1008) itself, just areas to the west. Notes: This area includes extensive swampy forested game lands to the west of Farrington Road, but access is difficult.

24N. Old Hope Valley Farm Rd. area. Peninsula in Jordan Lake from center of New Hope Cr. on east to center of Morgan Cr. on west and from count circle north to Farrington Mill Rd (SR 1109/1726). Notes: Includes Kepley Road. See Old Hope Valley Farm Road for ideas on where to go.

24S. Whippoorwill Lane area. Bounded on north by Farrington Mill Rd. (SR 1726), east by center of Morgan Creek, south by count circle, west by Farrington Road (1008). Includes Farrington Mill Rd. bridge over Morgan Creek. Count both sides of 1008. Notes: There is an extensive swampy area at Cub Creek east of Farrington Road which has a large Great Blue Heron colony.

25. Big Woods Swamp area. Bounded on north by Lystra Rd. from SR 1008 to US 15-501, east by 1008, south by count circle, west by 15-501. Notes: Includes a nice swamp at the northern end of Big Woods Road. Great Blue Herons have nested to the east of the road. The swamp to the west of Big Woods is good to check for ducks, shorebirds, and sparrows, in season. See Big Woods Road for more.

26. Old Greensboro Highway area. Bounded by count circle on west, NC 54 on north, Hatch Rd. (1944)/Greensboro Hwy (1005) on east, Jones Ferry Rd. on south. Notes:

27. University Lake area. Bounded on northeast by NC 54 and 54 bypass from Hatch Rd. (1944) to Smith Level Road, on southeast by Smith Level Rd./Damascus Church Road (SR 1939/SR 1940), on west by Jones Ferry Rd./Greensboro Hwy/Hatch Rd. (SR 1944). Excludes the latter three roads. Notes: See University Lake for more information on covering the lake.

28. Dogwood Acres area. Bounded by US 15-501 on east, Smith Level Rd. on west and south, and 54 bypass on north. Excludes boundary roads. Notes: Not much birding potential here, but there are a couple of patches of woods. Includes Dogwood Acres, Southern Village, and Culbreth Middle School.

29. South Town area. From Raleigh Rd./15-501 bypass intersection south and west along bypass to NC 54 business, and back east on 54 business to point of beginning. Notes: Urban and old suburban (with mature trees), there are a few patches of woods and city parks in the area.

30. Southwest area. Bounded by count circle on southwest, US 15-501 and Smith Level Rd. on east, and Damascus Ch. Rd. (1939-1940) on north, Jones Ferry Rd. on northwest. Excludes all boundary roads. Notes: Not much is known about good birding spots in this area. It is rarely covered.

31. Carol Woods area. Carol Woods development off Weaver Dairy Rd. Notes: This area is covered by residents of the Carol Woods retirement community. [obsolete]

32. Carolina Meadows area. Carolina Meadows development off Farrington Mill Rd, bounded by Mt. Carmel Church Road on west, Whippoorwill Lane on southwest, Farrington Mill Rd. on southeast, and the Orange County line on north. Notes: This area is covered by residents of the Carolina Meadows retirement community.

Revised 8 January 2009 cwcook@duke.edu

Chapel Hill Bird Club