Troglodytidae – The Carolina Wren was life bird for me on this trip. I started birding after I had moved to Ottawa where this species would be nothing more than a rare visitor. For its diminutive size, this bird can pack a punch vocally. It was easily the loudest bird my partner and I came across during our trip.
Polioptilidae – Another life bird was the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. I had not anticipated how many gnatcatchers we would see during the trip, both at the Edwin M. Griffin Nature Preserve and Lake Conestee Nature Park. These little birds were in constant motion, and a few times we got to see one catch and consume an insect.
Turdidae and Mimidae – Apart from American Robins, the thrushes we came across were quite secretive and hard to photograph. This Veery posed briefly, allowing me to snap a quick picture. I’m glad it did, because I’m not sure I would have procured an ID otherwise. Veery was settled upon due to the lack of speckling seen on the breast. I was also lucky to see all three mimids native to eastern North America. I was surprised at how common Northern Mockingbirds were in the area. We saw many individuals during our hikes, but they were also one of the most common telephone wire birds as well.
Bombycillidae – I traded Bohemian Waxwings in Ottawa for Cedar Waxwings in South Carolina. We only came across small numbers of waxwings roosting in the wetland of the Edwin M. Griffin Nature Preserve. It was nice to hear their high-pitched whistles again after a long winter.