Yesterday's combo trip to Salacoa and Raccoon Creeks produced almost two dozen species, but took a lot of work to get them. I'll let Steve, Bruce and Casper produce the final fish list. I ended up getting tired of sitting around sulking and miserable and drove out to greet the group at the second stop (Raccoon Creek at Braswell Mtn Road) - bright sun, water level quite low, and no ATVer's or swimmers. I birded non-seriously for about half an hour while waiting for the Gang to show up from the first site - which they did, around 3:45pm.
Upon arrival, Casper immediately went face-down into the creek and started muttering off the species he was seeing (I can't decipher mutter in good times, much less when heard through a snorkle, but Steve & Bruce seemed to have no trouble). We left Casper happily viewing the darters and went upstream one of the forks to try to avoid silting the snorkling area.
The fish were on to our tricks and in general headed away at the first sign of disturbance. We saw several areas of creek that had been used for ATV & 4-wheeling crossing, and while there saw one 4x4 get mired and throw gallons of mud & water all up the bank while getting out - no wonder the fish are so skittish. Most netting attempts pulls produced shiner fry and damnbus, with the occasional darter, killi, and redbreasted sunfish.
I'll let Steve, Bruce and Casper produce the fish list. The bird count was pretty dismal, but I didn't do much serious birding. There was no wind, so the migrating raptors were waaaaay up in the sky, mere specs. Skyspecs sighted were 1 Merlin, 3 Redtail hawks, and 1 unidentified buteo. Birds closer to ground level were 1 Redtail, 1 Cooper's Hawks, 3 Turkey Vultures. 2 Eastern Kingbird, 6+ American Goldfinch, 4-6 Eastern Bluebird, 2 Mourning doves, dozens of starling, several unidentified sparrows, blackbirds, swallows.
Thanks for arranging the trip, guys, and I hope to be able to reciprocate someday soon with the little piece of Dog River that adjoins my property. Right now my muscles are busy reminding me I ain't 15 anymore, and I think seines have gotten much heavier over the last two decades.