This past weekend, I was able to go to the Atlantic Beach, NC, trip of the Carolina Bird Club. I rode there with Pat and Herb Amyx on Thursday, and we did a little birding before getting to the hotel. Hiking a trail that was located behind the local Bojangles, we saw a nice variety of shorebirds, Palm Warbler, and other expected land birds. On Friday, the winds were rough, and my scheduled trip to Cape Point was cancelled. Instead, our g\]roup, lead by Ricky Davis, went to Harker’s Island, North River Farm, and Open Ground Farm. Harker’s island was slow (Monroe Pannell and I nearly froze to death out on the dock), but NRF had pipits, harriers, and meadowlarks. On a hedgerow, we found my nemesis American Bittern. Also saw a few Bald Eagles, Gray Catbird, House Wren, and a bucket load of Yellow-rumps. Afterwards, Mr. Davis talked us into OGF, a hard to access farm , and I got my lifer Brewer’s Blackbirds, six in all. That night, I asked Mr. Davis and Mr. Fussell about the possibility of seeing Razorbill, and they told me to watch out from my balcony and I might see one. So, the next morning, Mr. Davis and I crammed ourselves on my tiny hotel balcony and proceeded to count 110 Razors. I saw more at the pier, and pushed my count up to 610. Other good birds included a pair of Red-necked Grebes, Surf Scoter, Black Scoter, and a million Gannets. By 1pm, the seawatching got slow, so Harry LeGrand and I decided to head off to Fort Macon. There, we met Josh Southern and his group, but didn’t see much. The fort itself was pretty cool though. All of us went to Calico Creek, where we found a pair of Rusty’s Blackbirds and some Green-winged Teal. Mr. Southern’s group decided to leave at that point, and Mr. LeGrand and I visited John Fussell’s place, seeing about 5 Baltimore Orioles, a RT Hummingbird, and a Yellow-breasted Chat-all great winter birds. On our way to the hotel, Mr. LeGrand saw an Osprey, and we veered off the road to watch it. That night, Lynn Baker gave a great talk about her 2008 big year, in which she saw 723 birds. This record was the 3rd best ever, bested only be both of Sandy Komoto’s big years. Also the best total for a Women Big Year. However, the fact that Attu is now closed likely prevented her from crushing the previous record. This morning, Mr. LeGrand, Mr. Davis, Mr. Tove, Mr. Amyx, and I attempted seawatching, but action was slow. Soon, we learned of a Sandhill Crane flock behind Beaufort Elementary School on Highway 17 east. I got in the car with Mrs. Barber and Mrs. Gallitano, with Mr. Tove closely behind. To our dismay, they were not there. Ricky Davis told us he was going to look for them again, knowing only one shred of information: they flew north. Although he said refinding them was “next to nothing”, we got a call ten minutes later from Mr. Davis giving us directions to this field in the middle of a subdivision. About midway out in the field, I got great looks of three cranes, state birds for me! We came home to a snowy Raleigh, and I saw more Orioles at Mrs. Gallitano’s yard. Although the weather was, as said by Mr. Piephofft, was “horrendous”, I had a great time and got 3 lifers and 3 state birds.