North Carolina county #23 Kerr Lake - Satterwhite Point
My next stop was at Satterwhite Point on Kerr Lake. This is a larger recreational area than Kimball Point, and luckily this one was open. In fact, the hours are 8am-8pm, which is pretty generous as most parks I visit close at 5pm.
Satterwhite Point has many different areas to park in, so I was able to drive around and look for birds, and then stop and get out and do short walks from each parking area. The wind was still pretty bad but there were areas that were sheltered by the land and trees. I saw several cars come and go but it was by no means busy.
I chased that Merlin around for a little while, trying to get a good shot. I thought it was a Kestrel actually, due to the size, and the clouds made it somewhat dark for good looks. These little falcons always intrigue me.
There was still no waterfowl on the windy lake other than some Canada Geese and a lone Ring-billed Gull. Since the park was not closing until 8pm, and since I was staying in a nearby hotel in order to hit a couple more counties the next day, I figured I would hang out and try to get a nice sunset photo. I parked in a scenic spot and read a book for a while.
The clouds grew and rain came sporadically. Some loud birds starting calling nearby; I got out to look and was rewarded by 3 Red-headed Woodpeckers nearby. One of the less common woodpeckers, I was glad to see them. I also noticed a large number of Ring-billed Gulls flying in as the wind suddenly decided to stop. I got my first real waterfowl under the dark clouds.
Sunset was supposed to be at 6:09pm, but after 2 hours of waiting, a Park Ranger drove up to me and told me they had to close the park early because a fire was headed our way. It was only about 5pm so I snapped a couple of quick shots with my telephoto lens and drove off.
The stay at the hotel turned out to be a failure. After checking in and relaxing for a few hours, I allowed my phone to do an update. Unfortunately the update totally messed up my phone, sticking it in a continuous boot-up loop – factory reset would not even solve the issue. I tried to get the directions for my next two stops from my laptop but realized I forgot to bring my charger and it ran out of batteries before I could write anything down. I had wasted my charge looking for solutions for the phone.
With no directions, there was no way for me to find these spots. I decided to give up and went home early. I will have to schedule those counties another time.