North Carolina county #22 Kerr Lake - Kimball Point
Kerr Lake appeared to have some pretty good spots to bird, and I had wanted to get their earlier in the year to hopefully get some winter waterfowl. It is a good distance from me so the plan was to stay overnight and hit neighboring counties. On my first attempt, I was rained out and cancelled the trip, and March crept up on me so I was probably too late for much waterfowl.
My first stop was Kimball Point, which was in Warren county and pretty close to the Virginia border.
Unfortunately, there was severe wind, and I could barely hold the camera still as I was buffeted by strong gusts. There was no waterfowl that I could see, except for a few Canada Geese on the far shore.
Coming from the Charlotte area, which has Lake Norman and all the expensive houses surrounding it, I was struck by the lack of development along this lake. It is a fairly large lake, with hundreds of miles of desirable coastline, but as I drove around it there didn’t seem to be any commercialization of the area or real estate. Many of the nice coastal spots seem to be protected and have state parks on them. It was refreshing to see and I hope it stays that way.
On my way to the lake, I spotted a flock of Wild Turkeys – my first for the year.
When I arrived at Kimball Point, there was a gate barring the way for cars to enter. The sign gave the times the place was open and I was there at the correct time, so I am not sure where I went wrong. This is not the first time I’ve run into this problem during these trips. In any case, there were a couple of parking spots outside the recreation area so I parked and walked in. The upside was that I had the whole area to myself.
I was worried there would be no birds at all due to the severe winds, but it wasn’t as bad on the other side of the point which was sheltered by the trees. I managed to get 13 species, although no decent photos. I almost got a nice shot of a Red-tailed Hawk but I had just taken some landscape shots and forgot to change the settings to capture a bird in flight, so they came out blurry.
Those were the best I got. It’s funny how common birds can excite you when you are not expecting much. I was very happy to spot a Hermit Thrush in the woods as I crossed from one side of the point to the other.
This seems like a very nice area. I’m not sure why the hotspot has a three year gap in it – the last list before mine was in 2014. I clearly missed out on the winter waterfowl as that one lists a lot of good birds, including Red-necked Grebe, Long-tailed Duck, and Common Loon. If it opens to the public again (and the wind is better), I am sure this will be a great spot to bird.