North Carolina county #46 New River State Park - Wagoner Access Area
This week I drove out to the mountains and was able to cover three counties in one day, by staying overnight and getting up early to start with Ashe County and then moving on to Watauga and Avery before the day ended. In Ashe County I chose the Wagoner Access Area of New River State Park.
This state park has several completely disconnected locations which is why I specified the Wagoner Access Area. There are several parking areas and trails for horses, and there were some campers there at the time as well. There are showers for campers and areas to reserve. The park runs along the New River and a couple of the locations are accessible by canoe or kayak only, which can also be rented.
I got there just after 7am and it was very dark under the canopy and no large vistas so there were no great photos to take home. I took the Fern Trail which did run alongside the river for a while.
I spotted a few Acadian Flycatchers – now that I know their call I am finding them everywhere. I actually did not find any warblers except a single Pine Warbler. My sound identification skills are still lacking so it is likely I missed some, but it is also likely that the migration period is winding down. I am still missing several fairly common warblers for the year; maybe I will have to wait until the fall. There are some trade-offs in getting to see the state. I don’t have the time to chase specific species that much. My favorite bird of the trip was a White-eyed Vireo. He was hiding for a while and I was hoping at first it was a new warbler, but then I finally got a glimpse of his white eye.
I am always happy to see these colorful little birds. The trail was short but somewhat hilly. When I was coming over one of the hills, I flushed a Pileated Woodpecker no more than 10 feet in front of me. He was very large and colorful in the in dim light. He stopped on a tree to look at me before flying off with his loud keekeekeekeekee call.