North Carolina county #62 Lake Junaluska
Last weekend I went with my wife to Asheville and we managed to fit in two county stops to look for birds. The first was about 30 minutes to the west of the city at Lake Junaluska.
This is clearly a very active tourist destination – although there were hundreds of parking spots along the lake we had a hard time finding one. There also seemed to be some kind of event happening at the nearby church. Besides all the people dressed up, there were two bagpipe players practicing in the parking lot. There is a trail going around the lake, but we only went about a quarter of the way before turning back. It is a nice scenic spot, and the local folks have done a great job landscaping around the lake – there are flowers and plants everywhere.
With all the people, I wasn’t expecting to see many birds but there was a good assortment of the usual suspects. The Song Sparrows were out in full force and I spent a little time watching this guy sing for us.
We also saw an Eastern Kingbird with a nest, and dozens of swallows flying around the bridge across the dam. It seemed like they were nesting under it. There were a number of baby Mallards, a flock of Canada Geese, some Mute Swans and also domestic ducks. This is probably a good spot for waterfowl in autumn and winter.
I saw this interesting looking bee which I looked up when I got home. It is from a family of bees called Sweat Bees – which apparently are attracted to human sweat – although this particular type is not.
Lake Junaluska is a pretty spot and I can understand why there is so much tourism here, but it is a little too crowded for my liking. Maybe I will check it out in another season someday. The location is very nice as it is surrounded by National Parks and Forests.