North Carolina county #63 Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary
In the morning before we left Asheville, we went to the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary, which is only about 10 minutes from the downtown area. It is run by the local Audubon chapter and is well maintained with a boardwalk path and nice habitat for birds and other wildlife.
The Lake is on the far side of the loop and didn’t have any waterfowl or wading birds in it at this time. There was a kayaker on the lake and we met a friendly man photographing the Red-wing Blackbirds. He seemed to be a fairly serious photographer and we chatted for a while about cameras and birds. He had moved from the Outer Banks to Asheville – two very nice spots in North Carolina.
The walk was very pleasant and there was a good assortment of birds. Several Gray Catbirds came very close and gave us good looks and a Northern Flicker landed on the boardwalk in front of us at one point. I was very happy to see two Black-and-white Warblers, which must be nesting here since migration is long over now. In fact, one of them was a juvenile and must have recently hatched in the area.
There was a very large turtle just off the boardwalk – my wife thought its head was a large frog at first. You can see how she could have thought so:
Towards the end, as I was trying to get a better photo of the Black-and-white Warbler, a Cooper’s Hawk flew in to a branch nearby, scaring the rest of the birds away. He was very close to us, but too quick for me to get a shot of with the camera.
This is absolutely worth a stop if you are in or near Asheville, and next time I am in the city I will be back here.