North Carolina county #64 Weymouth Woods - Sandhills Nature Preserve
Last week I did a full day outing and brought my kids along to see two counties. It was a long day but a lot of fun. Our first stop was at Weymouth Woods – Sandhills Nature Preserve in Moore County.
This is another one of those locations with the pines and sand and frequent burnings that is supposed to be great habitat for the Red-cockaded Woodpecker – an endangered bird that only inhabits areas like these. I have been looking for one of these birds all year and had been continually let down. But my kids must have brought me luck this time, because I finally spotted one!
We were all very excited to get a look at this bird – our first endangered species. He hung around for a while allowing some photographs and easy naked eye viewing. My daughter had not brought binoculars, instead opting for a sketchpad so that she could catalog the wildflowers she found.
The paths were well maintained and we enjoyed the morning hike very much. My son had not seen an Eastern Wood-Pewee before and there were many of them calling and posing for photos. We also got great looks at White-breasted Nuthatches and a juvenile Chipping Sparrow that had me fooled for a bit with his streaky chest.
We took the Pine Barrens Trail and the Bower’s Bog trail, both relatively short. I would definitely be interested in exploring more of the trails sometime. There were other animals of interest, and I got some photos of a few insects and also a lizard.
We marveled at the camouflage on this guy. I pointed him out on a tree and the children couldn’t see him until I used the laser pointer to show them.
They had also never seen one of these Velvet Ants, also called a Cow Killer because their sting is supposed to be very painful. These are actually wingless wasps that someone showed me years ago when I first came to North Carolina.
In large part because of the children, this was a very memorable and enjoyable visit.