North Carolina county #82 William B. Umstead State Park
Inside the capital city Raleigh, William B. Umstead State Park is 5,579 acres of woods, trails, streams and lakes. Entering the park, you can immediately get a sense of the landscape.
I walked the very easy Pott’s Branch Trail in a little under 2 miles. The park is very well-marked and there was a mix of pavement and dirt (mostly dirt).
I enjoyed the walk. The birds were not as busy at this hour, but I did manage to see a couple of Black-throated Blue Warblers. When I started this one hundred county quest, one of my main goals was to just pile on some experience. I can learn from a book quickly enough, but I just cannot compare to the birders who have been out in the field for decades. I hoped that forcing myself to travel the state and do a lot of birding in different locations would make me understand things that they don’t really talk about in the books and online. One thing that has become clear is the way the species move in and migrate together. On this trip, across many counties, I started seeing Black-throated Blue Warblers in almost every location. This has been the same for every other species over time. I will hardly see any, and then all of a sudden, they are in every county I visit for a while. It is fascinating to me that at any given week in the Spring and Fall, there are many thousands of a particular species of bird in forests across the continent, that all of a sudden all pick up and fly south (or north) around the same time. And more so – that this has been going on around for me decades without me realizing.
The trail had some interesting spots. There was a stream to follow, and a wooden platform to look down at some of the forest you went through.
Now that it was later in the day, it was starting to get warm again. I looked forward to a good rest after the travails of the day before.
When I got back to the hotel, I watched a series called Mars on the National Geographic channel. It was pretty good. I was staying in a rather strange hotel clearly built to attract the Millennial generation – they are a chain called Aloft. I kind of liked it.