North Carolina county #90

Pilot Mountain State Park

This week I took a trip north to Pilot Mountain State Park, which has areas in both Surry and Yadkin Counties.  In Surry County, I went to Pilot Mountain itself, and visited the overlook area and a trail nearby.

There was an overlook from the spot I took that photo, which has very nice views most of the way around.  I ran into a Park Ranger there, who was a very knowledgeable birder and all around good guy to talk with.  He let me know that the best time for watching the hawk migrations is the third week in September, and I am going to try to go somewhere for that next year.  It would be great to watch hundreds of hawks fly south at once.

He also pointed out a few interesting items at the view.  For example, you could see a fog that follows the path of the Yadkin River.

And also, in the distance you could see Winston-Salem.

On the way up, I heard and saw a Common Raven.  They make some interesting sounds sometimes.  I also got some good looks at both Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and a Carolina Wren was messing around on the ground.  The sun was at my back on the way down.

This let me get some really nice shots of a Downy Woodpecker in one of the trees.

Downy Woodpecker

From there, I took a trail around the base of that large rock outcropping at the top of the mountain.

There wasn’t a lot of birds, but I saw a few more, such as Dark-eyed Junco, Hermit Thrush, and Eastern Bluebird.  The scenery and rocks were very interesting to look at as well.

This is a nice spot, and very well maintained with many trails, some of them fairly strenuous if you are into hiking.  The ranger told me that Surry County doesn’t have a lot of birding records so it’s a good place to add some observations, for the sake of science.  Definitely a fun visit also.

ebird checklist

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