North Carolina county #5 South Fork River Rail Trail
It’s been almost a week since I’ve been able to get out. The weather has been very cold and then rainy and family stuff needed doing. I took advantage of the lull in my responsibilities today to go to Lincoln County, where I visited South Fork River Rail Trail. This is a roughly one mile (each way) trail along the South Fork River, and is part of the Carolina Thread Trail.
It turned into a pretty warm day, but there was still a chill in the air and a light fog in places when I arrived. These guys stared me down in the parking lot – their mother was sitting on the hood of a car as I pulled up but ran off.
There were a lot of birds in the trees making a racket. All along the trail I saw quite a lot of activity, but nothing terribly rare. There was a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker not far from the entrance, and a few White-breasted Nuthatches. I also saw a pair of Eastern Towhees. By the way, I always link to the full ebird checklist at the bottom of these reports.
In any case, those cats were not the only ones that seemed upset I was there.
At the end of the trail, I crossed a road and the Carolina thread trail continues. I was going to keep walking for a bit, but there was a dog standing in the middle of the path barking. Apparently he belonged to the house on the hill next to the path. I attempted to reason with the dog, and even walked by him, but he got very upset and was growling and barking. Every time I turned my back he came at me from behind with tail down and teeth bared. I decided to turn back since he would not go away and it is hard to find birds when you are being stalked and barked at. Turning back was difficult though since he seemed unwilling to let me pass again, and he began growling and coming at me. I had to pick up a stick, yell at him and approach menacingly in order to get him to back off. He followed alongside the path for a bit and his owner began calling him back, but he did not stop following me until I had passed the house again.
He was not sorry to see the back of me, and neither was this guy.
Overall, it was a memorable trip. I am not sure I would drive an hour to go there again but it is a great local spot for birds. I am sure those trees are even more alive during migration season.
My next planned trip is a full day to cover Cumberland and Hoke counties. I hope to get it done by mid-next week. So far, I am still on schedule.