North Carolina county #6

Butler Nature Preserve

Yesterday, I did another two-county travel day.  I covered Cumberland and Hoke counties.  I thought that since Cumberland County had Fayetteville in it, which has a good size population, there would be a bunch of birding opportunities.  But actually it was quite difficult to find somewhere to bird for an hour or two.

I ended up finding the Gordon Butler Nature Preserve.  I was a bit apprehensive since it was supposedly landlocked and you have to enter via a closed gate at a dead-end.  Having no other good options, I decided to try it out.

Well, all I can say is that, at least during this time of year, the place was not great for birding – or doing anything in.  In fact, it was quite glum.

That was the most interesting place I could find to photograph.  It was not a very photogenic area, and there was also hardly any sign of wildlife.  Here are some notes I have from the visit:

  • ambient noise from distant cars and nearby construction
  • silent forest, overcast skies
  • spooky house

Yes, there was a spooky house.  Sometimes birding alone in a strange place, especially when there are no birds chirping, can be unnerving.

When I first arrived, a Pileated Woodpecker flew off which gave me hope for the area, but there didn’t turn out to be much around, except for one small spot which had a few small birds in it.

Pine Warbler

The most excitement I had was when a lone Ring-billed Gull flew overhead.  I wasn’t expecting to see one.  I stayed a little more than an hour, hoping there would be some activity.

Of course, it was still good to get out, and I completed my 6th county.

ebird checklist

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