North Carolina county #20 Pondberry Bay Preserve
It was a little difficult to find a spot to bird in Sampson County. There was a hotspot called Pondberry Bay Preserve, but there was very little information on it online and no obvious entrance. There was also only one checklist for it. After viewing Google maps, it looked like there was a small place I could pull over by some power lines, and there appeared to be paths through the woods from the satellite images. I decided to go for it.
It was a warm day, and across the street from where I parked, there was a dump, so the stench in the air was strong. I didn’t let that bother me though, as there were also a lot of birds making noise. Not to mention the gulls and roughly 100 vultures swarming around.
After walking down the power lines for a bit, I cut into a path and the smell was gone and the preserve turned out to be very nice. It reminded me a lot of Calloway Forest Preserve that I had visited in Hoke county.
This place also had loads of those American Bird Grasshoppers. The paths were all level and easy walking, and the weather made it very enjoyable. The insects are already starting to come out though so the next time out I will need to bring some repellant. It is amazing how we are into Spring already and February is not over yet.
There was a constant bird song on and I was able to get 24 species.
I had seen a yellow bird not long after entering but couldn’t place it before it flew away. On the way out I got a good look and some blurry pictures and was able to identify it as a Palm Warbler. In fact, I saw two of them. I think some of them must winter in this eastern part of the state; it is surely too early for migrations yet.
Another good day out, and a milestone as I am now 1/5th of the way done with my quest.