North Carolina county #29 Kenan Park
My parents were visiting this past weekend so my wife and I left the kids with them and had a fun weekend away. I fit in some birding and had a great time in Duplin county on Saturday. The original plan was to go to Cabin Lake park, but when we arrived at 8am, we were told it was closed for the day due to a kids fishing event. There are really not many other options for birding in Duplin county, and we were resigned to just walking around the hotel (the Squire Vintage Inn – a very nice place to stay by the way), until my wife remembered passing a small park in Kenansville. It was not really a nature park – it had a couple of baseball fields, some basketball courts and a playground – but it did have some larger fields in the back. So we stopped at Kenan Park and walked the edges of the fields to see what was around.
We had a fun time walking through the high grass and there was a decent variety of birds for this type of area. I was a little disappointed that there were no warblers, but we did get a Barn Swallow, a Great Blue Heron, and some Savannah Sparrows.
The best was this Red-shouldered Hawk that hung around most of the time. He gave us some great views. We were able to approach fairly closely and he flew around us a few times.
I’ve been noticing a lot of butterflies as the Spring continues. There is quite a diversity that I never paid much attention to. One of the experienced birders in Mecklenburg often mentions the names of them when they show up and it has gotten me a little bit interested. Before leaving the park, I took a photo of this one that I identified later.
We did do some birding around the hotel afterwards, which added to my Duplin County total with some of the common birds we missed at the park. If I ever plan to go to the area again, I would definitely stop by. It is actually a little bit of a destination itself, serving as a winery and restaurant, with another winery and restaurant nearby.
Despite the mix up in the morning with the park closure, I had a great time in Duplin County.