North Carolina county #30

Jones Lake State Park

On the way home from Duplin County, we stopped at Jones Lake State Park in Bladen County.  Since it was early and we had no plans for the day, we decided to take the long trail around Jones lake and also the offshoot to view Salters Lake.

Jones Lake

Right away, I started seeing good birds.  A first of year Eastern Kingbird was at the top of a tree, and some Barn Swallows were flying around.

Barn Swallow
Eastern Kingbird

One of the birds I’d been hoping to see was a Northern Parula.  I’d seen reports that they were starting to come into the state.  Sure enough, there were loads of them throughout the walk.

Northern Parula

There was a good diversity of terrain and the walk was very enjoyable.

We were starting to get a bit sluggish on the second half of this 7 mile hike when I was surprised by the highlight of the trip – a Broad-winged Hawk.  I was actually not able to identify it in the moment but I knew it was a lifer for me as it didn’t match the common hawks I am used to seeing.  Once I got home and was able to study the photos, I identified it and got verification from one of the birding forums full of experts.

Broad-winged Hawk

We were pretty beat by the time we got back to the car but it was a great day out and a fun walk.  Overall, I got 33 species which is pretty good for me.  The migration seems to be heating up and the next couple of months should be excellent.

ebird checklist

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