North Carolina county #52 Merchants Millpond State Park
In Gates County, I went to Merchants Millpond State Park. This is a wetland heavy park with canoe rental for paddle trails and areas that you can camp in that you need a canoe to get to. I took the 2 mile long Coleman hiking trail which was a nice and easy one.
I remember thinking that migration was over and I wish I had done more birding for the two weeks that it was really busy in North Carolina, but then I saw five warbler species while walking so I am still catching the tail end of it I guess.
As usual it was hard to get a clean shot on the dark path but I was happy to catch a few usable ones of this Hooded Warbler, whose song I followed for a while before finding him.
The trail was nice and enjoyable with benches along the way in case you wanted to stop and read a book or just relax. There was a large quantity of birds around – I pretty much heard Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and Northern Parula everywhere I went. The Acadian Flycatchers were out in full force also. I caught a glimpse of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird which can be hard to spot in a forested place like this.
I am still watching the dragonflies – some of them have very interesting colors. I was able to identify this one as a female Eastern Pondhawk once I got home.
This is a great spot and I have a feeling it was really hopping about 2 weeks ago. It would be interesting to try out the boating here.