North Carolina county #77

Rankin Lake Park

Today I took a short trip over to Gaston County and visited Rankin Lake Park.

Rankin Lake

I was very impressed with the birds here, especially for how busy it was.  I ran into a middle school class going around the lake and dozens of other walkers and joggers, including one other birder (who saw some species I missed including Orange-crowned Warbler and Magnolia Warbler).

It looks like waterfowl migration has begun, since there was a mixed flock of Blue-winged Teal and Northern Shoveler on the water.

Blue-winged Teal and Northern Shoveler

This is great timing since I just ordered my first spotting scope, which should arrive later today.

It is great to be in the overlap period of waterfowl and warbler migration.  Even though I missed the warblers that the other (more experienced) birder found, I still saw 5 warbler species, including a Northern Waterthrush, American Redstarts and a Black-throated Green Warbler.  I also spotted a Scarlet Tanager.

Black-throated Green Warbler

There were several areas with dozens of birds flitting through the trees – it was good birding excitement.  I got a good amount of photos, most of which you can see in the ebird checklist.

Chimney Swift

There were a number of Chimney Swifts flying around – I never really bother trying to photograph them since they are so fast and high-flying, but I managed to get something usable this time.

Red-bellied Woodpecker hanging around

The park has a trail that runs about 1.5 miles around the lake and also connects to the nearby greenway.  Both trails seemed very active for birds.  This park is an excellent spot and I will be coming back here, especially since it is only about 45 minutes away.

ebird checklist

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