North Carolina county #80

Johnston Mill Nature Preserve

Early in the morning I headed out to Johnston Mill Nature Preserve.  This is an all wooded area with two creeks that run through it and three and a half miles of trails.  They are well-marked and there is parking at the entrance to the trails.

That photo was taken as I was leaving, but as dark as it looks, it was even darker in the forest as I was entering.  Dark and wet, it was not easy to spy little warblers flitting in the trees.  These are exactly the wrong conditions for my handicapped camera situation, and despite getting excellent views of a Black-throated Blue Warbler with my trusty binoculars, my camera could not get any details, as you can see.

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Still, one thing I found was that the walk was more enjoyable, due to having a much smaller camera and no backpack to lug around.  I felt positively free, and it is a major trade-off, from being fully prepared for photography to not-so-much prepared.  I would still like the flexibility to get a good photo if I want, but I have said many times that you are best off either birding or photographing.  When you try to do both at the same time, both endeavors suffer.  My plan is to have dedicated trips for both, next year.  After the quest is completed.

wet and dark

I still don’t have a good feel for migration timing, and as I started this trip I was worried that warbler migration was ending or over.  But seeing a Black-and-white Warbler and Black-throated Blue Warbler on this trip convinced me there was still some life left in the fall migration, and plenty more to see.  For one thing, the Yellow-rumps had not yet arrived.

ebird checklist

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