North Carolina county #81 Sandy Creek Park
Sandy Creek Park – this is a really nice spot. It is not too large, with different types of terrain broken up by both dirt and paved trails. There is a lake, and a field, some restrooms and even a butterfly garden. There is clearly some nearby birders and butterflyers that help tend the place, and the web site has photos and lists of birds seen there.
In less than two hours, I got thirty-one species, which is excellent for me. There was also a large number of individual birds, with at least twenty House Finches and ten Eastern Bluebirds, among lots of other movement around the area. In one spot, there were a number of warblers moving through the tree, and I got my first of the season Cape May Warbler.
I got good looks at a White-eyed Vireo, some Northern Parulas, and American Redstarts. I finally saw my first Yellow-rumped Warbler this season, which means that it is the beginning of the end of the migration. They get very common later in the season and sometimes can be a pain since you have to watch a tree with ten of them and try to view each one, hoping it is something different. But now, I was glad to see one; it has been a while and I started to miss them.
My lightweight travel setup had me wanting to stay longer. Even though I missed many great photo opportunities because of my missing camera, it was really nice to walk around so unencumbered. I have to tell you now, that my camera is actually up and running again. But for this trip and three more after it, I still had only my backup camera with me.
The day was still dark and gloomy, but I didn’t mind at all, since the temperature was not as hot as it has been lately.
Some other birds of note: I actually saw three Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers on this trip. I haven’t seen any since last winter. There was a Swainson’s Thrush, lots of Gray Catbirds and Brown Thrashers, a Great Blue Heron and a Belted Kingfisher. Also, I finally saw some sparrows – I have hardly seen any sparrows lately for some reason. These were Song Sparrows.
The people in Durham County are lucky to have this little jewel. I would certainly stop by again if I am nearby.