North Carolina county #99 Lake Lure Flowering Bridge and Morse Park
I planned some of these trips so long ago now that I sometimes have no idea what to expect when I arrive. I have a large Google doc with links to Google maps directions for each location. As I was driving to Rutherford County, I remembered that I had originally planned to do this one on one of my Spring trips, hence the reason for my first stop being the Flowering Bridge at Lake Lure.
A local organization created this when the bridge was closed to traffic some years ago and it intrigued me to see a whole bridge of flowering native plants. Of course, it being winter now there was not much flowering to see. However, the organization has done a great job making it something to see even in these cold months. there are little dioramas and nooks with rocking chairs, decorations hung for Christmas and all the plantings are still very interesting. It is definitely worth checking out.
That said, there were no birds nearby when I arrived and the wind coming off the lake to the bridge was brutal with temperatures in the 20’s. On the other side I heard a White-throated Sparrow and a Blue Jay, but not much more. Luckily, my plan for this location included walking over to Morse Park, which is only a short distance from the bridge.
Morse Park turned out to be a great location for birding, even in these frigid temperatures. Walking in, you could see lots of small birds moving around, mostly White-throated Sparrows, Song Sparrows, and American Goldfinches. There were also many of the usual suspects like Northern Cardinal, Northern Mockingbird, and Carolina Wren, and the lighting was good to get some sharp photos of these guys.
There were also a few surprises, including some Swamp Sparrows, a Fox Sparrow, and a Bald Eagle.
This guy looks about four years old, and just coming into his full adult plumage.
Morse Park is not a large park, but definitely worth coming to. With access to several ponds and Lake Lure, there is always the possibility for waterfowl and easy walking around good bird habitat.