FENCE, Pacolet River &
Polk County, NC
Wednesday, April 10 2012
It was a chilly start to the day at Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (FENCE) as we started our annual Polk County Birding trip. The last time I had been down at FENCE I had been lucky enough to find 2 Red-headed Woodpeckers and amazingly, the birds were still around in the now greening woodlands. A Yellow-throated Vireo was singing its husky song and a Prairie Warbler sang and gave us great views in a tree near the FENCE Center.
A walk along the old entry road gave us our first Barn and Tree Swallows along with a blizzard of American Goldfinches.
A walk down to the Wildlife Pond produced our expected Common Yellowthroats as well as a pair of Blue-winged Teal, always uncommon at this small wetland. A quick trip down along the Pacolet River before lunch was good for some open country birds such as Red-tailed Hawk, Eastern Meadowlark and Field Sparrow. Here we also found our stake-out Barn Owls for some excellent, if brief views.
After our picnic lunch outside at the FENCE picnic shelter we finished the day with a walk along the recently paved section of Howard Gap Road on the way up to Saluda. Always good in the morning for warblers and other forest species, it was a little quieter in the late afternoon, but we still managed to see a few recently arrived Black-throated Green Warblers, and hear Black-and-white, Worm-eating and hooded Warblers.