Shorebirds & More!
Venture to Hooper Lane, Mills River Park, Henderson County, NC & Mt. Mitchell
August 16, 2015
Our Hooper lane and Mills River Park day trip started off in a thick fog. We have had a slight cool down in the weather lately, and we were looking forward to a great day of birding. We started off on a great note with a Blue Grosbeak as soon as we got out of the cars in the Mills River Library parking lot. We walked the loop down by the river and saw all the usual suspects and our first look at a Great Egret from the new kids fishing pier. Back at the parking lot a large mixed flock of Swallows was hanging out on the power lines and library roof. We pulled four species out of the flock including: Tree, Barn, Cliff and Bank.
After an hour and a half the fog began to lift a little and we moved over to Hooper lane to search the fields for whatever we could find. The irrigation ditches were productive as usual giving us great looks at: House Wren, Great-crested Flycatcher, Common Yellowthroat, and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds for days. The farm fields were being patrolled by a Juvenile Peregrine Falcon that was giving the many Killdeer and Mourning Doves fits the entire time we were out in the fields.
We broke for a wonderful lunch of local cheeses, breads, chutneys, hummus and many other local items. By this time the day was getting fairly hot and we decided to give Hooper lane another try from the road. We were glad we did because one of the irrigation ditches yielded a brief but diagnostic look of a Sora. All in all we had 37 species for the day. We had a great day birding and visiting with new and old friends.