I am thankful to be here--I will visit my son and wife and two grandsons. The boys, age 5 and 7, are a delight. I wish you all the best in this holiday season. Be warm, well, and full of good food---
If you live nearby River Park North in Greenville, NC, you should take an hour or so and walk around the lakes there.You don't have to drive 5 hours to the mountains for a great fall experience! The colors are very bright now with all shades of red, yellow, orange, maroon, etc. I visited this morning and the walk did my soul(and probably my arthritis) good! I saw a few of the winter residents including several Great Blue Herons, juncos, white-throated sparrows, kingfishers, woodpeckers, etc, but took no pictures of the critters this time. I was focused on trying to capture a bit of fall to share with you who visit this site. I have been pleasantly surprised and quite amazed at the number and the diversity of the viewers. There have been quite a few guests from Russia and South Africa as well as many other countries, and the US as well. I thank you all for your interest. If you would like to comment(good or bad), I would appreciate your input, especially as to improvements I might make. Also, if you have any specific requests about critters in this area, I will happily share whatever I know-- Hope you enjoy the fall color below----
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Friday was a beautiful cool front, blue-sky day and the temptation to drive the hour and a half to see if the winter waterfowl had arrived from up north was too much to resist. The leaves in the yard could wait! I suspected at least a few early arrivals would be cavorting in the lake and impoundments. It had been since last February and I was just glad to be getting back to one of my favorite places. It was 8:30 before I left, so I arrived around 10. Driving in, I could see nothing on the large front impoundment , but could hear the tundra swans making a racket on the lake. Going up Wildlife Drive, I saw two eagles in the tall trees across the canal, a few kingfishers, a kestral, great egret, G. blue heron, comorants, and dozens of turtles still trying to warm up in the sun. I drove to the old Lodge and walked to the rear, east side of the canal to see if there were night herons who frequently hang out there, but no luck. I could still hear the Swans calling me, so drove out to the main lake and they were tucked out of the west wind in a cove a couple hundred yards to the left of the road. Mixed in with them were a few coots and scattered shovelers. The real numbers of swans and ducks are not here yet, but by the end of November, there should be a good influx with good variety-I want to be here this winter on a freezing cold day!! I did manage to get a few pics, mostly of year-round residents, but did get a migrant or two----
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During the past couple of weeks, the fall colors have seemed to come at a snail's pace-but are definitely beginning to show. If you like to walk here, colors should be peaking in the next week or so.. This is my favorite time of the year as the migration slows and winter residents begin to show up. Unfortunately, the beaver dam that has kept high water in the swamp for the past year was destroyed by the recent work done on the new power lines being installed in the area. There is no water on the back near the observation deck and I am afraid this will result in fewer ducks and geese than we saw last year. I did see a few mergansers, wood ducks, and mallards this past week.
It seemed to me that the fall warbler migration was strong early, but has been overall weaker this year. Last week all I saw was yellow rumps and a few parulas. There are many woodpeckers of all species hammering away, and the waders are there as always. I noticed several kingfishers in the back ponds. Winter will soon be here, and the color will soon be gone--we should begin to see the sparrows and juncos in the brush. I am hoping to get a really good fox sparrow pic there this winter. I tried to capture some of the fall color last week and also got a few pics of some of our regular residents--see below.
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