Ben Ringer and I along with out wives drove around the Hendersonville area Saturday afternoon (11/!!) and were not disappointed.
We started at Four Seasons Marsh (on Four Seasons Blvd NE of Jackson Park) and birded from the side of the road with a scope. We saw an Eastern Phoebe perched on the ear of cat or dog sign next to the road. Other birds included American Kestrel, Great Blue Heron and Belted KIngfisher.
Then it was off to Osceola Lake (SW H'ville) where we were treated to 2 male Hooded Mergansers. You can't believe how they can contort themselves to make it hard to identify such a strikingly beautiful bird. The usual ducks where there: Ring-necked Ducks, Mallards and two Gadwalls. There were also 2 or 3 Pied-billed Grebes.
Hooper Lane was our next stop. Being new to the area, I did not hold out much hope because all I had seen there where White-throated Sparrows, Starlings, and Crows. But our luck changed, we saw a Northern Harrier and a flock of American Pipits. I, the newcomer from California, really enjoyed Cardinals, Eastern Bluebirds, Common Grackles and an Eastern Meadowlark.
Our last stop was Lake Julian. Last time all I could find was a Double-crested Cormorant; but with Ben and his scope we were able to see a Common Loon, a Horned Grebe and small parties of Canada Geese landing in the lake at sunset, very beautiful. Not one of those huge birds made a splash! They had their wings pumping away and settled into the water.
Winter birds are coming. Ben said that he has had a Pine Siskin at his feeder already.
Hendersonville, North Carolina