Henderson & Buncombe
5 February 2012
Route: Deerlake, Lake Julian,
Lake Osceola, Four Seasons Marsh,
Hwy 191 Wastewater Treatment Plant, Charles D Owens Park and Lake Tomahawk, Black Mountain.
We had a foggy start to the day but the sun came out and the temperature started to rise and it was an incredibly warm winter day, a beautiful one and almost like spring. Our first stop was just up the road from the shop where 4 hooded Mergansers had been present in this small pool for the past 10 days- always very attractive ducks. Lake Julian was quiet except for 3 Redhead mixed in with the Coots and Mallards but this is not a very common duck in our area. Lake Osceola is more reliable and usually holds a good assortment of winter ducks. There were several Bufflehead, Gadwall and 2 male Ring-necked Ducks. The lighting was so good that we were even able tosee the brownish neck band.
Despite the traffic racing past us within a few feet, Four Seasons Marsh was quite full of waterfowl with good numbers of Northern Shoveler, Wood Duck and ring-necked Duck. A surprise was a pair of American Black Duck quietly swimming at the very back of the lake.
As Lake Junaluska was being drawn down for repairs, I decided to head east towards Swannanoa and Black Mountain. Highlights were a pair of American Wigeon at Charles D Owen Park and 4 Green-winged Teal at Lake Tomahawk.
All in all a great day out looking for ducks in some unseasonably warm winter weather.