Sandy Mush Game Lands Day Trip:
May 19, 2017
Thankfully the rain held off for the morning, allowing us to enjoy several good walks throughout various sections of the NC Gamelands around Sandy Mush. We met in Leicester before heading to our first stop – Bear Creek. The songs of Yellow-breasted Chats, Prairie Warblers and Field Sparrows filled the air and we managed great views of many of the local birds; however the Bobwhite stayed hidden in the dense vegetation.
An American Kestrel was sitting on the wires as we approached the Martin Candler section of the Gamelands, but he quickly flew off before we could get scope views. Our walk at the Cedar Hill section was shortened due to rumbling thunderstorms in the distance. We managed a good walk before the rain arrived with outstanding views of Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Red-eyed Vireo and Indigo Bunting.
Our lunch stop at The Ledges River Park was very fortuitous as storms rumbled past us to the north and south. We had our picnic next to the French Broad River where the rushing water drowned out most of the bird songs. Both Baltimore and Orchard Orioles were singing but were difficult to see over the river noise. Our last stop was also along the river at a small colony of Purple Martins. We are lucky to have such amazing places in our community where we can go and enjoy nature.