Sunday, September 02, 2012

Central Winds Park

I have been hearing about a park along the southern end of Lake Jessup more and more as migration ramps up. It is called Central Winds Park. Never heard of it before. I figured after our banding session that I would run out there and check it out. See how long it takes to get there, find out what it is like and time the ride home. Turns out to be a really nice area.

I had mapped it earlier and saw that there was a big open space that led to the lake. I thought that might be a good place to start. The view was promising form the parking lot.


However, once I crested the top of the lawn my heart sunk a bit. There was a fence around the pond just before the lake so I would not be able to get under those nice trees down below. I decided to walk the edges anyway in search of bids. Not a lot here but some nice Passion Vine flowers.

Passion Vine

I made my way back up the far side and had 2 choices. Head left into some inviting oak trees or head right into a canopied path into the woods. Mysterious paths into the woods wine with me every time! Along this sun-dappled trail I found myself watching a Spicebush Swallowtail gathering nutrients from the moist soil.

Spicebush Swallowtail

At the bottom of the trail I made a startling discovery. My old friend Dexter was scanning the treetops. Hadn't seen him in person in months. He has been coming here for years and he granted me a quick tour of some good spots. While we watched Northern Parulas and a Prothonotary Warbler I noticed a nice small forest of fungus in the underbrush.


Dexter showed my an unmarked path into the trees that led us down toward the water's edge. Cypress and other trees grew tight around one another. We were in the shade finding birds and watching gators cruise out on the water.

Lakeside Trees

Red-eyed Vireos and a Black and White Warbler were way up high. In the shallow water, a Cypress tree provided a nice perch for a female Anhinga.

Anhinga in Cypress

Back on the main trail we found more species of birds. Yellow Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, more Northern Parula, and American Redstarts fed really high. The only warbler to drop low enough for a photo was a Yellow-throated Warbler that was finding insects every couple seconds.

Yellow-throated Warbler

At one point it fed along a branch and strands of moss just a few feet over our heads.

Yellow-throated Warbler

Throw in a few more local species and it was a very nice walk. Definitely a place I need to check again. Not too far from home and it seems to be a nice warbler hot spot. Beginning of next month should be excellent.

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