Friday, September 27, 2013

A Day at Greenfield Park

My bird friend Bruce sent out a note the other day commenting on the number of warblers that could be found at a place called Greenfield Lake.  I had passed by this many times going back and forth to Charlotte but had never stopped so thought it was a nice day for a leisurely drive.  Surprisingly, it is literally a couple of blocks south of downtown Wilmington and is a very large lake.  There is a drive completely surrounding it with three or four places that you can park your car and walk around.  I think it would be a very long walk to walk around the whole lake as even driving and just walking a bit, I was gone for over three hours!  I didn't spot too many birds but then it was late in the afternoon and I am not all that great at spotting birds in foliage and was really looking to get a feel for the area so that I could go back and explore further.  A very pleasant surprise was that there were lots of gardens with flowering azaleas (or something that certainly looked like azaleas) which I didn't think flowered this time of  year!  There were lots and lots of butterflies there.  The first one I spotted was this Red Spotted Purple -- not sure if I hae seen this one before and it loved the butterfly bushes that were there.

The same butterfly as above but from the side.  There will definitely be a butterfly quilt in my future!

Just one more Purple!

This is a Silver Spotted Skipper -- one of three different Skippers that I saw.  You could see the flash of white as they flitted around.

This is a Fiery Skipper -- saw a lot of this one.

I believe it is an Ocola Skipper.

This was one of the many Cloudless Sulfurs sucking on the nectar from the azalea bloom.

I believe this is a Green Anole Lizard which I saw hidden in the undergrowth.

I was told that the lake is filled with alligators and this one sure fit the bill -- he was proably 12 or 14 feet long and had been sunning on the shore right next to the playground just minutes before I arrived.  He was surrounded by a whole bunch of turtles.

This is a Cardinal Flower in the woods which I thought was very pretty.

I believe this is an Amanita mushroom which according to Wikipedia is highly poisonous, not that I go around eating wild mushroom!  I just thought it was really pretty!

This is, of course, one of my favorites - a Piliated Woodpecker.  There were two hanging out by the Amphitheatre and they were not happy about me being there taking their pictures!

This is an American Redstart which is in the warbler family.  I had not seen one of these before although it is one of the common fall migrants.  There were quite a few of these, both male and female flying around.

Another picture of the Redstart -- a female I think.

The whole lake area is really pretty.  There are brdges and wooden pathways as well as a paved pathway around most of the area (if not all).  This was looking out over the lake.

Another view looking out -- you can even see some slight change in color.  I will have to come back in a month!

You can see the reflection of the very blue sky.

There were ibis and egrets in the lake -- hopefully there will be ducks later on (although with Snapping Turtles, who knows!)  I passed some other ibis locally driving up there as well.

I also might note that I saw my first hummingbird on the island the other day so I can add that to my Pleasure Island list.  I had thought it was one of my dragonflies until I blew up the picture!

I definitely will be returning to Greenfield Park!!  I am beginning to think that Wilmington is one of the South's biggest secrets!  Any naturalist would have a field day down here!

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