We left Pack and Paddle at 7am with a threat of rain in the forecast. We arrived at Lake Martin, stopped at the south entrance of the trail and started our bird watching hike. We saw lots of great egrets and roseate spoonbills nesting from the trail. The group were friends and relatives and were quite fun, lots of joking around which came in handy when the rain started. We stayed under a tree that arched over the trail but then decided to continue down the lake trail so we could make it to the Nature Conservancy Trail on the northeast side of the lake.
We heard bullfrog, bronze frog, gray treefrog, greenfrog and northern cricket frog in the lake. The scarlet lichen on the cypress trees on the west side of trail and so striking and a wonderful place to photograph in the right weather. Once we made it to the other trails, we found that they were a bit too flooded to hike so we just toured around listening for birds. We heard lots of yellow-billed cuckoo, saw an eastern kingbird, lots of black bellied whistling ducks, fish crows, black crowned night herons and all the usual suspects such as tit-mouse, chickadee, red-bellied woodpeckers.
One our return to the vehicles, we saw a huge flock of yellow-rumped warblers both Audubon and Magnolia. Apparently a fall-out of yellow rumps at Lake Martin.
Once we made it back to our vehicles, the rain stopped and we had lunch. We all were wet so the hot red beans and rice and bread pudding were just what we needed. It was a really fun birding trip and 4 mile hike, I think that can only be attributed to the company.
To see more photos from this trip, click here!
-Stacey Scarce, Trip Leader