By Will Cook
Overview: A small lake north of Hillsborough that's worth checking for ducks in winter. Access is very limited.
What to look for: Ducks in winter. A good place for Northern Shoveler and Canvasback, which can be hard to find elsewhere in Orange County, as well as lots of Ring-necked Ducks, Hooded Mergansers, and American Coots. Tundra Swans were seen here in 1995. When lake levels are low in summer and fall, there should be a few shorebirds and waders. In September 2002 an escaped Sacred Ibis was seen associating with a group of Great Egrets.
Getting there: The lake is off NC 86, about 9 miles north of Hillsborough. There are two access points that I know about:
- Lake Orange Dam: Heading north from Hillsborough on 86, turn left onto Lake Orange Road. In a mile or so you'll see the dam on the right. Pull off after you cross the creek and walk up to the top of the dam. Bring a scope -- most birds will be too far away to identify with binoculars.
- Eno Cemetery: Heading north from Hillsborough on 86, pass Lake Orange Road, and in a mile or two turn left onto Carr Store Road. Take the next left onto Eno Cemetery Road. The cemetery is near the end of the road on the left. Park, walk through the gate, and follow the fence line to the water. You can scope a good portion of the lake here. The shallow arm of the lake on the left can produce shorebirds and waders when levels are low. Large numbers of Canada Geese hang out here all year, along with a few Greylags, Greylag x Canada hybrids, and funky-looking Mallards.
When to visit: Winter.
Revised 9/9/2002 firstname.lastname@example.org
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