I tried Bass Lake Wednesday to no avail, and left empty-handed. I got a quick glance of what I thought might have been a Broad-winged Hawk, but when it reappeared it was obviously a Red-shouldered. Wishful thinking, I guess. I ended up just watching the resident Barn Swallows fly in and out of their nests, chattering to each other and their babies.
Today I drove a quarter mile from my house to Monument Park, an obscure little grove right next to downtown Holly Springs. The "Holly Springs" for which the town is named are actually located in the park, but no one seems to take any notice. Because the area gets little human disturbance, the bird life is pretty good (considering the location in a populated area). I spotted a vibrant male Scarlet Tanager, a crimson beauty with striking black wings. It was the first one I've actually seen this year; I heard one at Schenck Forest over the weekend. I was walking next to the "Holly Springs" (which are not very impressive, by the way) when I spotted a perched Swainson's Thrush angled skyward on a small tree limb - a lifer! Then, almost on cue, I heard two distant Eastern Wood-Pewees, a year-lister that has evaded me far too long. EWPE was also my 150th species in Wake County this year, which is more than I saw in the entire state all last year. Migrants such as the Swainson's Thrush have certainly helped me reach this total.