Field Trip Descriptions Post-meeting report

Blue Ridge Splendor—Blowing Rock, NC

April 29-May 1

by Lori Martin

Join us as we take a few days to slow down and relax in one of the most beautiful places on earth! Spring in the Blue Ridge Mountains never fails to renew your spirit and make memories that last a lifetime. We, of course, will be searching the trees for warblers, vireos, and other migrants, but how could we possibly not stop to take in the beautiful wildflowers, the freshly emerged butterflies, and the breath-taking views?

Field trip destinations include a huge range of habitats that include rocky outcroppings, spruce-fir forests, old-fields, marshes, waterfalls, old-growth forests, and open water. Therefore our bird list for the weekend could include such birds as Peregrine Falcon, Red Crossbill, Cerulean and Golden-winged Warblers, Black-billed Cuckoo, Grasshopper and Vesper Sparrows, numerous shorebirds-and who knows, maybe we'll find another King Rail in Valle Crucis!

The meeting will be headquartered at the Blowing Rock Conference Center (1442 Goforth Road, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-7813). To reach the Center (map), if coming from the south, turn right onto Goforth Road just past the Green Park Inn on Hwy 321N in Blowing Rock. If coming from the north, turn left onto Goforth Road just before the Green Park Inn on Hwy 321S. The road is a bit narrow and winds through the golf course. Keep straight (bearing to the right at mile 1.1) to stay on Goforth, and the Center is 1.3 miles on the right. We will have the entire facility to bird and socialize in for the weekend! Room rates are $70 per night for single or double occupancy. There are also three cabins available. Each has two bedrooms with a rate of $140 per night. All reservations must be guaranteed by credit card or advanced payment of a first night's room by April 11, 2005. Accommodations are on a first come, first serve basis and may fill up quickly. Other hotels in the area are the Green Park Inn (828-295-3141) and the Days Inn of Blowing Rock (828-295-4422).

The Conference Center also offers buffet style meals-and is quite good! They've offered a complete package for us at $41.50 each for the entire weekend! This includes dinner Friday evening, breakfast Saturday morning, a boxed lunch Saturday afternoon, dinner Saturday evening, and breakfast Sunday morning. The meals can also be purchased separately: $6.50 for each breakfast (beginning at 6 am); $7.50 for each boxed lunch; and $10 for each dinner (beginning at 5 pm). Pre-registration for the meals is required, so register for the meals when you book your room.

Registration for the meeting begins Thursday night at 7 pm in the lobby of the Center. Our featured speaker for the Friday evening meeting will be Curtis Smalling, who will present to us "Conservation of Birds in the Southern Blue Ridge: Issues, Opportunities, and Challenges" to get us thinking about ways our birding can do a lot of good for the habitats and species we love. The meeting will start at 7:30 pm. Saturday night, be prepared to have fun and laugh!! We're going to break away from the norm and try our hand at a "Name That Bird" fashion show, among other things! You'll never know what you'll be missing-unless you're there! The Saturday night meeting will be at 8:00 pm. Both meetings will have a social an hour before the meeting in the reception area. Look forward to seeing you this spring in the Blue Ridge!

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