The Carolina Bird Club is a non-profit organization
that represents and supports the birding community in the Carolinas
through its website, publications, meetings, workshops, trips, and partnerships,
whose mission is
- To promote the observation, enjoyment, and study of birds.
- To provide opportunities for birders to become acquainted, and to share information and experience.
- To maintain well-documented records of birds in the Carolinas.
- To support the protection and conservation of birds and their habitats and foster an appreciation and respect of natural resources.
- To promote educational opportunities in bird and nature study.
- To support research on birds of the Carolinas and their habitats.
Southern Pines Field Trip Descriptions
|Thursday, May 1
|Trip #1||Prescribed Burning (2:00 p.m.)|
|Trip #2||Migration Bird Banding (3:00 p.m.)|
|Friday, May 2
||Saturday, May 3
|Trip #3||Woodlake (7:00 a.m.)|
|Trip #4||Slate Road and Camp Mackall (7:15 a.m.)|
|Trip #5||Hobby Field and Horse Country (7:15 a.m.)|
|Trip #6||Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve
(7:20 a.m. or meet at the Preserve parking lot at 7:30 a.m.)||
|Trip #14||Long Valley Farm (7:00 a.m.)|
|Trip #15||All American Trail (Ft. Bragg) (7:15 a.m.)|
|Trip #16||Hobby Field and Horse Country (7:15 a.m.)|
|Trip #17||Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve
(7:20 a.m. or meet at the Preserve parking lot at 7:30 a.m.)|
|Trip #7||Butterflies (1:00 p.m.)|
|Trip #8||Wildflowers (1:15 p.m.)|
|Trip #9||Digiscoping (1:15 p.m.)|
|Trip #10||Red-cockaded Woodpecker Nesting Ecology (1:30 p.m.)||
|Trip #11||Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center and Raven Rock State Park (7 a.m.)|
|Trip #12||Sandhills Game Land (7:15 a.m.)|
|Trip #13||Raft Swamp Farms (trip cancelled)||
|Trip #22||Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center and Raven Rock State Park (7 a.m.)|
|Trip #23||Hinson Lake and Diggs Tract (7:15 a.m.)|
|Trip #24||Raft Swamp Farms (7:30 a.m.)|
|Sunday, May 4
|Trip #25||Hobby Field and Horse Country (7:30 a.m.)|
|Trip #26||Southern Pines/Pinehurst Area (7:45 a.m.)|
Several other Sunday half-day trips will be scheduled
to area hotspots Saturday evening. Locations will be
dependent on bird activity Friday and Saturday.
Spring Meeting Field Trip Descriptions
Special Notes on Field Trips
Please note that some field trips depart from the hotel,
while others depart from Weymouth Woods Visitor's
Center. Please plan accordingly. Most trips carpool to
minimize the number of vehicles; if you have room or
wish to ride with other participants, please let your
field trip leader know.
Some field trips are limited to the number of participants.
Please check back here
for a listing of full trips,
changes to the trip schedule, or possible cancellations.
And finally, it will be turkey season at meeting time,
so it is suggested that you bring a brightly colored hat
along. A number of our trip destinations are public
lands that are open to hunting, and our leaders will attempt
to steer clear of hunters. But nonetheless, it's a
good idea for folks to be somewhat more 'visible' as
we venture out into the woods—just in case.
- Trip 1: Prescribed burning
You will have the unique opportunity to join park staff at
Weymouth Woods State Nature Preserve for an up-close
look at how a prescribed burn is prepared and conducted.
Participants will measure weather parameters,
and if conditions are favorable, staff will burn a small area.
The program will last about two hours.
- Trip 2: Migration bird banding
2008 marks the tenth season of migration banding
along James Creek at Weymouth Woods. Join park
staff and volunteers as they run the mist nets adjacent
to the Pine Island Trail. A variety of migrants as well
as local resident species are possible. You may see
such species as Wood Thrush, Ovenbird, Kentucky
Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, Common Yellowthroat,
Acadian Flycatcher, Carolina Wren, or Northern
Cardinal in hand. Bring along a camera as well as
binoculars since photo opportunities should be plentiful.
We plan to close the nets at 5 p.m.
- Trip 3: Woodlake
Enjoy a diversity of stops within the private residential
golf community of Woodlake, which surrounds Lake
Surf, the largest body of water in Moore County. Not
only will we look for lingering waterfowl, but also we
will visit both upland hardwood and pine stands for migrants.
The group will check the marsh behind the dam
for Bald Eagle and breeding species such as Green
Heron, Pileated Woodpecker, Yellow-throated Vireo and
Prothonotary Warbler. We will watch for large mammals
such as Coyote, Grey Fox, Bobcat, River Otter,
Beaver and Muskrat that frequent the area. Restrooms
are available at the clubhouse. The group should be back
at the hotel by noon.
- Trip 4: Slate Road & Camp Mackall
Join Ft. Bragg biologist Alan Schultz for a guided tour
of habitat on the edge of Camp Mackall. The installation
is a satellite training area of Ft. Bragg with extensive
pine savannahs as well as bottomland hardwood
along Drowning Creek. It is here, where the Army's elite
Special Forces train, that Lark Sparrows historically
have bred. There are open areas of Longleaf Pine and
wiregrass where we may find Northern Bobwhite, Loggerhead
Shrike, Red-cockaded Woodpecker and Brown-headed
Nuthatch. The bottomland habitat could produce
Wood Duck, Red-headed Woodpecker, Northern Parula
and perhaps Swainson's Warbler. There will be several
stops with short periods of walking at each. The trip will
end at noon.
- Trips 5, 16 & 25: Hobby Field & Horse Country
We will head to 'horse country' on the eastern edge of
Southern Pines and focus on open-country birds. First
stop will be Hobby Field, an area recently acquired by
the Sandhills Area Land Trust. This seventy-acre site
has been home to, among other things, a pair of Scissor-tailed Flycatchers
the past three summers. On our
hike around the perimeter of the field, we also expect
to see Grasshopper Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows,
Eastern Meadowlarks, Red-headed Woodpeckers,
Eastern Bluebirds and perhaps a Loggerhead Shrike.
Next, we will take a walk into the adjacent Walthour-Moss Foundation property.
Here we will find birds
typical of Longleaf Pine like Pine Warbler, Brown-headed
Nuthatch and Red-cockaded Woodpecker. We
should encounter species associated with mixed pine
hardwood such as Summer Tanager, Acadian Flycatcher
and Red-eyed Vireo and perhaps Red-shouldered
Hawk. The trip will also include stops at a
few nearby farms to look for species typical of early
successional vegetation as well as Sandhills drains. If
we are lucky, we may see Northern Bobwhite, Wild
Turkey or even members of our breeding American
Kestrel population. Bring plenty to drink and comfortable
walking shoes. We will return to the hotel by
- Trips 6 & 17: Weymouth Woods Nature Preserve
Walking about a mile of the loop trails through typical Sandhill drains,
we will look for flocks of migrant flycatchers, thrushes and warblers.
Songs of early Blue-headed Vireos and Bachman's Sparrows, which breed at the preserve, should be heard.
There will also be the opportunity to learn about the breeding groups of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers at the park this season.
Fox Squirrels are more active this time of year, so look for family groups foraging in the woods.
The group will also get a good look at the newest changes to the creek bottom as a result of our resident beaver's winter work.
In addition, you will have a chance to visit with a bird bander at the new feeder banding station.
Hopefully you will be able to see some of Weymouth's summer residents at very close range.
Wear comfortable shoes and bring a camera - there could be some good photo opportunities.
The program will be over at noon.
- Trips 7 & 18: Butterflies
This will be an opportunity to sharpen your Duskywing
and Cloudywing identificaton skills. These species are
plentiful along the trails at Weymouth Woods. Hoary-edged
Skippers may also be fairly common at this time
of year. In addition, we may encounter Pearly Eyes as
well as an American Copper. The program will last
about two hours.
- Trips 8 & 19: Wildflowers
The winding trails of Weymouth Woods will take us
through several types of upland Sandhills habitats in
search of local spring specialties such as blooming
pitcher plants, sundews, Wild Indigo, Goats Rue, Rosy
Spiderwort, Sandhill Sandwort, Tread Softly and
Queen's Root. The terrain will be good, but be prepared
to get close to dense vegetation - long pants and long
sleeves are encouraged. The walk will be approximately
two hours long.
- Trip 9: Digiscoping
Learn how to take pictures with a spotting scope and a
digital camera. The group will work the area close to
the Visitor's Center, as well as the bird feeding station,
looking for a variety of photo opportunities. Even if
you are familiar with the process, you may pick up
pointers on improving focus, depth of field, and overall
- Trips 10 & 21: Red-cockaded Woodpecker Nesting Ecology
Join a local woodpecker biologist to learn about the
unique ecology of this native endangered species. Hear
about the history of woodpecker conservation efforts in
the Sandhills. Field techniques used for monitoring of
Red-cockaded Woodpeckers during the breeding will be
demonstrated. The program will last about two hours.
- Trips 11 & 22: Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center and Raven Rock State Park
Howell Woods is located approximately 75 miles east
of Southern Pines in Johnston County along the Neuse
River. It is a large (2800 acre) property with a variety
of habitats from open fields to bottomland hardwood.
There are extensive trails throughout and a number of
streams and ponds as well as the river. We will spend
some time viewing the exhibits at the Visitor's Center
(where there are restroom facilities). One of the highlights
should be seeing Mississippi Kites. At least one
pair breeds on the property during the summer. Individuals
are frequently seen soaring over the fields
while searching for large insects. Be prepared to see a
wide variety of species including Green Heron, Red-headed
Woodpecker, Eastern Kingbird, Wood Thrush,
Indigo Bunting, Field Sparrow, Yellow-throated
Vireo, Kentucky Warbler, Swainson's Warbler, and
Ruby-throated Hummingbird. On the way back, the
group will make a stop at Raven Rock State Park outside
Sanford (at about the half-way point back to Southern
Pines). We will stroll the scenic bluffs along the Cape
Fear River surrounded by hardwoods where neotropical
migrants are often plentiful. Woodland birding in the
park often turns up mixed flocks with unexpected species
in the spring such as Wilson's Warbler. Be sure to
wear comfortable shoes since we may encounter some
relief along the trails; however, the walking will not be
too strenuous. Be sure to bring a picnic lunch. The
group should be back at the hotel by 5 p.m.
- Trip 12: Sandhills Game Land
This trip will visit some of the birding hotspots within
and immediately adjacent to Sandhills Game Land just
to the south of Southern Pines. Most of the species
commonly found in xeric upland Longleaf Pine communities
should be seen. There will be a stop along Thunder
Road at what most consider the most beautiful stand
of Longleaf in the area. In addition to searching for
Bachman's Sparrows and Red-cockaded Woodpeckers,
Wildlife Commission biologist Jeff Marcus will discuss
how they are gradually restoring the game land's forests
to their original state. There will be stops in the open,
shrubby Field Trail area to look for such species as
Field Sparrow, Indigo Bunting, Blue Grosbeak and
Yellow-breasted Chat. In addition, the group will visit
the McKinney Lake Fish Hatchery where they may find
lingering shorebirds or waterbirds, or even spot a foraging
Bald Eagle. A stop may also be made along Drowning
Creek to search for flocks of migrants. There will be
a restroom break along the way, but be sure to bring
lunch. Be prepared to spend time walking on sandy terrain.
We will return to the hotel by 4:30 p.m.
- Trips 13 & 24: Raft Swamp Farms
This trip will head to Raft Swamp Farms outside of
Raeford. The property owners, Jackie and Louie
Hough, will give us a guided tour of their organic
farm. The property is approximately 150 acres with a
diversity of cultivated vegetation with weedy vegetation
and field edges. The configuration of the property
provides for an array of bird species that utilize early
successional vegetation. However, there is also both
pine and hardwood forest on the property. If nothing
else, the tour will provide first-hand experience of how
organic farming works to enhance bird habitat and
promote wildlife. After lunch, we will head next door
to the Maynor property. The highlight is beautiful
gum-cypress Hogins Pond. Here those who wish, may
do some birding via canoe or kayak ($8–12 rental fee
or $5 if you bring your own). However, there are also
trails through the woods to explore for those who
would prefer to stick to land. Between the two
properties, expect to encounter Green Heron, Loggerhead
Shrike, Grasshopper Sparrow, Eastern Meadowlark,
Field Sparrow, Prothonotary Warbler or Hooded
Warbler. We will have access to restroom facilities at
the Hough's. The group will be back at the hotel before
- Trip 14: Long Valley Farm
We have the unique opportunity to tour the Nature
Conservancy's 1380-acre Long Valley Farm just north
of Fayetteville. It was the bequest of the conservationminded
James Stillman Rockefeller in 2004. This
relatively recent acquisition is still in the restoration
phase and not yet open to the public. The group will
be led on a tour by Ryan Elting, Director of the Nature
Conservancy's Sandhills Office, of this mix of farmland,
pasture and forest adjacent to Ft. Bragg. Not
only are there healthy Longleaf Pine stands on the
property, but there is also a mature cypress-gum
swamp and wet meadows that support carnivorous
plans like pitcher plants and sundews. Fox Squirrels
have been seen on the property as well as Bachman's
Sparrow, Red-cockaded Woodpecker and Loggerhead
Shrike. There is an established Purple Martin colony
adjacent to the family's old home. Birding potential at
this site is still largely unknown, but expect a variety
from Pine Warblers and Brown-headed Nuthatches to
Great Crested Flycatchers, Prairie Warblers and Blue
Grosbeaks. The group will be back at the hotel by
- Trip 15: All American Trail
In 2006, Fort Bragg created and dedicated seven
miles of western Fort Bragg Military Installation's
southern boundary as the All American Trail. The ten
to fifteen foot wide unpaved pathway is designed for
use by hikers, runners, and bicyclers. In 2007, the trail
was also designated as part of the NC Birding Trail
system. A Fort Bragg biologist will lead the group to
the parking lot found at the trailhead off Raeford/Vass
Road. We will be taking the portion of the trail to the
east. The length of our hike be approximately 3 miles
total. Habitat types the group will encounter include
upland Longleaf Pine forest mixed with scrub oaks,
open Longleaf Pine-wiregrass stands and a streamhead
pocosin with cane and large hardwoods (Nicholson
Creek). We will see a variety of bird species common
to the Sandhills region. At the end of the trail where
we will be turning around, there is an active Redcockaded
Woodpecker (RCWs) cluster. Since it is the
beginning of the RCW nesting season, there will be an
excellent chance of seeing them in and around the
cluster. You may want to bring along a camera in addition
to binoculars, bird book, water bottle and a pair
of comfortable walking shoes. The group will head
back at the hotel by noon.
- Trip 20: Hummingbirds
This is your chance to ask questions about hummingbird
ecology and feeding in North Carolina. Observe Ruby-throated
Hummingbirds up close as they are banded as
part of ongoing research at the Visitor's Center. Don't
forget your camera and plenty of film! The program will
end around 3:30 p.m. or when the hummers thin out at
- Trip 23: Hinson Lake & Diggs Tract
Participants of this trip will accompany Terry Sharpe,
retired wildlife biologist with the North Carolina
Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC), to two
very different destinations southwest of Southern
Pines. The first, Hinson Lake, is a NCWRC owned
property on the edge of Rockingham, roughly 30 miles
south of Southern Pines. It consists of a lake (approx
50 acres), blackwater wetland complex, and Loblolly
Pine uplands. We should see a variety of waterbirds,
snakes, turtles, maybe Fox Squirrels, and others there.
We will likely walk the loop trail, which is relatively
flat and about 1.5 miles. Hinson Lake would be the
first stop so that we can let the turkey hunters have the
early morning at Diggs. The second stop, the Diggs
Tract, is a very recent acquisition by NCWRC. It is a
hilly Piedmont-type terrain. We will take a 4.5-mile
hike with a good climb on the way out at Diggs.
Everyone should pack a lunch so we can eat on the
bluff overlooking the river. Most of the hike is
through pine plantations before we reach the big
attraction: the river corridor along the Pee Dee River.
The upland should produce Yellow-breasted Chats,
Prairie Warblers and Indigo Buntings with
Prothonotary Warblers, Northern Parulas and Acadian
Flycatchers along the river bottom. However, there
are likely to be good numbers of migrants coming up
the river, with the chance of some shorebirds, terns or
gulls in the mix. Restrooms are available at Hinson
Lake only. Group will be back at the hotel by 5 p.m.
- Trip 26: Southern Pines & Pinehurst
Walk along the boundary of the historic Moore County
Airport to look for Grasshopper Sparrows, Horned Larks
and other grassland species. Explore trails at Southern
Pines Reservoir Park and Sandhills Community College
for migrants and early breeders among the expanse of
Longleaf Pines, flowering trees, and wetland vegetation.
Be sure to wear appropriate footwear and long pants
since you may be walking through extensive grassy and
damp areas. The trip will end at noon.