Field trip descriptions
Field trip map
Spring in the Carolina Sandhills
By Susan Campbell
|Photos from the meeting|
The Club will be returning to Southern Pines, North Carolina for the 2008 spring meeting. We hope that you will take advantage of the interesting trips and programs we have lined up beginning Thursday afternoon, May 1st and running through Sunday May 4th. Groups will head out to destinations new to CBC members like Long Valley Farm, the Diggs Tract, and Raft Swamp Farm. Others will visit sites that have become known as birding ‘hot spots’ more recently, such as Hobby Field. We will also have trips to well-known locations such as the Sandhills Game Land and Woodlake. We hope everyone will take advantage of the renovated facilities at Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve as well. The new visitor's center and auditorium reopened in 2007 with upgraded facilities and additional space.
Our headquarters for the meeting will be at the newly renovated Days Inn Conference Center (email: email@example.com) in Southern Pines on US Highway 1 (south) at Morganton Road. Rooms are $64 per night plus 9.75% tax. In order to receive the CBC meeting rate, reservations must be made by calling their toll free number (1-800-262-5737) before April 7th. Reservations after the cut-off will be honored based on availability. There are numerous motels in the area if you cannot get a room at the Days Inn. Be aware that there are other events going on that weekend in the area, so you should not wait too long to make your lodging arrangements. The hotel will be accommodating our field trip schedule by having early breakfast hours, beginning at 6 a.m. Both the menu and buffet items are fabulous. Their new world-class chef is terrific, so be sure to bring your appetite!
You will note that a number of the field trips focus on interesting organisms within the Sandhills ecosystem including plants, butterflies, and moths, in addition to the birds. On these trips, leaders will keep an eye/ear out for birds along the way, but will be specifically seeking out other species. Also, we have arranged some unique opportunities to observe interesting demonstrations by local folks. One such program is the Red-cockaded Woodpecker Nesting Ecology program involving an experienced local woodpecker biologist who will demonstrate the techniques used in monitoring and conservation of this endangered species. There will also be songbird and hummingbird banding, and perhaps an actual prescribed burn.
Participants signing up for whole day trips will want to ensure they bring a lunch with them, as locations for purchasing food are limited in the vicinity of some destinations. Options for ‘birding on your own’ on the way to the meeting will be posted at the CBC web site well ahead of time. Otherwise, you will find a number of possibilities in your registration packet when you arrive.
We are very excited to offer for sale a special meeting t-shirt created by birder and artist Hal Broadfoot. Proceeds will benefit our sponsor of the meeting, the Sandhills Natural History Society. As always, check the schedule posted at registration for more details on all of the weekend's events. We will also have material on restaurants and additional family activities available when you arrive. If you have any questions about lodging, field trips or the Southern Pines area, feel free to contact the meeting organizer, Susan Campbell, at (910) 949-3207 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us Friday for Social Hour hosted by Sandhills Natural History Society at Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.. At 8 p.m. Jeff Marcus from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission's Wildlife Diversity program will present results from bird studies in the Sandhills Game Land. In 2004 a study was initiated to provide information on key habitats during breeding, migration, and non-breeding seasons. One of the early findings was the expansion of Bachman's Sparrows into new areas that were converted from closed canopy, fire-suppressed woodlands into open savannah habitats with herbaceous ground cover. Jeff will summarize a new study designed to track Bachman's Sparrow populations, and to compare their needs to those of another focal species, Bobwhite.
Saturday the hotel will offer a buffet dinner at 6 p.m. for $25.95 per person (including tax and gratuity). Offerings will include beef, chicken and a vegetarian entrée with sides, salad bar and assorted desserts. The Annual Meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. followed by a program by local biologist and photographer, Todd Pusser. Todd, a Moore County native, grew up exploring in the Sandhills. He has learned much about the native flora and fauna and has a real love of sharing his knowledge and experiences. Todd is an internationally- renowned writer and photographer. His work is regularly found in NC Wildlife and has been featured in National Wildlife and National Geographic as well. He will present a collection of his favorite images from around the region.