CBC Fall Meeting — Hickory, North Carolina
What do you think of when Hickory, North Carolina is mentioned? A national leader in furniture manufacturing? High-tech home to one of the world's largest fiber optic makers? A pleasant town at the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge? Hickory is many things to many people, but to birders, Hickory makes for an excellent base from which to explore the foothills and nearby mountains for fall migrants and resident avifauna. At an altitude of 1,148 feet, the town of nearly 40,000 residents provides plenty of entertainment, eating, and shopping opportunities for birders and nonbirding friends. Make your plans now to join members of the Carolina Bird Club for the final general meeting of 2009, to be held September 25–27. Details on field trips and social events are in this edition of the Newsletter, and the registration form is located on page seven.
This will be the second time the CBC meeting has been in Hickory since 2003. During the last meeting, participants were successful in recording over 120 species of birds. Highlights included Black-billed Cuckoo, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Philadelphia Vireo, and Red Crossbill. Who knows what will be found this year, but you can bet with more than a hundred pairs of eyes in the field, something flashy is sure to turn up. Even without a rare or uncommon find, spending a few hours with the flocks of southbound migrants, early wintering birds, and resident species should be most enjoyable.
In addition to traditional hot spots, several “new” locations such as the Lenoir Greenway (very good for fall migrants) and several new parks in and around Catawba County are on the field trip schedule. There will also be trips to old favorites like Riverbend and Bakers Mountain Parks and Ridge Junction Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is somewhat famous now as “the place” to see scores of migrants from the comfort of a lawn chair.
The fun continues into the evening hours with programs both Friday and Saturday nights. On Friday, Curtis Smalling from NC Audubon is scheduled to give a presentation on the beautiful Golden-winged Warbler. Saturday night Susan Campbell is on the slate to speak to us about her ten-plus years as a hummingbird researcher in North Carolina.
The headquarters for the meeting will be the Park Inn Gateway Conference Center at 909 US Hwy 70 SW, Hickory, NC 28602. The phone number for reservations is 1-800-789-0686 or 828-328-5101. The rate will be $68.00 plus tax. Please let them know you are attending the CBC meeting. Note that the Park Inn's rooms are all non-smoking. Rooms feature hairdryers and coffee makers.
Make plans to enjoy a buffet dinner with new and old friends on Saturday night before the evening program. The meal includes a choice of two meats, three vegetables/ starches, salad, rolls and butter, coffee and tea, and choice of one dessert, either banana pudding or cobbler (Apple, Peach or Cherry). The cost of the meal is $18 per person (includes tax and tip) and can be paid with the meeting registration.
To pre-register for the meeting, field trips, and optional buffet dinner, complete the registration form, which is linked at the top of this page.
All field trips will leave from the headquarters hotel and will utilize carpooling. We will try to combine into as few cars as possible, so if you have room for others, or if you desire to ride along with someone else, notify your field trip leader prior to departure. Field trips may be limited as to the number of participants in order to ensure a quality experience for all. In order to avoid disappointment, consider registering early to have the best chance at participating in your first choice of trips. The registration form includes spaces to designate a second choice in case your first choice is full. Fall migration is a wonderful time of year, especially in the foothills. Please make plans to attend the fall meeting in Hickory, and we look forward to seeing you there!