Plan to Join the CBC at the Clemson Spring Meeting!
1-3 May, 2009
Spring meetings are often some of the best attended seasonal CBC meetings, and for good reason. After a long, cold (or cool, depending on where in the Carolinas you live!) winter, the promise of migrant and returning summer resident neotropical birds can be irresistible. For many, spring means wood warblers, and what better place than the Upstate of South Carolina to observe some of the nearly three dozen warbler species that breed or pass though the southern Blue Ridge Mountains each year.
The mountains near Clemson, SC are among the highest in the state. With the maximum amount of relief possible, the opportunities to visit with migrant and resident birds are at their greatest. Field trips are planned to high altitude sites (at least for this part of the country!) where siskins, Red Crossbill, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Dark-eyed Junco, Common Raven, and others may be seen. Trips to middle elevations may find the elusive Swainson's Warbler defending breeding territories, Black-throated Blue Warblers singing their buzzy songs, and Northern Parulas inspecting foliage high in the tree tops. At lower elevations Prairie Warblers, Common Yellowthroats, Yellow-throated Warblers and others will be in the process of setting up shop for the summer. Far-northern breeders like Bay-breasted, Blackpoll, and Cape May Warbler may begin to pass through by the beginning of May, and who knows, maybe an early Mourning or Connecticut Warbler will make an appearance. (Hey, we can always hope!)
In addition to warblers, we'll search for many other types of birds including the standard resident species, lingering waterfowl, migrant shorebirds, arriving flycatchers and vireos, and more.
Have I convinced you that the Clemson meeting will be great fun? If so, here is some information that you will find useful...
Our host hotel will be the Ramada Inn of Clemson at 1310 Tiger Blvd, Clemson, SC 29631. The phone number for reservations is (864) 654-7501. The room rate for a standard room, double occupancy is $68.00 + tax. Be sure to mention the Carolina Bird Club when making your reservations to obtain this rate. (Late word is that the rate has been reduced to $59.99 + tax.) The Ramada Inn has a complimentary continental breakfast available starting at six o'clock.
On Saturday evening we will be holding the traditional dinner buffet. The menu includes fried chicken, lasagna, garden salad, fresh fruit salad, broccoli casserole, oven roasted potatoes, whole kernel corn, double fudge cake, lemon meringue pie, water and tea. The price is $20.35 including tax and tip, and can be paid with your registration.
Friday evening features coffee and tea and fellowship starting at 7:00 PM followed by our guest speaker. The Saturday buffet will start at 7:00 after which we will enjoy a speaker and countdown the list of species seen during the weekend's field trips.
On Friday night we welcome Tim Lee, who grew up in nearby Anderson, SC, and graduated from Clemson University. For about twelve years he has been employed by the SC State Park Service on the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area in northern Greenville County as a nature interpreter. Ranger Lee lives at Caesar's Head State Park and will talk about the ecology of the southern Blue Ridge escarpment. He is also scheduled to lead the Caesar's Head State Park field trip Friday morning, meeting participants at the park.
Early arriving participants may want to register for the Thursday Bonus Field Trip to Stecoah Gap, North Carolina led by CBC member and Ventures Birding tours leader Simon Thompson. This may be your best chance of the weekend to see the splendid Golden-winged Warbler! Act early, as registration is limited to the first twelve participants. Please note there is a separate, $20 fee for participating in the bonus trip. Registration and attendance at the Clemson meeting is not required to attend the bonus trip.
Meeting registration, field trip selection and Bonus Trip registration can be made by using the registration form. See you there!