Blowing Rock Spring Meeting Registration Information!
The spring meeting of the Carolina Bird Club will be held in Blowing Rock, NC May 6–8. This town of just three square miles was recently named “Prettiest Small Town in North Carolina” in a poll of in-state writers and professionals. It has over 100 shops and 24 restaurants, so a nonbirding companion will have a wonderful time here as well! The Blue Ridge Parkway, a destination for scenic and natural beauty, is right around the corner. Spring in the Blue Ridge is always a pleasant time, as trees and wildflowers are waking up for the season and colorful migrants fill the trees. We have a wide range of half-day and all-day trips planned. We'll cover local greenways, many lakes and areas along the Parkway, the Wagner property (always a favorite!), Linville Falls, and even go up to the high country. We also will have the second “CBC Round-up” for those birders with a bit of a competitive bone.
Some of the harder-to-find birds we hope to be listing are Ruffed Grouse, American Bittern, Eastern Screech-Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Marsh Wren, Grasshopper Sparrow, Dickcissel, Bobolink and Red Crossbill. With good weather (which has been scheduled!) we should pass 150 species for the weekend. We even have a trip that is set for butterflies as well as birds.
Friday night's social will begin at 6:30 with delicious snacks and a cash bar. Our program features Jesse Pope, the Chief Naturalist and Director of Education for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation. He will discuss the mission of the Foundation and the incredible biological diversity of the area. He'll also talk about the formation of Grandfather Mountain State Park. Jesse will show us maps and give some tips on birding both the Foundation's property and the State Park. Jesse is personable, knowledgeable, and a birder as well. Curtis Smalling will be our program speaker on Saturday. Curtis is the Important Bird Areas and Mountain Program Manager for Audubon North Carolina. He will talk to us about “Warblers of the High Country” and let you know where to find that warbler you've been looking for. Before the program we'll have a buffet dinner prepared by the Meadowbrook Inn's chef. The price is $22.93, including tax. Please pre-register for the dinner on your registration form so that we may know how much food to prepare.
Some great prizes will be given away including free registration and dinner for a future meeting, and birding days in different parts of the two Carolinas with some of our top birders. You choose which prize you want to try for!
We'll be headquartered at the Meadowbrook Inn at 711 Main St. in Blowing Rock. To get there from I-40, follow Highway 321 North. Take 321 Bypass toward the right, just before Blowing Rock. 321 Business will bear left into town at this point. 321 Bypass is also called Valley Boulevard. Follow the bypass for 0.9 mile and turn left on West Cornish Road. In 0.1 mile, turn left on Main Street (Highway 221). The hotel is on the left in 0.1 mile.
Within walking distance of downtown, the Inn offers a variety of room arrangements. The majority of the rooms are $89. Standard suites are $99. VIP suites with fireplace and whirlpool tub are $129. There are king deluxe rooms with fireplace, whirlpool and sunroom for $109, and one two-bedroom suite for $229. Lastly, if you're feeling really decadent, there are two Pool Suites that have fireplace, whirlpool and their own private swimming pool for $219. Prices do not include tax. The rooms have WIFI and are smokefree. All rooms, except the $89 ones, have microwave and refrigerators, but these can be added for an additional fee. The Inn offers a fitness center, indoor pool, and whirlpool. Breakfast is included in the price and will start at 6:00 am on Friday and Saturday. Call 800-456-5456 or 828-295-4300 to make your reservation. Be sure to mention that you are with CBC to get these special rates. The Inn can answer any questions about the variety of rooms.
Saturday morning features the second “CBC Round-up”. The start time will be determined by each team the night before. Some may want to go out early for Northern Saw-whet Owl or American Woodcock. Teams have to be back by noon.
Directions to most of the trip sites will be in the packets. The meeting will offer Pack-A-Snack, another great idea from the winter meeting. Bowls of goodies will be available on Friday evening for you to bag a few treats for Saturday's trips. Trips are limited to 15 folks each, so sign up early to make sure you get the ones you want. It's important to put down your second choices, also. This helps our Secretary tremendously in case your first choice is filled already.
With the quaint town of Blowing Rock, the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway close by, excellent guides for the trips, and great folks at the meeting, we hope to see you at the spring meeting! Lastly, let's not forgot our guests of honor. This will be the peak of migration for the area. The trees, shrubs and fields will be filled with warblers, tanagers, orioles, vireos and all their friends.
Come to Blowing Rock and enjoy the show!