Blowing Rock Field Trip Descriptions
Click ==> Map of meeting and field trip locations
|Friday, May 6||Saturday, May 7|
|Half-day Morning||Half-day Morning|
|Half-day Afternoon||Half-day Afternoon|
Spring Meeting Planning Notes
Field Trip Descriptions
- Trips 1, 9, 16 & 23 - Wagner Property Trips 1, 9, 16, & 23 are full
- This private property is located south of Blowing Rock. The owners have given us permission to bird it during our meeting weekend. This area has been a favorite of anyone who has visited it. There is a large marsh with several Green Heron nests. American Bittern has been spotted here several times. Passerines are always plentiful in migration with a variety of warblers, vireos, tanagers and orioles. Probably the only way you can visit this property is through the CBC, so don't miss this chance.
- Trips 2, 17, & 22 - E.B. Jeffress Park and Lewis Fork Overlook Trips 2, 17 & 22 are full
- If you want to see a Cerulean Warbler, Lewis Fork is a very good spot. Breeding warblers include Ovenbird, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Black-and-white, and American Redstart. This site along the Parkway will no doubt have many migrating birds as well. At Jeffress Park we'll walk the one-mile Cascade Trail, which goes through hardwoods, with creek edge. Some of the breeders are Hooded and Canada Warblers, Wood Thrush, Eastern Wood-Pewee, and Scarlet Tanager.
- Trips 3, 7, 18 & 21 -Valle Crucis Community Park Trips 3, 7, 18 & 21 are full
- One of the gems of the area and holds the only county record for King Rail and Chuck-will's-widow. It is bounded by the Watauga River, agricultural land and forests. Nesting birds include seven species of flycatcher; Least, Willow, Acadian, Eastern Kingbird, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Great Crested and Eastern Phoebe. Also look for four species of vireos, both orioles and three swallows. Cliff Swallows have also recently nested nearby. As far as warblers, over 25 species have been seen here in migration. Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler and Northern Parula are local breeders. With easy walking on paved trails and open viewing areas, this is one trip you shouldn't pass up.
- Trips 4 & 10 - Boone Greenway Trip 10 is full
- Following the New River, this greenway passes through a variety of habitats, from fields and stream borders to woodlands. It is flat, easy walking and should provide a wide assortment of migrants in the riparian habitat. Willow Flycatcher, Northern Parula, Yellow Warbler and Eastern Kingbird are some of the breeders. Four, or possibly five, vireos can be found, along with many other passerines. Shorebird potential is good along the river, or in the newly constructed wetland area. If nearby fields have standing water, we could find some more there. Possibilities include Least and Pectoral Sandpipers, Semipalmated Plover and Wilson's Snipe. Killdeer should be plentiful. Of the small number of White Ibis sightings in the area, most were along this greenway.
- Trips 5 & 20 -Price Lake Trip 20 is full
- This trip will follow the 2-½-mile flat loop trail around the lake in Julian Price Park. We can expect a good variety of birds, including Acadian Flycatcher, Wood Thrush, Blue-headed and Red-eyed Vireos, Scarlet Tanager and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Warbler species include Canada, Ovenbird, Black-throated Blue, Chestnut-sided, Black-and-white, and Northern Parula. If the water is low, a variety of shorebirds could be present. Sandpipers may include Least, Whiterumped, Solitary, Spotted and Semipalmated. Both Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, and Short-billed Dowitcher have also shown up.
- Trips 6, 11, 26 & 30 - Bass and Trout Lakes Trip 26 is full
- These two lakes, located in Moses H. Cone Park, offer some of the best birding along the Parkway. The trail around 22-acre Bass Lake goes through a mix of conifers. Expect a good variety of migrants along with breeders such as House Wren, White-breasted Nuthatch and Barn Swallow. The one-mile loop trail around the 16-acre Trout Lake goes through a hemlock canopy with a rhododendron understory. Look for birds usually associated with higher elevation forests. These include Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Golden-crowned Kinglet and Red-breasted Nuthatch. Warblers could include Blackburnian, Ovenbird, Hooded, Canada, and Chestnut-sided.
- Trips 8 & 25 -Linville Falls Trips 8 & 25 are full
- This trip will cover the campground and some of the less strenuous trails along the gorge and falls. Much of this area was never logged due to the steep terrain, so the trees are mostly old-growth. Red Crossbill and Swainson's Warbler are possible here, with Peregrine Falcon nesting nearby. Also look for Black-throated Blue and Black-throated Green Warblers, Louisiana Waterthrush, Hooded Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, Ovenbird and Rose-breasted Grosbeak, as well as others.
- Trips 12 -Sims Pond and Green Knob Trail
- This area is part of Julian Price Park. We'll bird this small pond and then a section of the nearby trail. Part of the trial goes through a mix of old-growth coniferous and deciduous trees that should host a good variety of migrants. Breeders are Acadian Flycatcher, Wood Thrush, Blue-headed and Red-eyed Vireos, Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and up to ten warblers. Add to this all the birds that are passing through. Another section of the trail passes through fields with possibilities of Eastern Kingbird, Eastern Meadowlark, Field Sparrow and Barn Swallow.
- Trip 13 - Mt. Mitchell, Crabtree Meadows and Ridge Junction Overlook Trip 13 is full
- Heading south on the Blue Ridge Parkway, this trip will cover several sites. Crabtree Meadows hosts Indigo Bunting, Common Yellowthroat, Eastern Meadowlark and several sparrows. The surrounding woods and campground can produce Red-headed Woodpecker, Black-billed and Yellow-billed Cuckoos, Scarlet Tanager, Brown Creeper, and several flycatchers. The Ridge Junction Overlook is a good area for migrants. Red Crossbills have been seen here many times, as they breed in the area. Mt. Mitchell State Park is right around the corner. Here could be seen Winter Wren, Veery, Hermit Thrush, Canada Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Broad-winged Hawk, and Red-breasted Nuthatch, among many others. Lunch can be eaten at the restaurant with a beautiful mountain view, or you can pack your own. Other stops along the parkway will be included.
- Trip 14 - Blue Ridge Parkway Combo
- This trip will combine several spots covered in half-day trips for those folks who want to take a short lunch and keep birding. These spots include the Sims Pond area, Bass and Trout Lakes, Price Lake, Lewis Fork Overlook, E.B. Jeffress Park, and other overlooks and short trails along the way. Most of these sites are described in other trips. You will need to pack a lunch. Expect a wide variety of birds as we will cover many different habitats.
- Trip 15 - Grandfather Mountain and Tanawha Trail
- Trails with moderate hills will be in this trip. The Profile Trail is part of Grandfather Mountain State Park and follows a creek along the first section before a moderate climb up to the peak. The trip will stop about halfway up. This is a good area for Ruffed Grouse, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Winter Wren, Wood Thrush, Veery and Brown Creeper. Warblers could include Canada, Ovenbird, Blackburnian, Black-throated Blue, and Black-and-white. The Tanawha Trail runs along the Blue Ridge Parkway near the Lynn Cove Viaduct. It is less hilly and meanders through a deciduous canopy with laurel and rhododendron understory. Expect a variety of warblers, vireos and other passerines.
- Trips 19 & 24 - Meat Camp Creek Environmental Studies Area and Green Valley Park Trips 19 & 24 are full
- Over 170 species have been recorded on this private 10-acre site since 1999. Some of the nesting birds are Common Yellowthroat, Green Heron, Yellow Warbler, and Least and Willow Flycatchers. Black-billed Cuckoo has also nested on occasion. Lingering Sora, Virginia Rail and American Bittern are possible. Many migrants should be seen in this wetland site. This is an easy ¾ mile walk. If we have time, we'll go to nearby Green Valley Park, another excellent migration spot.
- Trip 27 - Elk Knob State Park and Gamelands Trip 27 is full
- This is one of the most likely trips for Golden-winged Warblers. We will visit these two sites and others within the Amphibolite peaks. The trip involves some hiking on steep, uneven terrain. Bring your lunch. Other species of the area include Vesper Sparrow, Least Flycatcher, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and many northern hardwood and high elevation birds.
- Trip 28 - Butterflies and Birds
- This all-day trip will concentrate on butterflies, as well as birds, with some wildflowers thrown into the mix. We start at Mt. Jefferson for birds and hilltop butterflies before moving to the Wagoner Road unit of the New River State Park, checking meadows and field edges. After a lunch stop (bring your own), there will be other areas to cover. The leader will determine additional areas including some along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
- Trip 29 - CBC Spring Round-up
The first Round-up at the winter meeting was so much
fun, we're having another one. This is just as much a
learning time for new birders as it is a contest and
should hopefully be a group effort. Directions to most
of our trip sites will be included in your packet.
Basic rules (that may well be adjusted before the meeting) are:
- Teams will consist of four people of different skill levels
- Teams will be made up by the meeting planner and the chief judge
- Each team may use only one vehicle
- A “shotgun” start means each team picks where they begin
- One point per species per birder on the team. Four points if all members see or hear the bird
- The CBC Daily Field Check List will be used as the scorecard
- Start time will be determined by the individual team, but no earlier than 6:00 AM
- Scorecards must be turned in by noon
- Speeding tickets or citations for entering a restricted area are grounds for disqualification
- Any ties will be broken by how early the card was turned in
- Level 1: Recognizes most/all species in all plumages. Can identify songs, calls and chip notes. Knows species' habitat and behavior. Is familiar with the various venues in the target area and often leads field trips.
- Level 2: Knows breeding and winter plumages of most species and can identify some juvenal plumages. Can identify songs and most calls. Knows the habitat of most species and the more unique behaviors. Occasionally leads field trips.
- Level 3: Knows breeding plumage of most species and can usually identify birds in non-breeding plumage with the help of a field guide. Has a general familiarity with the habitat of bird families, and can recognize a few songs. Does not find the birds' behavior helpful in identification.
- Level 4: Still developing basic identification skills. Knows a few birds, and even a few songs. Enthusiastic and eager to learn