CBC Winter Meeting—Wrightsville Beach, NC
We have some beautiful beaches in North Carolina, and many people vacation on them in the summer. But have you ever been to those same beautiful beaches in the winter time? If not, you are in for a treat. Wrightsville Beach is a beautiful, wide, bright-white sand beach, and the CBC host hotel is oceanfront. You will find that the beach is far less crowded in the winter and just as beautiful as in the summer. View gannets fishing offshore while enjoying your morning coffee, or if you choose a sound-side room, you may see a loon or two swimming among the boats in the Intracoastal Waterway.
Our host hotel for the CBC Winter Meeting, held January 24-25, is the Blockade Runner, located at 275 Waynick Blvd., Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480. Room rates are $89 for oceanfront and $79 for sound side. These rates do not include taxes, but include a chef-cooked breakfast in the hotel dining room and access to the hotel's fitness center, sauna, and hot tub. The hotel chef will also prepare our Saturday night buffet meal of pulled pork and plenty of vegetable side dishes. The cost for the buffet is $25.00. You must call the hotel at 910-256-2251 or 800-541-1161 by January 1st to make your reservation in order to get our special CBC discounted rates. Make sure you identify yourself as a CBC member when you call. After January 1 rooms may be available, but the rate is not guaranteed.
Our Friday night speaker will be Lindsay Addison from Wilmington. A Florida native, Lindsay has worked for Audubon North Carolina for the past three years. As the coastal biologist, she is responsible for the management and monitoring of Audubon's North Carolina sanctuary system that supports 35% of the state's nesting water birds. Two of these nesting sites are at each end of Wrightsville Beach. In her program, Lindsay will review the 2013 nesting season and describe other coastal work that Audubon carries out year-round. The presentation will feature a slideshow of many of North Carolina's coastal birds. You can work on your shorebird ID skills!
On Saturday night our speaker will be Kim Brand. Kim is co-chair of Audubon North Carolina's Bird Friendly Communities partnership program. Audubon North Carolina named her Volunteer of the Year in 2013. Kim has been very active with Forsyth Audubon, in Winston-Salem, since 2008, and currently serves as vice-president. She is currently a Toyota TogetherGreen Fellow, and her fellowship project focuses on creating bird-friendly yards and parks in partnership with Habitat for Humanity in Forsyth County. Before moving to North Carolina in 2005, Kim studied the Florida Scrub-Jay at Archbold Biological Station for her masters' degree. She enjoys native-plant gardening and vegetable gardening, as well as exploring nature with her two daughters. Kim's program title is: “Bird Gardening: How Your Yard Can Help Birds.” Your yard can make a big difference to birds, whether they live there year-round or migrate through. Kim will share how you can choose native plants that meet birds' changing needs throughout the year, including insect food for young, fuel for migration, and food that lasts all winter long. Not only will you help the birds, but your yard list is guaranteed to increase!
Wrightsville Beach is just across the Intracoastal Waterway from the city of Wilmington, which features many activities that non-birding partners and birders alike may want to take advantage of while visiting the area. If you love to ride bikes, check out the Gary Shell Cross City Bike Trail. This mostly paved bike trail meanders for 15 miles from Wrightsville Beach all the way across Wilmington, passing through many of the city's parks along its path. And birding can be good when you are riding bikes quietly along the trail.
Wilmington also has a downtown boardwalk along the Cape Fear River. The 1.8 mile River Walk passes historic sites, shops, and some great riverside restaurants. While you are downtown, you can take a ride through some of the most historic parts of town in a horse-drawn carriage. Check out www.wilmingtonnc.gov or www.wilmingtondowntown.com for more information. If you would like a ride down the Cape Fear River, boats are available for hire along the River Walk (weather permitting).
Our field trip line-up covers the ocean, fresh and saltwater marshes, ferry rides, islands, maritime forests, lakes and streams. Register for the meeting early in order to ensure the best selection of field trips is still available. Hope to see you at Wrightsville Beach in January!
Directions to the hotel: From US 74 East, cross the Intracoastal Waterway drawbridge onto Wrightsville Beach. After the drawbridge, stay right at the fork and proceed onto US 76 East. Cross a smaller bridge over another portion of the waterway and take an immediate right at the stop light onto Waynick Boulevard. The Blockade Runner hotel will be on your left about 0.3 miles south.