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Mission Statement

The Carolina Bird Club is a non-profit organization that represents and supports the birding community in the Carolinas through its website, publications, meetings, workshops, trips, and partnerships, whose mission is


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The Carolina Bird Club, Inc., is a non-profit educational and scientific association open to anyone interested in the study and conservation of wildlife, particularly birds.

The Club meets each winter, spring, and fall at different locations in the Carolinas. Meeting sites are selected to give participants an opportunity to see many different kinds of birds. Guided field trips and informative programs are combined for an exciting weekend of meeting with people who share an enthusiasm and concern for birds.

The Club offers research grants in avian biology for undergraduate and graduate students, and scholarships for young birders.

The Club publishes two print publications (now also available online). The Chat is a quarterly ornithological journal that contains scientific articles, reports of bird records committees and bird counts, and general field notes on bird sightings. CBC Newsletter is published bimonthly and includes birding articles and information about meetings, field trips, and Club news.

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Field Trip Schedule and Descriptions

Friday, September 21 Saturday, September 22
Half-day Morning Half-day Morning
Trip #1Cedar Falls County Park – 7:15 AM
Trip #2Bunched Arrowhead Heritage Preserve – 7:00 AM
Trip #3Cottonwood Trail – 7:00 AM
Trip #4Lake Conestee Nature Park – 7:30 AM
Trip #5The Wilson Farm – 7:15 AM
Trip #6Nine Times Preserve – 6:30 AM
Trip #21Cottonwood Trail – 7:00 AM
Trip #22Bunched Arrowhead Heritage Preserve – 7:00 AM
Trip #23N. Greenville County Lakes Tour – 7:15 AM
Trip #24Cleveland Park – 7:30 AM
Trip #25The Wilson Farm – 7:15 AM
Trip #26Nine Times Preserve – 6:30 AM
Trip #27Photography Workshop – 7:15 AM
Half-day Afternoon Half-day Afternoon
Trip #8Furman University and Swan Lake – 1:00 PM
Trip #9Cedar Falls County Park – 1:15 PM
Trip #10N. Greenville County Lakes Tour – 1:00 PM
Trip #11Lake Conestee Nature Park – 1:30 PM
Trip #12Hawk Watch at Caesar's Head State Park – 1:00PM
Trip #13Cleveland Park – 1:30 PM
Trip #29Cottonwood Trail – 1:00 PM
Trip #30Cedar Falls County Park – 1:15 PM
Trip #31Bunched Arrowhead Heritage Preserve – 1:15 PM
Trip #32Cleveland Park – 1:30 PM
Trip #33Furman University and Swan Lake – 1:30 PM
Trip #34Hawk Watch at Caesar's Head State Park – 1:00 PM
All-day All-day
Trip #15Nine Times Preserve and Sassafras Mountain – 7:00 AM
Trip #16Ashmore Heritage Preserve and Persimmon Ridge Road – 7:00 AM
Trip #17Jones Gap State Park and Old Fish Hatchery – 7:15 AM
Trip #18Blue Wall Preserve and FENCE – 7:15 AM
Trip #19The Cottonwood Trail and Croft State Park – 7:15 AM
Trip #36Nine Times Preserve and Sassafras Mountain – 7:00 AM
Trip #37Lake Conestee Nature Park – 7:30 AM
Trip #38Green Mountain and Oil Camp Road – 7:15 AM
Trip #39Caesar's Head State Park and Hawk Watch at Caesar's Head – 7:15 AM
Trip #40The Cottonwood Trail and Croft State Natural Area – 7:30 AM

Field Trip Descriptions

Trips 1, 9, and 30: Cedar Falls County Park

This site in southern Greenville County is where the Reedy River widens to over 200 feet, cascading over rocks and boulders, to create one of the most geologically significant vistas on the river. We will search for lingering resident species such as Hooded Warbler and Northen Parula as well as Yellow-billed Cuckoo. Migrants, well…, let your warbler imagination wander.

  • Approximate driving distance: 22 miles one way
  • Facilities: Public restrooms are available. Drinking fountain.
  • Access conditions: Moderate walking on paved and natural surface trails.
Trips 2, 22 and 31: Bunched Arrowhead Heritage Preserve

Located near the town of Travelers Rest, the 178-acre Bunched Arrowhead Heritage Preserve was acquired by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources for the purposes of protecting the federally-endangered Bunched Arrowhead (Sagittaria fasciculata), a plant found in wetland seeps within Piedmont seepage forest habitats. Other rare plants that occur here include the Dwarf-flowered Heartleaf (Hexastylis naniflora) and the unusual Climbing Fern (Lygodium palmatum). This special place also contains diverse habitats that support an excellent variety of birds. We will spend most of our time exploring the brushy and grassy fields, upland mixed pine-hardwood forests, and bottomland hardwoods from a 1.25-mile loop trail that begins and ends at the parking lot. Along the way we hope to see such birds as Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-eyed Vireo, White-eyed Vireo, wood warblers; Field Sparrow, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting and many others.

  • Approximate driving distance: 16 miles one way.
  • Facilities: No public restrooms on site.
  • Access conditions: Walking primarily on natural surface trails along uneven terrain.
Trips 3, 21 and 29: Cottonwood Trail — On the Edwin M. Griffin Nature Preserve

Note Cottonwood Trail is combined with Croft State Natural Area (#19 and #40) as full day trips.

The Cottonwood Trail Preserve, an eBird hotspot, is currently a 115 acre urban preserve and trail system. Located minutes from downtown Spartanburg, the property protects a 1.5 mile stretch of Lawson's Fork Creek and several feeder streams. The preserve serves as an important water quality buffer in a fast growing region as well as providing habitat for a myriad of plants and animals. Over 5 miles of trails offer runners and naturalists a break from city traffic. This urban greenspace has many outstanding features including several wetlands, open spaces, geological formations, and offers habitat for deer, wild turkey, fox, beaver, raccoon, numerous birds and reptiles, wildflowers, and trees.

  • Approximate driving distance: 27 miles each way.
  • Facilities: No public restrooms at our destination, though we may stop at a local gas station.
  • Access conditions: Easy to moderate walking on natural surface trails and boardwalks
Trips 4 and 11: Lake Conestee Nature Park

Located only 7 miles from downtown Greenville, the 400 acre Lake Conestee Nature Park is one of the top birding hotspots in upstate South Carolina. The diverse habitat includes lakes, pines and mixed deciduous woodland, transitional fields and the Reedy River floodplain with its extensive associated woodlands. 218 species have been reliably reported, 132 of them in September. Species that occur here include a variety of waterfowl (Wood Ducks are permanent residents), several species of wading birds, and a significant diversity of songbirds including many neotropical migrants. We hope to encounter a variety of migrants such as Swainson's Thrush, a number of wood warblers including Northern Parula, American Redstart, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia and others as well as Scarlet Tanager, Indigo Bunting and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

LCNP is managed by the non-profit Conestee Foundation which suggests a $3 per person donation (donation boxes available in the park).

  • Approximate driving distance: 10.5 miles each way.
  • Facilities: Public restrooms. Drinking fountain.
  • Access conditions: Easy walking on constructed boardwalks, paved and natural surface trails.
Trips 5 and 25: The Wilson Farm

Located in the rolling hills of northern Greenville County near the town of Marietta, the Wilson Farm is a privately owned 1,300-acre tract that is managed for wildlife. The farm supports a diversity of habitat types including fields, mixed upland woodlands, ponds and stream corridors that attract a diversity of birdlife. We will search for any resident and migratory species that may be present including possible Red-tailed Hawk, Gray Catbird, Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting and others. This is a restricted site for which the Greenville County Bird Club has obtained limited access for the CBC.

  • Approximate driving distance: 20 miles one way
  • Facilities: No public restrooms are available at Wilson Farm.
  • Access conditions: Moderate walking on paved and natural surface trails, and on uneven terrain.
Trips 6 and 26: Nine Times Preserve — Nature Conservancy Preserve

Note Nine Times Preserve is combined with Sassafras Mountain (#15) as a full day trip.

Named because nine bridges were needed to gain access to the tremendous biologically diverse site, the Nine Times Preserve is a significant eBird Hotspot. The land encompasses five mountains that harbor 134 known species of wildflowers in seven distinct forest types. These habitats mean birds, birds, birds. No wonder it is a magnet for birders.

  • Approximate driving distance: 42 miles each way
  • Facilities: No public restrooms at our destination, though we may stop at a local gas station.
  • Access conditions: Easy to moderate walking on varying terrain.
Trips 8 and 33: Furman University and Swan Lake

23 species of warbler have been recorded at Furman University, plus an assortment of water birds. We will walk the approximately 1.5 mile circular paved trail around the lake with some short side trips on woodland trails as time allows, looking for migrating warblers among the local resident species. You never know when a rarity will show up, such as the famous Brown Booby this past spring.

  • Approximate driving distance: 16 miles one way.
  • Facilities: Restroom access throughout the walk area.
  • Access conditions: Easy walking on paved surfaces.
Trips 10 and 23: North Greenville County Lakes

This half-day tour is designed for those seeking shorter walks and provides an excellent opportunity for sampling the birdlife associated with some of north Greenville County's lakes. Our first destination will be the Lake Cunningham Recreation Area. Here we will take a short walk around the parking area and boardwalk examining the shoreline habitat and open water for any species that may be present. Our next stop is Berry's Millpond, a 100-year old reservoir that once powered the historic Berry's Mill, established in 1820. We will explore this beautiful location during a short 30-minute walk.

From there we will travel to nearby Lake Robinson to check out the area near the dam followed by a brief exploration of a nice wetland area near the upper end of that lake. During our trip we hope to find such species as Osprey, possible migrating Caspian Tern, wading birds, and early-arriving waterfowl such as Blue-winged Teal along with migrant and resident songbirds.

  • Approximate driving distance: 11 miles to Lake Cunningham. 16 miles back to the Marriott from the upper end of Lake Robinson.
  • Facilities: Public restrooms at Lake Cunningham and at Lake Robinson.
  • Access conditions: Relatively short and easy walks.
Trips 12 and 34: Hawk Watch at Caesar's Head State Park

No day fee at the overlook. Note this hawk watch is also available as combined with more birding throughout this Park (#33) as a full day trip.

A granite gneiss outcropping along the dramatic Blue Ridge escarpment gives Caesar's Head State Park its name. Here our participants will be treated to the annual hawk watch program with views into North Carolina and Georgia. The Park is part of over 13,000 acres of the pristine southern mountain forest called the Mountain Bridge Wilderness, termed to reflect the tops of peaks in the area that harbor conditions more similar to northern latitudes.

  • Approximate driving distance: 40 miles each way.
  • Facilities: Public restrooms
  • Access conditions: easy walking.
Trips 13, 24 and 32: Cleveland Park

Cleveland Park is a popular and diverse city park located in downtown Greenville that was first developed in 1928. It is an eBird hotspot. Here, we will search for migrant songbirds along some of the developed trails that wind through the park.

  • Approximate driving distance: 10 miles each way
  • Facilities: Public restrooms
  • Access conditions: Easy walking on paved and natural surface trails
Trip 27: Warbler Photography Workshop — Maximum of 8 Participants

A local outdoor photographer will provide clues on light conditions and tips on capturing active small avian delights. The workshop will begin indoors at the host hotel for approximately an hour. The workshop is for DSLR users but bridge-camera users are welcome too. The location for the outdoor portion will be Lake Conestee Nature Park. Quoting the leader, “The workshop will be directed more toward the photographer in you rather than the birder.”

Trip 15 and 36: Nine Times Preserve and Sassafras Mountain (See trip #6 and 26 for a description.)

At 3,560 feet Sassafras Mountain is the highest point in South Carolina and is a long-visited destination by birders seeking such mountain species as Ruffed Grouse, Common Raven and a variety of Neotropical songbirds typical of the mid-elevation Southern Appalachian forest. This scenic location will be one of our primary stops as we search for these and other birds. We will also visit the Nine Times Preserve that is owned and managed by the Nature Conservancy. This 560-acre biologically-significant preserve harbors a number of forest types and unique rock outcrop plant communities that supports a diverse assemblage of native wildflowers and wildlife. We hope to find a variety of Neotropical species like Swainson's Thrush, Tennessee Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, tanagers and grosbeaks. Part of our time here will be spent exploring the different plant communities along the recently constructed 1.7 mile trail. During the course of our tour, we will make other roadside stops and search cultivated fields and woodlands in the Eastatoe Creek area. We will hope a tower at the summit, under construction, is complete.

  • Approximate driving distances: 41 miles to Nine Times Preserve, 51 miles to hotel from Sassafras Mountain.
  • Facilities: Public restrooms availability is very limited, though we will seek a stop along the way.
  • Access conditions: Moderate walking conditions along natural surface trails and on uneven terrain with some possible steep inclines.
Trip 16: Ashmore Heritage Preserve and Persimmon Ridge Road

The Ashmore Preserve and area is over 1,125 acres on the southside of Caesar's Head and west of Green Mountain and Naturaland Trust property. We'll hike up Persimmon Road and return via Lake Wattacoo (about 4 miles) with its natural bog. A beaver pond below the dam offers additional bird habitat. We'll also visit Eva Russel Chandler Heritage Preserve with its secluded bald and Slickum Falls (1 mile). Below the bald is an acidic bog with thick lichen mats, prickly pear cactus and the mountain sweet pitcher plant (Sarracenia rubra). Persimmon Ridge Road is a steep, one-lane, road. High clearance vehicles with all-wheel drive are recommended. Expected sightings include Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Pileated Woodpecker, Common Raven, Black-and-white Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, American Redstart, and Black-throated Green Warbler.

  • Approximate driving distances: 23 miles to meet our leader then about 8 miles on country roads with additional local driving.
  • Facilities: Public restrooms are limited, though we will strive to make a stop along the way.
  • Access conditions: Roadside birding along with moderate walking conditions on natural surfaced trails, woods roads and on uneven terrain.
Trip 17: Jones Gap State Park and The Old Fish Hatchery

Part of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness encompassing Caesar's Head, Ashmore Heritage Preserve, Cleveland Cliffs, and Green Mountain (over 11,000 acres) Jones Gap allows us access to explore some prime areas for migrants. Elevation is a valuable clue when birding throughout the Wilderness. During the course of our tour, and if time allows, we may also visit additional local birding hot-spots along the way. The State's first scenic river runs through the park, the Middle Saluda River.

  • Approximate driving distances: 34 miles to the Park along with additional local driving.
  • Facilities: Public restrooms are available.
  • Access conditions: Roadside birding along with moderate walking conditions on natural surfaced trails, woods roads and on uneven terrain.
Trips 18: The Blue Wall Preserve and FENCE

Located near Landrum in the northeast corner of Greenville County, the Blue Wall Preserve was acquired by the Nature Conservancy in 1997 and is part of a mosaic of protected lands within the Blue Ridge Escarpment of the Southern Appalachians that totals more than 20,000 acres. Designated by the Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area, this preserve protects a diverse assemblage of plant communities that includes upland hardwoods, successional pine forests and open water lakes. In this beautiful landscape, we will seek out such birds as migrant vireos and thrushes, wood warblers including Black-throated Blue, American Redstart, Magnolia, and Hooded as well as Scarlet Tanager and Rose-breasted Grosbeak along with a variety of others. This trip will also include a visit to the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center, better known as FENCE. This non-profit nature and outdoor recreation center contains 384 acres of attractive hardwood forests, meadows and wetlands and is managed for the purposes of nature studies, outdoor recreation and equestrian competition. Time allowing, we may also visit other local birding spots in the Lake Lanier area.

  • Approximate driving distances: 27 miles to the Blue Wall Preserve - 8 miles to FENCE - 39 miles back to the Greenville Marriott.
  • Facilities: Public restrooms are available at FENCE.
  • Access Conditions: Trail conditions vary from moderate walking on uneven terrain to developed natural surface trails.
Trips 19 and 40: Cottonwood Trail and Croft State Park

Located minutes from downtown Spartanburg, the Cottonwood Trail Preserve is an urban gem, protecting a 1.5-mile stretch of Lawson's Fork Creek and several of its tributaries. This urban green space was first acquired through the efforts of The Spartanburg Area Conservancy, or SPACE, and is important as a water quality buffer in a fast-growing region. Recognized as a regional birding “hot-spot”, particularly during migration, the site contains many interesting and diverse natural habitats such as upland hardwoods, floodplain forests, open space and wetlands. We also plan to visit Croft State Natural Area, a 7,000-acre state park just outside of Spartanburg. Formerly the site of an Army infantry training camp, this state park contains an interesting diverse mix of habitats including upland mixed pine-hardwood forests, bottomland hardwoods and wetlands associateed with Fairforest Creek and Lake Tom Moore Craig. Species we hope to find during this tour include such birds as Red-headed Woodpecker, Blue-headed Vireo, Swainson's Thrush, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Cape May Warbler, American Redstart, Summer Tanager, Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and many others. Croft State Natural Area boasts a mosaic of mature woodland and old fields to round out this trip.

  • Approximate driving distance: 27 miles to the Cottonwood Trail - 10.5 miles to Croft State Park - 33 miles back to the Greenville Marriott.
  • Facilities: Public restrooms are available at Croft State Natural Area.
  • Access conditions: Moderate walking mainly on natural surface trails with possible uneven terrain and some constructed boardwalks.
Trip 37: Lake Conestee Nature Park (See Trips #4 and 11 for a description of this tour)

This trip will allow exploration of most of the 400 acre park and include areas not visited in the half-day trips.

LCNP is managed by the non-profit Conestee Foundation which suggests a $3 per person donation. (Donation boxes available in the park.)

  • Approximate driving distance: 10.5 miles
  • Facilities: Public restrooms. Drinking fountain.
  • Access conditions: Easy walking on constructed boardwalks, paved and natural surface trails.
Trip 38: Green Mountain and Oil Camp Road

Situated in the valley of Oil Camp Road is a 139 acre forested gem acquired by Naturaland Trust, which owns an even larger adjacent tract. Boasting an incredible mix of hardwoods, wildlife, and a trout stream Green Mountain adds to the protected lands to strengthen the Mountain Bridge Wilderness. Resident bird species and migrants continually pull local birders to the area.Expected sightings include Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Pileated Woodpecker, Common Raven, Black-and-white Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, American Redstart, and Black-throated Green Warbler.

  • Approximate driving distances: 27 miles to meet our leader in Cleveland, SC then about 8 miles on country roads with additional local driving. High clearance vehicles with all-wheel drive are recommended.
  • Facilities: Public restrooms are limited, though we will strive to make a stop along the way.
  • Access conditions: Roadside birding along with moderate walking conditions on natural surfaced trails, woods roads and on uneven terrain.
Trip 39: Caesar's Head State Park and Hawk Watch

See Half Day Trips #12 and 34 for a description of this tour. This is the all-day tour designed to allow further exploration of this South Carolina hotspot gem. Migrant warblers will be the primary target, with lingering resident birds of the higher mountains and side slopes. The hawk watch in at least part of the afternoon will round out the event at the incredible overlook.

  • Approximate driving distance: 41 miles one way.
  • Facilities: Public restrooms are available.
  • Access conditions: Roadside birding along with moderate walking conditions on natural surfaced trails, woods roads and on uneven terrain.

Meeting Notes