CBC Winter Seasonal Meeting—Nags Head, NC, January 18–20, 2019
Outstanding Birds Xpected
By Christine Stoughton Root and Les Coble
The CBC host hotel, the Ramada Plaza Nags Head, and the Outer Banks extend a warm welcome to members and guests joining us for our Winter Seasonal Meeting.
Yes, we are returning to the wonders of the Outer Banks January 2019. The heading is self-explaining. “Outstanding Birds eXpected” as it was titled by Ron Clark back in 2014. The OBX does produce unexpected sightings year-round. Its proximity to the Gulf Stream, with its effect on weather along the coast in every month, and the amazing variety of habitats within a few miles of the coast provide the setting for the large daily bird counts available to all. These counts easily can top 100 on an all-day foray most days of the year! 180 species were recorded at the last OBX Weekend in 2017.
The list of birds in 2017 and earlier included Golden Eagle at Alligator NWR and Iceland, Glaucous, “Thayer's” and California Gulls at the Cape Hatteras area, along with a resident Anna's Hummingbird. Jennette's Pier provided Razorbills, Dovekies, all three North American scoters, and Long-tailed Duck. Pea Island, Mattamuskeet and Pocosin showed us Ross's Goose, hundreds of Snow Geese and Tundra Swans, Eurasian Wigeons, and Horned Grebe. Interesting passerine observations have included species such as Ash-throated Flycatcher, Lark Sparrow, Snow Bunting, Lapland Longspur and Dickcissel.
“New” Thursday Evening—6–6:45pm a casual evening program by Bob Schamerhorn on “Atlantic Coastal Birds.”
Bob Schamerhorn, renowned speaker and photographer, will be spending the weekend with the Carolina Bird Club. He will lead a field trip and share his expertise in photography and attracting birds. He will start with a casual refresher. The Friday night program will be “Easy Access Florida Birding”. He will continue Saturday with a Photography Workshop “Birds in Action”.
Bob's Saturday night program is “Attracting Birds with Water”. Each different season brings varying species and changed plumages, whether it is winter, breeding season, spring or fall migration. In one central Virginia backyard alone, the addition of this simple birdbath system has attracted over 75 species! These include hummingbirds, Cedar Waxwing, Redstart, and Cerulean Warblers. It provides this essential resource even when everything else is frozen solid.
Extensively experienced, world renowned pelagic birder, Brian Patteson, will lead a day trip for intrepid life-bird-seekers out on the Atlantic Ocean for a full day afloat. Bring your lunch, drinks and foul weather gear for this adventure. We will leave from a port determined by Brian just before the weekend. Due to early departure a brown-bagged breakfast will be provided.
In addition a variety of field trips will include waterfowl, shorebirds, photography workshops and a trip for those who wish to bird at a slower pace that is also handicapped accessible. Two Sunday morning field trips may allow relocating unusual species reported.
Registration packets will contain directions to the locations of the field trips offered. Some local reference books recommended are The North Carolina Birding Trail—Coastal Plain Trail Guide, which can be used to study up on the Outer Banks sites you will be visiting, as well as planning your trip to and from Kill Devil Hills; John Fussell's A Birder's Guide to Coastal North Carolina; and Mike Tove's Guide to the Offshore Wildlife of the Northern Atlantic, which are standards for birding this area of North Carolina.
Our host hotel and meeting headquarters is the Ramada Plaza Nags Head, 1701 South Virginia Dare Trail in Kill Devil Hills. This Ramada boasts lots of amenities including private balconies, in-room refrigerator and microwave, as well as a heated pool and Jacuzzi. The CBC rates for this meeting are truly excellent at $75 per night for an ocean view room or $65 per night for the street side. This cost does not include tax of 12.75%. This price does include a hot breakfast buffet-style starting at 5:30 am. A brown-bagged breakfast will be provided for those leaving earlier. Identify yourself as being with the Carolina Bird Club when you call the hotel directly at (252) 441-2151 to make your reservation. The hotel will provide our Saturday night buffet dinner. Go to www.RamadaPlazaNagsHead.com for more information. Please register by December 28, 2018.
Check-in time is 4 PM and checkout is 11 AM.
Both Friday and Saturday evenings will host cash bar and social hours. Friday at 5:30 pm with programs beginning at 7:00 pm, Saturday at 5:30 pm with the Banquet Dinner starting at 6:30 pm, program following at 7:15 pm.
There are many diversions in the area for non-birding spouses. Aside from the beautiful beach as far as you can see, the Wright Brothers National Memorial in nearby Kill Devil Hills and historic Manteo, with the Elizabethan Gardens, are just a short drive away. Three lighthouses, Currituck Beach, Bodie and Cape Hatteras, are less than an hour away. Manteo also has a reproduction of the lesser-known Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse.
Winter on the Outer Banks is always special. Bring warm clothes, a sense of humor and adventure. We hope to see you there.
Registration opens on December 1st at 2:00pm.
Please note: South Pond on Pea Island is off-limits at all times. We will have access for this meeting, but only if you are on the specified trips. No one is allowed in that area at other times. Also, certain impoundments around Lake Mattamuskeet are off-limits and have signs posting such. We will have access to some of these areas, but only on designated trip.