CBC is Finally Returning to the Sandhills!
By Susan Campbell
After a ten-year hiatus, the Club will be returning to Southern Pines, North Carolina for the 2019 Spring Meeting. We hope that you will take advantage of the interesting trips and programs we have lined up the weekend of May 3rd through 5th. Groups will head out to destinations that are likely new to CBC members like Carvers Creek State Park, the Diggs Tract and Lake Auman. Others will visit sites that are familiar birding "hot spots", such as Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge.
We will also have trips to well-known locations such as the Sandhills Game Land and Woodlake. We hope everyone will visit the newly renovated museum as well as the merchandise counter at Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve. Also, you will find that the trails at the park are easier to traverse these days given the improved mapping and comprehensive signage.
Our headquarters for the meeting will be at the Hampton Inn and Suites Southern Pines-Pinehurst located at Hwy. 15/501 in Aberdeen.
We have a block of rooms reserved in addition to their spacious conference area. Rooms are $109 per night plus 9.75% tax. In order to receive the CBC meeting rate, reservations must be made by calling their toll free number (1-866-238-4218) before April 5th. Reservations after the cut-off will be honored based on availability. There are numerous motels in the area if you cannot get a room at the Hampton Inn. Be aware that there are other events going on that weekend in the area, so you should not wait too long to make your lodging arrangements. The hotel will be accommodating our field trip schedule by having early breakfast hours, beginning at 6 a.m. You will note that a number of the field trips focus on interesting organisms within the Sandhills ecosystem including plants, butterflies, and moths, in addition to the birds. On these trips, leaders will keep an eye/ear out for birds along the way, but will be specifically seeking out other species. Also, we have arranged some unique opportunities to observe interesting demonstrations by local folks. One such program is the Red-cockaded Woodpecker Nesting Ecology program involving an experienced local woodpecker biologist who will demonstrate the techniques used in monitoring and conservation of this endangered species. There will also be hummingbird banding and perhaps an actual prescribed burn. Participants signing up for whole day trips will want to ensure they bring a lunch with them, as locations for purchasing food are limited in the vicinity of some destinations. Options for "birding on your own" on the way to the meeting will be posted at the CBC web site well ahead of time. Otherwise, you will find a number of possibilities in your registration packet when you arrive
There are plenty of non-birding activities in the area such as equestrian competitions, exploring the Pottery Highway in the western part of the county, antiquing in the village of Cameron and, of course, golf. As always, check the schedule posted at registration for more details on all of the weekend's events. We will also have material on restaurants and additional family activities available when you arrive. If you have any questions about lodging, field trips or the Southern Pines area, feel free to contact the meeting organizer, Susan Campbell, at (910) 695-0651 or email Susan Campbell. Friday night local wildlife biologist Brady Beck will share images of the flora and fauna of the region. Brady's renowned photos and video from the Sandhills showcase the diversity of habitats and life of this unique area. Many of his shots have been taken in the Sandhills Game Lands where he has worked for more than two decades. His dedication to not only preservation but restoration of the longleaf pine forest is not just a job but a long-term personal commitment.
Saturday we will offer a catered barbeque buffet dinner at 6:30 p.m. for $15 per person (including tax and gratuity). Offerings will include pork, chicken and a vegetarian entrée, with sides and dessert. The Annual Meeting will begin at 7:15 p.m., followed by a program by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Biologist John Hammond. John, who works in the Raleigh Field Office, will discuss the ecology of the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, as well as bring us up to date on the status of the species locally. We look forward to hosting many of you here in Southern Pines in May!