Field Trip Schedule and Descriptions
|Friday, May 6|
|All-day||Half-day Morning||Half-day Afternoon|
|Saturday, May 7|
|All-day||Half-day Morning||Half-day Afternoon|
Field Trip Descriptions
Distances given are from Crowne Plaza to meeting place if not at the Crown Plaza.
All-Day trips participants should bring their own lunch.
- Trip #1: (Friday only) Sandy Mush Game Lands
Tour these state-managed game lands with N.C. wildlife biologist Joe Tomcho. General birding in varied habitat, plus checking kestrel nest boxes Joe has set up. Possibly banding kestrel chicks. We can expect to see or hear a variety of birds including bobwhite quail, field sparrow, orchard oriole, brown headed nuthatch, prairie warbler plus other migrating warblers and various hawk species such as red tailed, red shouldered and possibly Cooper's Hawk and Sharp-Shinned Hawk if we're lucky. Stay as long as you want.There is a bird checklist for the area available for downloading.
Restrooms: “utilizing nature” or driving back to a local gas station. Walking: easy Meet: along Martin Candler Rd at 35°43'09.3"N 82°40'16.4"W (35.719253, -82.671216) Distance: Distance: about 13 miles
- Trip #2 and 17: Blue Ridge Parkway North
This is a great trip for a wide variety of low and high elevation breeding woodland species of the Southern Appalachians. The trip begins at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway north of Asheville and continues north to Mount Mitchell. Along the way a wide variety of warblers occur, including Black-and-white, Hooded, Cerulean, Worm-eating, Ovenbird, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Blackburnian and Chestnut-sided, as well as Scarlet Tanager; Rose-breasted Grosbeak; Veery; Red-eyed, Blue-headed, and Yellowthroated Vireo; and Eastern Wood-Pewee. In the Mount Mitchell area look for Winter Wren, Hermit Thrush, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creeper, and possibly Pine Siskin and Red Crossbill. Time permitting the trip will continue down Curtis Creek Rd for Louisiana Waterthrush, Swainson's Warbler, and Acadian Flycatcher.
Restrooms: at Craggy Gardens and at Mount Mitchell Walking: mainly along overlooks Meet: Friday at Crowne Plaza parking lot Meet: Saturday at Folk Arts Center, on Blue Ridge Parkway Distance: 8 miles
- Trip #3 and 18: Curtis Creek Road/Mount Mitchell/BRP
This is basically the reverse of the Blue Ridge Parkway North trip and the same species should be seen. Swainson's Warblers are common along Curtis Creek Road as well as Black-throated Green and Hooded Warbler and Northern Parula at the lower end of the road as well as Worm-eating, Black-and-white, and Blackthroated Blue Warbler farther up the road. It will start at the lower end of Curtis Creek Rd and continue up to the parkway to Mount Mitchell, then south on the BRP to the Asheville exit. Along the parkway Blackburnian Warblers are common at several locations as well as the usual higher elevation species such as Red-breasted Nuthatch, Blue-headed Vireo, some Brown Creeper, and possibly Pine Siskin and Red Crossbill.
Restrooms: At Curtis Creek Campground and at Mount Mitchell Walking: easy to moderate Meet: Friday at Curtis Creek Campground Distance: 33 miles Meet: Saturday at the Crowne Plaza Parking lot
- Trip #4 and 19: Blue Ridge Parkway South
The trip will begin at French Broad River Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway and head south to Mount Pisgah, Black Balsam Road, and Devil's Courthouse, thus covering both high and low elevation habitats and species. Some of the many expected species include Canada, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Blackburnian, and Chestnut-sided Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Veery, Least Flycatcher, and possibly Red Crossbill, Peregrine Falcon and Ruffed Grouse, as well as other migrants just passing through.
Restrooms: At Pisgah campground and at Graveyard Fields Walking: easy to moderate Meet: Meet your guide at the French Broad River Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway Distance: 9 miles
- Trip #5 and 20: Max Patch Road
If Golden-winged Warbler is your target species this trip is your best opportunity, but it is also great for many other warblers and other songbirds such as Blackburnian, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Chestnutsided Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Scarlet Tanager, Veery, Least Flycatcher and many more. Time permitting on the return journey there will be a stop at Lake Junaluska to check for lingering waterfowl and shorebirds.
Restrooms: None Walking: easy to moderate Meet: Crowne Plaza Parking lot
- Trip #6 and 21: Green River Cove Road/Lake Adger headwaters
This is a great area for species commonly found along the Blue Ridge Escarpment including Louisiana Waterthrush, Swainson's, Kentucky, Worm-eating, Yellow-throated, and Prairie Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Yellow-throated Vireo, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and White-eyed Vireo. At Lake Adger in recent years Prothonotary Warblers have been regularly found, Cliff Swallows nest under some of the bridges and Osprey and Bald Eagle can often be seen circling around overhead. This trip will require doubling up in vehicles as some stops have very limited parking.
Restrooms: Porta-potty at Fishtop Access, one of the first stops, and at Lake Adger Walking: easy to moderate Meet: Meet Friday (one guide) in the Crowne Plaza Parking lot and drive to Marathon Gas Station in Saluda to meet your other guide Meet: Meet Saturday (both guides) in the Crowne Plaza Parking lot
- Trip #7 and 22: Chimney Rock State Park/Lake Lure
The stunning views alone make this trip a winner, but the park is also home to many wonderful birds and wildflowers. Breeding species include Worm-eating, Swainson's (one of the best locations in the area to see and hear this species), Black-throated Green, Black-and-white, and Hooded Warbler, Blue-headed and Red-eyed Vireo, Acadian Flycatcher, Peregrine Falcon and Broad-winged Hawk and you may also find a variety of migrants heading farther north. At Lake Lure you will likely add Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Orchard Oriole, swallows, sparrows, and possibly lingering waterfowl. An amazing 130 species have been found at Morse Park at Lake Lure in the last 3 years. The entrance fee to the state park is $17/person, which is not included in the CBC meeting registration, so please have the exact amount ready. Meet Saturday in the Crowne Plaza Parking lot
Restrooms: Both at the park and at Lake Lure Walking: easy to moderate Meet: Meet Friday at 7 AM at the Morse Park parking lot in the
town of Lake Lure at 35.4349, -82.2297
Distance: 28 miles
- Trip #8, 13, 23 and 28: Charles D. Owen Park/Swannanoa River
This county park is a popular spot for local birders. Both Orchard and Baltimore Oriole as well as Warbling and Yellow-throated Vireo nest along the river and/or the tree-lined lake. Continuing the walk from the park to the farm fields at neighboring Warren Wilson College, birders frequently encounter shrub-edge and open-field birds such as Yellow-breasted Chat, Northern Bobwhite, and a variety of sparrows including Grasshopper, Field, Song, and possibly some late-departing Swamp, Savannah, White-crowned, and White-throated.
Restrooms: at Owen Park Walking: easy Meet: Friday morning in the Crowne Plaza parking lot Meet: Friday afternoon at Owen Park near ponds Meet: Saturday morning at the Crowne Plaza parking lot Meet: Saturday afternoon at Owen Park near ponds
- Trip #9 and 24: Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary
This 10-acre tract in Asheville is managed by the Blue Ridge Audubon Society. It consists of mixed hardwood and pine, along with early successional habitat, and includes a wetland that abuts Beaver Lake. It is often an excellent spot for migrating songbirds such as Blue-winged Warbler and Northern Waterthrush, but is also home to many breeding species such as Northern Rough-winged, Tree, and Barn Swallows; Green Herons; Yellow Warblers; American Redstarts; and Orchard and Baltimore Orioles. Also, look for lingering waterfowl on Beaver Lake.
Restrooms: nearby, but not at the sanctuary Walking: easy Meet: Crowne Plaza Parking lot
- Trip #10, 15, 25 and 30: Blue Ridge Parkway North
This trip is similar to the all-day trip on the Parkway north and will also start at the Folk Art Center, but will end in the Craggy Gardens area. Many of the same species can be found as with the all-day trip such as Black-andwhite, Hooded, Cerulean, Worm-eating, Ovenbird, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Blackburnian and Chestnut-sided Warblers. We could also find Scarlet Tanager; Rose-breasted Grosbeak; Veery; Red-eyed, Blueheaded, and Yellow-throated Vireo; and Eastern Wood Pewee.
Restrooms: At Craggy Gardens if trip goes that far Walking: easy to moderate Meet: Friday morning: Meet your guide at the Folk Arts Center on Blue Ridge Parkway Distance: 8 miles Meet: Friday afternoon at the Crowne Plaza parking lot Meet: Saturday morning at the Crowne Plaza parking lot Meet: Saturday afternoon at the Crowne Plaza parking lot
- Trip #11, 16, 26 and 31: Blue Ridge Parkway South
The trip will begin at the French Broad River overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway and head south to Mount Pisgah Campground. Some of the many expected species include Canada, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Blackburnian, and Chestnut-sided Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Veery, Least Flycatcher, and possibly Red Crossbill, Peregrine Falcon and Ruffed Grouse as well as some passage migrants.
Restrooms: At Pisgah Inn Walking: easy to moderate Meet: Friday morning: meet your guide at the French Broad River
Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Distance: 9 miles Meet: Friday afternoon at the Crowne Plaza parking lot Meet: Saturday morning at the French Broad River Overlook on the
Blue Ridge Parkway
Distance: 9 miles Meet: Saturday afternoon at the Crowne Plaza Parking lot
- Trip #12 and 27: Point Lookout Trail
This paved, forested trail, once US 70, but now closed to traffic, parallels US 40 going down the edge of the escarpment and is a fine location for mid to lower elevation forest species common to the escarpment. This includes Ovenbird, Black-throated Green, Hooded, Worm-eating, and Black-and-white Warblers, as well as, at times, Kentucky, Swainson's, and Cerulean Warblers. Also expect Scarlet Tanager, various Vireo species, Gnatcatchers, and other spring breeding species as well as possibly some forest migrants heading farther north.
Restrooms: none after Ingles Grocery, but there will be a gas station nearby at the start and end of the walk. Walking: Largely downhill going out, and uphill coming back. Meet: Friday at the Ingles Grocery in Black Mountain Meet: Saturday in the Crowne Plaza parking lot
- Trip #14 and 29: Birding Techniques for Beginners
This trip will dedicate a large amount of time to teaching various birding techniques including: locating birds, basic vocal and visual identification tips, group birder etiquette, and other useful birding tips. The trip is designed for any beginning to intermediate birder looking to enhance their birding skills. The trip leader will select the location. Beyond the development of these basic birding techniques and skills, participants will also be able to hone these skills while in the field looking at live birds. This trip will take a slower approach with time spent focusing on techniques and field marks rather than a complete species inventory of everything on the walk.
Restrooms: in library above Beaver lake Walking: easy Meet: Friday afternoon at Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary Distance: 5.5 miles Meet: Saturday afternoon in Crowne Plaza parking lot
- All field trips have a limit of 15 participants.
- Plan to bring water, snacks and lunch for the all-day trips since there may not be food available along the route unless otherwise noted in the field trip description. Bag lunches may be ordered the night before at the Crown Plaza, from their banquet menu. Take out breakfasts are also available, if ordered the night before also.
- Water and snacks are also a good idea for the half-day field trips.
- All trips will leave from the hotel at the times indicated on the schedule. Look for the placard with your trip number, unless your trip is to meet the leader at a designated location. There will be a sheet with all directions for your trips e-mailed to you in advance. Please bring it on each trip as caravans sometimes break down and, if so, you'll still be able to get to the trip site. Get the leader's cell number before you leave, just in case.
- If you prefer to meet the group at the site, be sure to inform the leader by making a notation on the field trip attendee list so the leader will not be looking for you at the hotel.
- Unless otherwise noted, the times listed on the sign-in sheets are when cars are lined up in the Crowne Plaza parking lot and leaving. Please be there at least 10 minutes early and identify yourself to the leader. If you decide not to go on a trip, scratch through your name beforehand on the supplied lists on the registration tables. Please consider doing this in advance so others may use the open spot if desired.
- We try to take as few vehicles as possible on field trips to save gas, make caravanning easier, and to make better use of the limited parking that exists at some stops. Please plan on carpooling if you are comfortable and willing to wear a mask. If you would like to drive and have room for new or old friends, please let your trip leader know.
- Noon on Sunday, April 17, is the last date to cancel and receive a refund of your registration fee. You can cancel through the website. To cancel after this date, send an email to the headquarters secretary so that your field trips will be available for others.