Find Your Inner Birder—at the Outer Banks
The Outer Banks are separated from the mainland by immense bays. Here the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean, fueled by the not-too-distant, warm offshore Gulf Stream allows both water and air temperatures on this chain of sandy barrier islands to moderate the winter climate here and on the inner banks. The OBX area is a natural magnet for wintering birds. Over-wintering waterfowl find the area ideal as feeding opportunity abounds. Wading birds and passerines, too, arrive for brief stop-overs or over-winter. Yes, these barrier islands' relatively warm conditions provide habitat niches that allow migrating birds to linger, some remaining as they find the area has sources of fuel to survive the winter months. Air temperatures on the NC barrier islands in winter can be 5–10 degrees warmer than a few miles inland of the bays. Couple these conditions with the amazing variety of habitats and the setting is ever-present for high daily bird counts. Bird several habitats and daily counts can mount to over 100 on an all-day expedition.
National Wildlife Refuges along the OBX have significant area for migratory waterfowl and wintering resident species but most protected area is impossible to access except by boat, or restricted to the ocean shoreline. However, on the OBX Pea Island NWR provides the quintessential opportunity to explore a section of the remaining undeveloped wilderness in earnest, and just a short distance from our host hotel. Nearby Alligator River NWR and Mattamuskeet NWR provide additional opportunities for seeking access to habitats for both expected and always hoped-for unexpected species. Almost 180 species was recorded at the last OBX Weekend in 2019. A Golden Eagle always seems to tease at Alligator River NWR. In the winters of 2020 and 2021 a Rough-legged Hawk and Ash-throated Flycatcher were seen for several months. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds can over-winter along the OBX!
The CBC Board is proud to invite you to the OBX. Our host hotel and the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce also extend a warm welcome to members and guests to join us for a fun-filled weekend of birding. There is much information that follows. Please read carefully. The northeast coastline of North Carolina is probably at its best birding in winter. Your CBC Board has planned Sunday Morning trips with the more unusual species that have been observed the goal of at least one trip.
Four ½ day trips have been planned specifically with wheel chair users in mind. All birding locations have trails designated for wheel chair users or the walk goes to boardwalks. These boardwalks will allow access to sound side and ocean side viewing. These trips are available to all attendees and would be beneficial for those seeking good footing.
There will be (weather permitting) a pelagic trip aboard the Stormy Petrel II. Brian Patteson will lead the trip on Friday, with Saturday as the backup day in case weather is a factor Friday. Brian has been leading these trips for years and is very well known for serendipity birds on all his seasonal routes. Sign up early for this trip as Brian will offer it to the general public in December. The cost will be $210 per person. Please register via the Sign-Up form on his website https://patteson.com/sign-up/ and note in the comments section that you are registering for the CBC trip. The departure point will be Hatteras or Wanchese depending on weather conditions and recent sightings. The departure location will be announced and communicated to those registered with CBC the week of the meeting. On this winter trip you may see Northern Fulmar, Manx Shearwater, Red Phalarope, Great Skua, Black-legged Kittiwake, Atlantic Puffin, Razorbill and Dovekie among others. This time of year, the Northern Gannets put on quite a show when on a school of fish and are frequently close at hand for the chum provided, making excellent photo opportunities.
You will need to send your payment, by check, directly to Brian Patteson, P. O. Box 772, Hatteras, NC 27943. Please note your payment does not include tips for the crew, which is customary on these trips. You will need to have cash on hand for that. More information about Brian's trips and preparation for your day are online at www.patteson.com. Brian can be reached at 252-986-1363 or by email at email@example.com. Please remember to indicate on your CBC Registration Form that you plan to do the pelagic trip, even though Brian is handling the reservations.
Pea Island NWR Is the primary Hotspot at all OBX Weekends, seemingly the year-round site for those expected and unexpected birds. We will bird favorite sites and new sites from the Currituck Banks Forest at Corolla to Cape Hatteras, and inland in Hyde, Tyrrell and Dare Counties.
For so much more see the Trip Descriptions and plan for a full weekend of birding. A whole day of birding in groups of 4 birders can be planned as you participate in a trip called a Pursuit of 100 Birds. A "century" of birds is easily possible and you can gain experience at many habitats that harbor the possibilities.
The Comfort Inn on the Ocean will be CBC headquarters for the meeting. This Inn boasts amenities that include private balconies, in-room refrigerator and microwave.
*The CBC rates for this meeting are truly outstanding at $69 per night for an ocean view room or $49 per night for the street side. This cost does not include tax of 12.75%. When you call (252) 441-6333 to make your reservation, let them know you are with the Carolina Bird Club—January 2023 to receive the special rate. This rate will be guaranteed until December 11, 2022. Check-in time is 4 PM and check-out 11 AM. Please guard the check-out time.
*The hotel rate does include breakfast starting early for attendees at 5:30 AM on Friday and Saturday. Sunday morning is a "late" breakfast at 6:30 AM. For all-day trips a brown bag breakfast will be available.
*Please sign up for the banquet buffet dinner on Saturday evening on the CBC website when you complete your trip selections. Sign-up attempts at the Registration Table will be too late. Advance reservation is required for the banquet. The buffet cost, including gratuity, is $35 per person, again due with your meeting registration.
*Deadline for hotel reservations is December 11th. Room reservations after this date cannot be guaranteed the CBC conference rate.
Be sure to visit the Conference Registration table as soon as you check-in at the hotel, and sign in for the meeting. Your meeting packet will include a confirmed event schedule and driving directions for each birding trip, plus any meal tickets you have purchased.
We will have a presentation each evening. These informative talks are shown in the agenda below. Each presentation is preceded by a Social with cash bar. Thursday evening Aimee Tomcho, formerly Audubon's Conservation Biologist in North Carolina, will update us on efforts to improve habitat for and track the movement of the Golden-winged Warbler, a bird we expect will be a highlight on trips at the Spring Birding Weekend at Boone/Blowing Rock, NC in May 2023. On Friday night, John Gerwin of North Carolina's Museum of Natural Sciences will present "What is a species? What is a subspecies? Who decides? What does it mean for birds of the Southeast?"
This Birding Weekend's catered buffet dinner will be on Saturday evening. The banquet will be at 6:30 PM after the Social. The evening keynote speaker presentation will begin at 7:30 PM. Our Keynote Speaker will be the affable Steve Shultz. He will provide an informative and entertaining program on the Galapagos. Be sure to listen carefully—Steve will be providing a link or two to the birds of the Carolinas.
Online registration begins Saturday, December 3rd at 2:00 PM, and closes January 1st, 2023 at noon.
Please note that January 1st, 2023 at noon is the last date for any refunds for CBC registration or dinner cancellations. Also, very important, if you have to cancel, please notify the Headquarters Secretary so we can give your field trip space to someone on the waiting list.
Walk-in registrations are accepted at the meeting.
All trips will leave from the hotel. Please reserve your room and thank them for their hospitality. CBC greatly appreciates your use of the host hotel. The rate is exceptional and you actually save CBC costs by staying with us.
Registration packets will also contain directions to the locations of the field trips offered during the course of the weekend. The North Carolina Birding Trail–Coastal Plain Trail Guide 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 are standards for birding this area of North Carolina.
Important note: South Pond (south of the Visitor's Center) at Pea Island NWR, other than viewed from the NC12 shoulder, is ABSOLUTELY off-limits to casual birding. Please do not enter posted areas at South Pond or any other site unless you possess specific, explicit permission. Trespassers are being charged and fined. Our event is registered with the NWR to allow management of the entire NWR and permission into areas limited to the general public. Your leader will know where you are permitted access. If you are unsure do not enter. Finally, our trip leaders help the Board before the Weekend with important planning assistance. So please thank them for the personal goals of a trip that helps you locate, identify and learn the rich bird life in the area.
Registration: Lobby at entrance to Ballroom.
January 12th, Thursday 4:00pm–9:00pm, January 13th & 14th Friday and Saturday 6:45—7:45am and 12:30–1:30pm
Field Trip sheets will be in the registration room. After picking up your registration packet, please put a check mark by your name on each of your trip sheets, so the trip leaders will know you have checked in for your trip. There will be people available to answer any questions regarding trips. If you are not able to attend a trip, please cross out your name, so someone from the wait list can fill your place.
Departure Times: With one exception (the Hummingbird Safari), the field trip departure times are for leaving the hotel. Please arrive minimum of 10–15 minutes early. Look for the sign with your trip number and let the leader know you are there. We encourage carpooling. Please consider contributing toward gas expenses if you carpool. Trip leader cell phone numbers will be provided. If you cannot go on a trip, make every effort to advise one of the following: trip leader, meeting coordinator, or advise someone who is on the trip so the group doesn't wait for you.
All Day Trips: Please bring a lunch, snacks, water. Many of the sites are remote with no nearby restaurants.
Hotel Returns: Morning trips should be back to the hotel by noon; afternoon and all-day trips by 5:00 PM.