Summit 2018

Summit 2018: Field Trip Schedule

TRIP 1: Blue Ridge Parkway North
September 8, full day 

LIMIT: 15

TIME:
6:15AM hotel departure
6:30AM trip begins at the Folk Art Center, 382 Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville, NC, 28815
4PM trip returns

DETAILS: This is a great trip during fall migration and expect to see a variety of species as you travel from Asheville to Mount Mitchell at over 6700ft. Ridge Junction is a fall migration hotspot for warblers, vireos, thrushes, Scarlet Tanagers, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and others as the birds fly though a saddle in the mountains.  At these higher elevations near Mount Mitchell State Park you should see Red-breasted Nuthatches, Golden-crowned Kinglets, and perhaps even Red Crossbills and Pine Siskins. 

QUICK TIPS: ​Restrooms are available at Mount Mitchell State Park. This will be car birding with stops along the Blue Ridge Parkway. It can be much colder at higher elevations so bring appropriate clothing, lunch, drinks and snacks. Round trip driving distance is 100 miles.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS


TRIP 2: Blue Ridge Parkway South to Pink Beds
September 8, full day

LIMIT: 15

TIME:
7AM departs hotel
7:15AM trip begins at Diamond Brand Outdoors, 1378 Hendersonville Road, Asheville, NC 28803
4PM trip returns

DETAILS: The trip will follow the Parkway south from Asheville and stop at overlooks to bird, which may include some early raptor migration, and to enjoy scenic vistas.  Highlights will include sorting through the confusing fall warbler species, migrating thrushes and vireos. After birding the diverse habitat around The Pisgah Inn, the trip will descend to the Pink Beds Picnic Area for lunch and afterwards stretch our legs with an easy hike through a diversity of habitats, including open woodlands managed for Ruffed Grouse and other early-successional species, pine forests great for Brown Creepers, Red-breasted Nuthatches and kinglets, and wetlands. We’ll look down for amphibious creatures, including Red-spotted Newts, Green Frog tadpoles, and a diversity of salamander species that breed in the ponds, creek, and seeps along the trails. 

QUICK TIPS: Restrooms are available at Mount Pisgah and at Pink Beds. It can be much colder at higher elevations so bring appropriate clothing, lunch, drinks, and snacks. Round trip driving distance is 70 miles.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS


TRIP 3: Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary
September 8, half day - morning

LIMIT: 15

TIME:
7:45AM departure
8AM the trip begins at Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary, 1056 Merrimon Ave., Asheville, NC, 28804
11:45AM trip returns

DETAILS: The Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society manages this 8-acre wetland site adjacent to Beaver Lake.  The pleasant boardwalk trail is alive with warblers (Northern Waterthrush, Hooded, American Redstart, Magnolia, and many more), vireos, Green and Great Blue herons, and Baltimore and Orchard orioles. Early shorebirds may include Spotted and Solitary sandpipers. This is a very reliable spot to see one of the few breeding populations of Brown-headed Nuthatches in the mountains. 

QUICK TIPS: NO restrooms, but facilities nearby. Walking is easy.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS


TRIP 4: Hooper Lane/Mills River OR The Park at Flat Rock (see details)
September 8, half day - morning

LIMIT: 15

TIME:
7:30AM departs hotel
8AM trip begins at Ingles Market, 3338 Boylston Highway, Mills River, 28759
11:45AM trip returns

HOOPER LANE/MILLS RIVER DETAILS: Hooper Lane attracts shorebirds if the fields are wet. If the sod fields are dry and there are no recent reports of shorebird activity the location will be changed to the Park at Flat Rock. The trip leader will make the decision on the morning of departure from Ingles.

The Super Sod Farm on Hooper Lane often hosts migrating shore birds such as Black-bellied and American Golden Plovers, Buff-breasted and Pectoral sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs among others. There is also a good chance to see Northern Harrier.  

QUICK TIPS: Restrooms are available at the nearby Mills River Recreation Park. Easy walking. Round trip distance to Hooper Lane is 40 miles

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

THE PARK AT FLAT ROCK DETAILS: The Park at Flat Rock is fairly new and has numerous trails around wetlands, wooded areas, and ponds.  Expect to see migrating warblers (Pine, Northern Parula, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, etc.), vireos, and tanagers.  The park also hosts a variety of woodpeckers and sparrows.

QUICK TIPS: Restrooms available. Easy walking. Round trip distance to the Park at Flat Rock 55 miles.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS


TRIP 5: Butterflies and Dragonflies, Charles D. Owen Park
September 8, half day - afternoon

LIMIT: 15

TIME:
1PM trip departs from hotel
1:30PM trip begins at 875 Warren Wilson Road, Swannanoa, NC 28807
4PM trip returns 

DETAILS: Charles D Owen Park has two small lakes and sits beside the Swannanoa River. A short walk takes you to the fields of Warren Wilson College. Buncombe County has 65 species of butterflies and 43 of dragonflies on record in September. The park has covered picnic shelters for those who want to bring their lunch. Close focus binoculars are recommended. This trip will not take place if weather is overcast and cool, or raining. 

QUICK TIPS: Restrooms available at the Park.  Easy walking trails. Round trip driving is 25 miles.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS
 

TRIP 6: Blue Ridge Parkway North
September 8, half day - morning

LIMIT: 15

TIME: 
7:30AM departure from hotel
7:45AM trip begins at the Folk Art Center, 382 Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville, NC 28815
12PM: trip returns

DETAILS: This is a shortened version of Trip 1: Blue Ridge Parkway North- Full Day trip. Birding will take place as far North as Craggy Gardens.  Participants should expect to see many of the birds mentioned in the Full Day description minus the high elevation species.

QUICK TIPS: Restrooms available at Craggy Gardens Visitors Center and Picnic area. This will be car birding with stops along the BRP. It can be much colder at higher elevations so bring appropriate clothing. Round trip is 55 miles.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS


TRIP 7: Jackson Park 
September 8, half day - morning

LIMIT: 15

TIME:
7:30AM trip departs hotel
8AM trip begins at the Administration Building Parking Lot, 801 Glover St, Hendersonville, NC
11:45AM trip returns

DETAILS: The 212-acre park in Hendersonville is a birding hotspot during fall migration.  During early September over 24 species of warblers (including Blue-winged and Golden-winged), 6 vireo species, Yellow-bellied Flycatchers, and Yellow-billed Cuckoos have frequented the park.  In addition, Indigo Buntings, Scarlet Tanagers, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and other migrants use this as a resting stop. There are numerous trails throughout the park.

QUICK TIPS: Restrooms available. Walking is easy. Round trip driving is 50 miles. 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS
 

TRIP 8: Charles D. Owen Park/Warren Wilson College
September 8, half day - morning

LIMIT: 15

TIME: 
7:30AM trip departs hotel
8AM trip begins at 875 Warren Wilson Road, Swannanoa, NC 28807
11:45AM trip returns

DETAILS: The loop walk will begin at the park ponds, follow the wooded area adjacent to the Swannanoa River and pass through the Warren Wilson College farm fields before returning to the Park. Belted Kingfishers, Great Blue and Green herons are seen around the ponds. Warblers (Black-and-White, American Redstart, Northern Parula, Chestnut-sided, Black-throated Green and others), vireos, woodpeckers, and Scarlet Tanagers are often found here. Indigo Buntings and early migrating sparrows are seen in the fields.

QUICK TIPS: Restrooms are available at the Park.  Easy walking trails. Round trip driving is 25 miles. 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS
 

TRIP 9: French Broad River Canoe/Kayak Trip
September 8, half day - morning

LIMIT: none

TIME
9:15AM meet at the Asheville Outdoor Center at 521 Amboy Rd, Asheville, NC 28806 for a 10:00 AM departure
12:30PM trip returns to Asheville Outdoor Center

DETAILS: Birding trip by kayak or canoe down the French Broad River, third oldest river in the world. The seven mile float is gentle and free of rapids and takes approximately 2.5 hours. We'll paddle through the Biltmore Estate property, which is quiet, green, full of wildlife, with a great view of the Biltmore House from the water. Possibility to see swarming swallows, Cedar Waxwings, herons, hawks and orioles although birding is not the main attraction.

QUICK TIPS: Trip is about 2.5 hours. Tandem kayaks or canoes, $60. Single kayaks, $38. Participants can bird along the river on a paved trail near the Asheville Outdoor Center before and after the trip. Picnic tables are available for use. 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS
 

TRIP 10: Jackson Park 
September 9, half day - morning

LIMIT: 15

TIME:
7:30AM trip departs hotel
8AM trip begins at the Administration Building Parking Lot, 801 Glover St, Hendersonville, NC
11:45AM trip returns

DETAILS: The 212-acre park in Hendersonville is a birding hotspot during fall migration.  During early September over 24 species of warblers (including Blue-winged and Golden-winged), 6 vireo species, Yellow-bellied Flycatchers, and Yellow-billed Cuckoos have frequented the park.  In addition, Indigo Buntings, Scarlet Tanagers, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and other migrants use this as a resting stop. There are numerous trails throughout the park.

QUICK TIPS: Restrooms available. Walking is easy. Round trip driving is 50 miles. 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS
 

TRIP 11: Charles D. Owen Park/Warren Wilson College
September 9, half day - morning

LIMIT: 15

TIME
7:30AM trip departs hotel
8AM trip begins at 875 Warren Wilson Road, Swannanoa, NC 28807
11:45AM trip returns

DETAILS: The loop walk will begin at the park ponds, follow the wooded area adjacent to the Swannanoa River and pass through the Warren Wilson College farm fields before returning to the Park. Belted Kingfishers, Great Blue and Green herons are seen around the ponds. Warblers (Black-and-White, American Redstart, Northern Parula, Chestnut-sided, Black-throated Green and others), vireos, woodpeckers, and Scarlet Tanagers are often found here. Indigo Buntings and early migrating sparrows are seen in the fields.

QUICK TIPS: Restrooms are available at the Park.  Easy walking trails. Round trip driving is 25 miles. 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS
 

TRIP 12: Sandy Mush Game Lands, Cedar Hill Road
September 9, half day - morning

LIMIT: 15

TIME:
7:30AM trip departs hotel
8AM trip begins at a dirt parking area at 698-576 Cedar Hill Rd, Alexander, NC 28701
11:45AM trips returns 

DETAILS: Sandy Mush Game Lands contain 2,600 acres of low-elevation mountain habitats. The Game Lands are actively managed with prescribed fire to restore native warm season grasses and forbs to benefit Northern Bobwhite and associated early successional species.  Species likely to be seen include Ruffed Grouse, American Kestrel, woodpeckers, migrating warblers (Palm, Prairie, Tennessee, Black-throated Blue) and vireos. 

QUICK TIPS: Restrooms are NOT available. Walking easy to moderate. Round trip driving is 25 miles

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

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