So, for the first weekend in May, Carl and I drove to Blowing Rock, NC to bird with the Carolina Bird Club, a two state non-profit organization which "represents and supports the birding communities of the Carolinas..." One way in which it does this is through the 3 annual meetings per year -- Fall, Winter and Spring -- which take place in a different location in the Carolinas. During these meetings, we bird with expert birders, meet friendly, interesting people and enjoy evening presentations on birds and conservation from regional experts. I highly recommend this club to any Carolinian interested in birding.
This trip constituted my first escape to the mountains this year for birding and what a delight it was to escape the heat of the Lowcountry to be able to see high elevation warblers. Each day, I was able to add 3 life birds to my list! The morning of the first day, Carl and I birded with a group that was visiting 2 areas on the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) about 20 miles north of Blowing Rock -- first, the Lewis Fork Overlook (BRP milepost 270) and then E. B. Jeffress Park, (BRP milepost 272). Both of these areas were located on the ridge line and provided treetop views over the valleys below. Treetop views are important to birders in the mountains as that is where the coveted birds hang out. And with it being early May, the trees were still not fully leafed out at the higher elevations and this made it easier to find the little treasures. At E.B. Jeffress Park, we took a short hike to the top of the Cascades Falls, what a delightful fall. We also enjoyed "revisiting" Spring blooms, such as dogwood. In Charleston, our Spring flowers had peaked a month earlier and we were more into summer blooms and foliage. Not so in the high mountains of NC where we were treated to sights of trillium, dogwood, columbine, and flame azaleas!
|Male Redstart at Lewis Fork Overlook|
|Female Redstart -- Lewis Fork Overlook|
|Females Redstart -- Lewis Ford Overlook|
|Redstart nest -- Lewis Fork Overlook|
|Scarlet Tanager -- Lewis Fork Overlook|
|Scarlet Tanager -- E.B. Jeffress Park|
|Blue-Headed Vireo -- south of E. B, Jeffress Park|
|View from Lewis Fork Overlook|
|Looking down Cascade Falls from top|
|Cascade Falls from top|
|Mystery plant -- does anyone know what it is?|