Birding the Balsams

Brevard, NC, USA

VB
124 reviews
Jul 20, 2021
Group size: 4 - 10
Birding the Balsams
Brevard, NC, USA

124 reviews

Jul 20, 2021
Group size: 4 - 10

About this trip

  

A relaxed day of birding from roadsides, gravel roads and overlooks with a minimal amount of walking. Weather at the higher elevations can be unpredictable – rain gear and a light jacket are recommended.


The Blue Ridge Parkway winds through the Appalachian Mountains from Virginia into North Carolina, skirts the southern end of the Black Mountains, then weaves through the Craggies, the Pisgahs and the Balsams before ending in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We will head south and visit various locations in the Blue Ridge, looking for some of the area’s most exciting birds such as many species of warblers, vireos and several hard-to-identify Empidonax flycatchers. We will probably head as far as Heintooga Overlook, one of the most reliable areas for Red Crossbills in the last few years. Least Flycatchers can be common near the Masonic Monument where their “che-bek” calls can be a clue to their whereabouts. At the higher elevations the mountains are cloaked with spruce-fir and northern hardwood forests mixed with heath balds of Catawba rhododendron and mountain laurel. 


Typical breeding birds of the higher elevations include Common Raven, Brown Creeper, Dark-eyed Junco, Winter Wren, and Red-breasted Nuthatch. Hermit Thrush and Red Crossbill can be found as well. The Appalachian race of the hardy Northern Flying Squirrel, closely related to the more familiar Southern Flying Squirrel of lower elevation broad-leaved woodlands, also occurs at this elevation. 

Leader: Kevin Burke

What’s included

  • 1 birding guide
  • lunch
  • transportation

Your Organizer


VB
Ventures Birding Tours
124 reviews
Small travel company based in Asheville, NC, specializing in birding & nature tours both locally & worldwide.

Reviews

What a beautiful day we had birding with Keith! Always enjoy his outings. Was well organized with several pre-planned stops along the way to see several varieties of warblers migrating through. The lake was a bit high to see mass quantities of shorebirds, but Keith still made it fun pointing out several cool birds and taking us on a beautiful hike to the end of the road.
By Kathleen W for Shorebirds at Rankin Bottoms on 15 Sep, 2021
After a bit of a wait for the fog to lift we saw a lot of birds. Most common warbler was Tennessee, estimated at over 100. Great guide in Aaron and Simon.
By Alan's Email L for Spectacular Fall Migration 2 on 14 Sep, 2021
Very productive trip. Great guide, warblers are his passion. Kevin is considerate, pays attention to details, makes sure you see the bird , identifies calls and works to obtain your target birds. Well organized, considering dealing with Covid and restaurants etc. never in an uncomfortable situation. Have booked additional trips with Kevin
By Christine S for Warbler Weekend - Asheville, NC on 09 Sep, 2021
The birding and guide were outstanding. We would have appreciated more thought/planning on meals.
By June A for August Shorebirding on 09 Sep, 2021
Good birds and good people. A lovely trip all around. Thanks to Craig and Pam for an informative, relaxing trip.
By duffy k for August Shorebirding on 08 Sep, 2021
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