A day exploring the areas around Max Patch Mountain in Haywood and Madison Counties with a specific focus on warblers. Mostly roadside birding with some walking and short hikes. Bring good hiking boots and warm clothing as it will be cooler in the higher elevations.
Max Patch (elev. 4,629’) is a bald mountain located in Western NC at the juncture of Haywood and Madison Counties of NC and Cocke County, TN. The Appalachian Trail traverses the bald, offering spectacular 360° views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains and Smokies. Max Patch attracts many outdoor enthusiasts with ample hiking and camping opportunities on offer, but it’s also a fantastic place for the naturalist and birder. Habitats ranging from northern cove and mixed forests to coniferous woodlands and early successional, grassy areas attract quite the variety of butterflies and birds in the spring, especially warblers. Golden-winged Warblers, a declining species, are found in this area and should be a highlight of our day.
This being a Spring Warbler Workshop, our focus will be on finding as many different warbler species as possible, listening for differences in each species’ song, and marveling at the diversity of colors and patterns on display. We should find 15-20 different species, such as: Ovenbird; Louisiana Waterthrush; Common Yellowthroat; Northern Parula; American Redstart; Golden-winged, Black-and-white, Hooded, Cape May, Blackburnian, Yellow, Chestnut-sided, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Pine, Yellow-rumped & Yellow-throated Warblers. Of course, the rich habitats here hold many other birds of interest, and we won’t be so focused on warblers that we’ll ignore everything else! Northern Bobwhite, Ruffed Grouse, Barred Owl, and even Vesper Sparrow will be possible in addition to the more common spring lovelies such as Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Scarlet Tanager, Wood Thrush and Veery. By the end of the day we could very well have seen 60-70 species in total!
Join us for an excellent day full of warblers at one of our favorite birding hotspots in Western NC.