Forsyth Audubon offers a wide variety of opportunities to watch birds with fellow members. In and around Winston-Salem, the chapter leads a Second Saturday Bird Walk each month. In addiition, the chapter organizes several day trips throughout the year and two weekend trips to birding hotspots that are a little further away.
There are plenty of good birding locations within a two-hour's drive from Winston-Salem. Forsyth Audubon offers several day trips during the year. Often this is a good chance to see some birds that we may not be able to find in Forsyth County, like Red-cockaded Woodpeckers in the North Carolina Sandhills or Golden Eagles at Burke's Garden in Virgnia. In the summertime, nearby places at higher elevations may be breeding grounds for birds we see here only during spring or fall migration, such as Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and many of those beautiful warblers.
Pee Dee NWR. On February 16, 11 intrepid souls braved the cold and snow showers to bird the Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge. We were hoping for lots of ducks and we saw lots, mostly as they were flying away. It also was a joy to watch the Pine Warblers and Pine Siskins at the feeders behind the refuge office. After Pee Dee, we went to the hydro-electric dam at Lake Tillery. It was still snowing, but we saw at least 50 Great Blue Herons and at least five immature Bald Eagles. Thanks to refuge volunteers Sally and Gerome for letting us bird the lowlands of Pee Dee. Thanks also to Doug Hochmuth for showing us around the wildlife drive a the refuge.
Catawba Ecological Preserve. April 20 was a beautiful spring day, as 17 birders made the short trip to Salisbury, North Carolina, to tour the Catawba Ecological Preserve on the grounds of Catawba College. This large and lush tract is mostly wetland, and the group enjoyed several singing Prothonotary Warblers up close and personal - just like the bird to the left. One ignored the age-old mother's admonition not to chew and talk (or sing?) at the same time. A picnic lunch at a nearby park yielded a nice surprise - Forsyth Audubon members Marilyn and Mike Shuping attending the Shuping Family Reunion.
Other recent trips have included Grayson Highlands State Park (Va.), Elk Knob State Park and Pilot Mountain State Park.
Day trips are publicized on this page, on our Calendar, in our Newsletter and on the Forsythbirds listserv. We usually meet early in the morning at Thruway Plaza behind Wells Fargo Bank, carpool to our destination and return home in mid- or late-afternoon. Bring your binoculars, of course, plus a bag lunch, drink and snacks, and dress appropriately for the weather where we are going. Remember, it could be 15 degrees cooler in the mountains or warmer elsewhere. Craig and Jane McCleary are our day-trip organizers.
Here is our schedule of upcoming trips:
- June 15, 2013 - Moses Cone/Julian Price Park near Blowing Rock. Miles of carriage trails at Moses Cone can be explored for Canada Warbler, Indigo Bunting and even Wood Duck. At Julian Price, there is a trail around the lake, and trails from the picnic area may lead to an Alder Flycatcher.