Birders at Stecoah Gap, by Michele Nichols Cerulean Warbler, by Simon Thompson Golden-winged Warbler, by Todd Arcos View from Snowbird Inn, by Michele Nichols


Trip Report





Birders at Stecoah Gap, by Michele Nichols



Venture to Stecoah Gap,
Graham County, NC
Tuesday, April 30, 2013



A bright and beautiful spring day became hot quickly, but it didn't seem to affect the birds as we ended the day with 15 warbler species and great views of other excellent neotropical migrants.
As we stepped out of the car upon arriving at Stecoah Gap, we were immediately treated to the songs of Cerulean and Chestnut-sided Warblers, American Redstarts and Ovenbirds. Within minutes, we'd gotten incredible looks at a male American Redstart chasing another male, and a Chestnut-sided Warbler, which flew across the road just 6" above the ground straight towards the group and then swooped up over our heads to land in the trees behind.



Cerulean Warbler, by Simon Thompson

As we progressed down the forest road, many other warblers made themselves visible including Blackburnian, Black-and-White, Hooded, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green and Northern Parula. Warblers weren't the only thing on the menu, however, as we heard the sweet, melodic song of the Rose-breasted Grosbeak from high above.

We located the bird at the top of a Tulip Poplar, and got prolonged looks as he sat facing us with his bright red breast. Scarlet Tanagers and Blue-headed Vireos were also in abundance, and we got fleeting glimpses of a Wood Thrush after hearing it sing.



Golden-winged Warbler, by Todd Arcos

After lunch we headed to Snowbird Mountain Lodge to watch the feeders and bird from a more sedentary position. The feeders were chocked full of American Goldfinch, Pine Siskin, Red-breasted Nuthatch and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. We were alerted by the burry song of a Yellow-throated Vireo singing from above, and though they can be a challenging bird to locate in the newly emerged canopy, the group got some good views.


View from Snowbird Inn, by Michele Nichols


To finish the day we stopped again at Stecoah Gap to see what other warblers we might rustle up. Within a few minutes of arriving, we had a Cerulean and a Golden-winged Warbler in the same tree! The group watched in excitement as the Cerulean chased the Golden-winged away, capping a marvelous warbler-filled day in the Southern Appalachians of North Carolina.



Aaron Steed



Birds seen or heard on Day Trip Venture to
Stecoah Gap Graham County, NC
Tuesday, April 30, 2013





Black Vulture SL
Turkey Vulture SG SL
Broad-winged Hawk SG
Red-tailed Hawk WD
Rock Dove WD
Mourning Dove SG SL WD
Chimney Swift SL
Ruby-throated Hummingbird SL
Downy Woodpecker SG SL
Pileated Woodpecker (heard) SG
Eastern Phoebe SG
Tree Swallow SG
Blue Jay SG
American Crow SG
Common Raven SG
Carolina Chickadee SG
Tufted Titmouse SG SL

White-breasted Nuthatch SG
Red-breasted Nuthatch SL
Carolina Wren (heard) SG
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher SL (heard)
Wood Thrush SG
American Robin SG SL WD
European Starling WD
Blue-headed Vireo SG
Yellow-throated Vireo SL
Golden-winged Warbler SG
Northern Parula SG
Chestnut-sided Warbler SG
Cape May Warbler SG
Black-throated Blue Warbler SG
Yellow-rumped Warbler SG
Black-throated Green Warbler SG SL

Blackburnian Warbler SG

Yellow-throated Warbler (heard ) SG
Cerulean Warbler SG
Black-and-White Warbler SG
American Redstart SG
Worm-eating Warbler (heard) SG
Ovenbird SG
Hooded Warbler SG
Scarlet Tanager SG
Northern Cardinal SG SL
Rose-breasted Grosbeak SG SL
Indigo Bunting SG
Eastern Towhee SG SL
Song Sparrow SL
White-throated Sparrow SG
Dark-eyed Junco SG
Common Grackle SG
Pine Siskin SL

American Goldfinch SG SL

SG = Stecoah Gap
SL = Snowbird Lodge
WD = While driving
52 species


Tiger Swallowtail SG
Swallowtail sp. SG
West Virginia White SG
Dusky Azure SG
Azure sp. SG
Duskywing sp. SG
American Lady SL