Trip Report

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Venture to Stecoah Gap 2
Graham County, NC
May 2, 2014



Chestnut-sided Warbler by Simon Thompson


It was a beautiful day when we all meet at our traditional spot along Highway 143 at Stecoah Gap. A light breeze blew through the Gap and the early folks had already seen a splendid male Golden-winged Warbler singing near the picnic tables. A few of us walked a short distance along the road searching for Cerulean Warbler, which alas we did not see. However, we did see a very nice Chestnut-sided Warbler sinign from the roadside vegetation.


Birders at Stecoah Gap


Kentucky Warblers seem to have arrived early this year and the male singing below the picnic tables sang his “churring” song from deep down the gulley. We did not see this bird, but a second male a little farther down the trail was more obliging- we also managed to watch him walking around on the forest floor; very nice. American Redstarts were everywhere and several birds flew around us just asking for their photographs to be taken. There were so many birds that it took us over 1.5 hours to walk the first few hundred meters of the trail.

Dwarf Crested Iris


A Blue-headed Vireo was sitting on his nest over the trail and surprised us all by singing while incubating the eggs. The rest of the trail was “warbler-heaven” with outstanding views of one species after another. Scarlet Tanagers, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Indigo Buntings all sang from the trailside trees and a pair of Golden-winged Warblers fed in a flowering Silverbell tree. This was an outstanding day in an outstanding part of North Carolina.


Simon Thompson