May 16, 2015
After driving into the High Country through fog and mist, the top of Grandfather Mountain greeted us with blue skies and plenty of sunshine. The leaves were just starting to come out above 5,000 feet providing us with great chances to view hard-to-see migratory warblers.
We began our day hiking down the Bridge Trail. We were fortunate to quickly get great looks at Canada, Blackburnian, and Black-and-White Warblers. A little farther down the trail we found a perched, singing Winter Wren. Other birds included Chestnut-sided Warbler, Grey Catbird, and Brown Creeper.
By mid-morning it was warming up and the wind had died down completely. We searched along the Black Rock Nature and Grandfather Trail. Many wildflowers and shrubs were in bloom providing beautiful contrasts to the rocky background of Grandfather. Bird activity slowed down quite quickly but we still managed to see some great birds such as Yellow-rumped Warbler and Common Raven.
In the afternoon we drove to the other side of Grandfather Mountain along the Blue Ridge Parkway to Julian Price Memorial Park where we had a delicious picnic lunch. While we were eating we heard many birds singing around us such as Common Yellowthroat, Hooded Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, and Eastern Phoebe. We had to cut our lunch short due an afternoon shower. However, we waited the rain out in our cars and returned to the woods to try and find a Rose-breasted Grosbeak that was being quite uncooperative in showing itself. It was a wonderful spring day high up in the Blue Ridge, especially in the early morning.