This is the eleventh in our new series of County Birding Day-trips. Many of us enjoy County Birding with eBird’s new county maps and the multiple hotspots. We will explore as much as we can during our day and try to hit some of the best hotspots. The birding and pace will be easy, but there will be a fair bit of walking, so wear comfortable footwear and bring suitable clothing and your lunch.
Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Transylvania County ranges from spruce-fir forest at over 6,000 feet to predominantly hardwood forest at under 2,000 feet. The head waters of the French Broad River are just west of Brevard. The French Broad floodplain, just south of Brevard, offers some very interesting birding. While high elevation passes can be very exciting migratory thoroughfares.
Birding anyplace in mid September is all about migrants. We’ll visit local hotspots and private land (which we’ll have special access to) searching for southbound birds that we really only have the opportunity to see here a few weeks of the year. Additionally, this is a great time of year to search for wayward rarities.
We’ll start at high elevation where birds that have been traveling through the night will briefly stop and rest as they pass over the mountains. This type of birding tends to be fast paced and high action but ends early. As the action up there slows down we’ll head downslope to bird local hotspots like Hospital Fields, Ecusta Pond and Poplar Lane. We’ll also bird private land along the French Broad River.
We’ll hope to find a large diverse variety of birds, including wood, Swainson’s, grey-cheeked and hermit thrushes, red-eyed, blue-headed, yellow-throated and Philadelphia vireos, marsh wren, Canada, golden-winged and more warblers, rose-breasted grosbeaks, scarlet tanagers and many others. We’ll be certain to put a nice day list together!
Join us for an enjoyable day exploring Transylvania County!