Join us for a rare winter venture in the northwestern corner of North Carolina as we plan to look for some of the more uncommon spring and summer visitors that visit our mountains. Weather up on Pond Mountain this time of year can still be cold and can change abruptly so bring warm, layered clothing and rain gear. Be prepared to walk on a gravel road for 2-3 miles in total. If you are planning to drive yourself it is recommended to drive a 4WD or AWD vehicle, as there are steep gravel roads we will be navigating.
Our day will begin exploring the lower elevation of Pond Mountain for any wintering species among northern hardwoods and early successional habitat. We will then make our way up the ridge eventually topping out at nearly 5,000 feet, surrounded by a spectacular vista in open field and early successional habitat. If the weather remains nice around noon we will have our picnic lunches on top of the ridge. If the weather is poor we will seek shelter at a lower elevation for lunch.
Pond Mountain Game Land is located in the northwestern corner of North Carolina and makes the state line border with Virginia and Tennessee. As well as the regular wintering birds, such as Ruffed Grouse, Dark-eyed Junco, Hermit Thrush, and Pine Siskin, we will be looking for wintering raptors, such as Northern Harrier, Rough-legged Hawk, Short-eared Owl and maybe, Golden Eagle.