Black & White Warbler, by Todd Arcos Chestnut-sided Warbler, by Todd Arcos Indigo Bunting, by Todd Arcos Red-eyed Vireo by Alan Lenk


Trip Report





Black & White Warbler, by Todd Arcos



Spring Warbler Workshop
Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary
Asheville NC

Wednesday, May 15, 2013



A beautiful spring morning gave way to another hot day, and though the dense foliage made it challenging to get good views of many warblers we encountered, we had a good day with lots of birds.
We began the day at Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary in North Asheville, where we got great views of Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and Gray Catbird. Continuing along the boardwalk some of the group got fleeting glimpses of a totally quiet Yellow Warbler as it quickly disappeared into the top of a tree, not to be seen again. At the lake overlooks we had the typical summer resident Green Heron, as well as 2 Spotted Sandpipers and a distant Great Blue Heron.

We also saw an American Redstart, possibly a young male, lacking the stark black and orange coloration of the adult, as well as a singing Northern Waterthrush. Another unexpected highlight was getting a quick view of a Northern Harrier cruising over the lake, with its white rump visible. Continuing through the sanctuary and around to the Merrimon side of the lake, we saw Barn Swallows perching on the powerlines and Tree Swallows skimming the surface of the lake and perching on the martin houses. This side of the lake proved to be a productive area as a male Orchard Oriole gave us prolonged looks, and a pair of Eastern Kingbirds chased away a Red-winged Blackbird. We then heard the characteristic whiney vocalizations of Brown-headed Nuthatches, and soon we found 3 foraging on the underside of a branch.


Indigo Bunting, by Todd Arcos

We then headed up to Craven Gap and hopped on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. The foliage here was very dense and most of the warblers we encountered seemed to want to stick to the tops of trees, giving most of us a case of 'warbler neck,' though it did give us an opportunity to compare songs of different warbler species, including Hooded, Worm-eating, Blackburnian, and Black-throated Blue. We did manage to get some great looks at Black-and-White Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, Red-eyed Vireo, a singing Indigo Bunting sitting in perfect lighting and some decent but distant looks at a singing Ovenbird.



Red-eyed Vireo by Alan Lenk

For lunch we headed up to the Craggy Gardens picnic area to try for some higher elevation specialties. It was strangely quiet up there, with only two Blue-headed Vireos countersinging, and a loud and close Dark-eyed Junco. On our way back down from Craggy we stopped at a pull off where the Mountains to Sea Trail crosses the road. After a lot of hard work, we eventually found and got good looks at one of two singing Chestnut-sided Warblers, which ended a fine day of birding in the NC mountains.


Aaron Steed



Birds seen or heard at
Spring Warbler Workshop
Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary
Asheville NC

Wednesday, May 15, 2013




Great Blue Heron BL
Green Heron BL
Canada Goose BL
Mallard BL
Turkey Vulture CG
Northern Harrier BL
Cooper's Hawk BL
Broad-winged Hawk CG
Red-tailed Hawk BL
Wild Turkey CS
Spotted Sandpiper BL
Rock Dove BL
Mourning Dove BL
Chimney Swift BL CG
Ruby-throated Hummingbird BL
Belted Kingfisher BL
Red-bellied Woodpecker BL
Downy Woodpecker BL
Hairy Woodpecker CG
Pileated Woodpecker (heard) CG
Eastern Wood-Pewee CG
Eastern Phoebe BL

Eastern Kingbird BL
Barn Swallow BL
Tree Swallow BL
Blue Jay BL CG
American Crow BL CG
Carolina Chickadee BL CG
Tufted Titmouse BL CG
White-breasted Nuthatch BL CG
Brown-headed Nuthatch BL
Carolina Wren BL CG
House Wren BL
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher BL
Eastern Bluebird BL
American Robin BL CG
Gray Catbird BL
Brown Thrasher BL
Northern Mockingbird BL
Cedar Waxwing BL
European Starling BL
Blue-headed Vireo RG
Red-eyed Vireo BL CG

Yellow Warbler BL

Chestnut-sided Warbler-RG
Black-throated Blue Warbler (heard) CG
Blackburnian Warbler (heard) CG
Pine Warbler BL
Black-and-White Warbler CG
American Redstart BL
Worm-eating Warbler (heard) CG
Ovenbird CG
Northern Waterthrush BL
Hooded Warbler (heard) CG
Scarlet Tanager CG BG
Northern Cardinal BL CG
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (heard) BG
Indigo Bunting CG BG
Eastern Towhee BL CG BG
Chipping Sparrow BL
Song Sparrow BL
White-throated Sparrow (heard) CG
Dark-eyed Junco RG
Red-winged Blackbird BL
Common Grackle BL
Orchard Oriole BL
House Finch BL

American Goldfinch BL CG BG RG

BL = Beaver Lake
CG = Craven Gap
CS = Chris and Simon's house
RG = Craggy Gardens
BG = Bull Gap

68 species