Ventures runs many day trips throughout the Carolinas every year, especially in the western portion of the region. From warblers and woodpeckers in the highest peaks and spruce fir forests around Mt. Mitchell to tanagers and cuckoos in the rich lowland woodlands of the South Carolina Piedmont, we find new and exciting birding destinations throughout our area. Some places are "must visit" spots from year to year but others are new to the birding world. Join us as we explore our own backyard in the Carolinas.




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Sandy Mush Game Lands, Buncombe Co., NC

May 19, 2017

Leader: Simon Thompson


   The Sandy Mush Game Lands in the northern part of Buncombe County have only recently begun to be explored for birds and butterflies. Over the past few years, we've found them to be excellent for Prairie Warbler, Field Sparrow and Yellow-breasted Chat. The habitats here vary from open, managed cut-over areas to cove and riverine forests down along the Sandy Mush Creek. Acadian and probably Willow Flycatchers, as well as Blue-headed Vireos nest at this elevation. Wild Turkeys are common and Red-tailed, Broad-winged and Red-shouldered Hawks all nest here as well.

Bird Songs Workshop 1

"The Basics" Asheville, NC
June 4, 2017

Leader: Emilie Travis


   This is part 1 of a 2-part introductory field course to the world of bird vocalizations. We will learn the difference between songs & calls as well as many helpful tips for learning how to recognize the vocalizations of our most common bird species. Much of our morning will be spent listening and watching at Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary, identifying each singer in the spring chorus. Birding and pace will be slow & easy.

Birding the Balsams

Asheville, NC

June 14, 2017

Leader: Aaron Steed


   We will head south and visit various locations in the Blue Ridge, looking for some of the area's most exciting birds such as many species of warblers, vireos and several hard-to-identify Empidonax flycatchers. We will probably head as far as Heintooga Overlook, one of the most reliable areas for Red Crossbills in the last few years.
   Typical breeding birds of the higher elevations include Common Raven, Brown Creeper, Dark-eyed Junco, Winter Wren, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Northern Saw-whet Owl. Hermit Thrush and Red Crossbill can be found as well.

Wildflowers & Butterflies 1

Venture to the Higher Reaches of the Blue Ridge & Mt. Mitchell

June 21, 2017

Leader: Simon Thompson


   We'll drive the Blue Ridge Parkway to Mt. Mitchell, stopping at the Balsam Gap Overlook to hike a short distance out on the Big Butt Trail.
   We should see showy butterflies such as Eastern Tiger and Pipevine Swallowtails.
   Butterflies tend to "hilltop" later in the day and we will look for Red Admiral, Great Spangled Fritillary and Green Comma (although we may be a little early for this rare species) among many others.