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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Sparrow Workshop 1

Warren Wilson College & Owen Park
Swannanoa, NC
October 23, 2017

Leader: Aaron Steed


   Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa is characterized mostly by agricultural fields and riparian woodland, and contains a network of public trails that is accessible from adjacent Charles D. Owen Park. Many of the species we will see are indicative of this predominately open country, such as Eastern Meadowlark, Eastern Bluebird, Northern Mockingbird, Red-tailed Hawk and Song and Field Sparrows. This time of year is also excellent for sparrows as newly arrived overwintering species such as White-crowned, White-throated, Swamp and Savannah Sparrows can be found alongside transient Vesper and Lincoln's Sparrows.

Fall Birding at Grove Stone Quarry

Swannanoa, NC
October 29, 2017

Leader: Simon Thompson


   The Grove Stone & Sand Quarry has constructed a nature trail, planted plots of clover and rye to attract deer and wild turkeys and converted an old landfill into a butterfly garden. The quarry property covers about 1,600 acres in Swannanoa. Wildlife is abundant and we hope to see an excellent selection of late summer butterflies and migrant birds.

Sparrow Workshop 2

Kituwah Farm
Bryson City, NC
November 5, 2017

Leader: Kevin Burke


   The habitats here are a mix of early successional grassy fields, floodplain forest and riparian corridor, all of which are quite attractive for a host of sparrows. One can regularly find excellent numbers of White-crowned, White-throated, Song, Swamp, Field and Savannah Sparrows, while more uncommon species such as Vesper and Lincoln's Sparrows are possible. Our focus will be on sparrow identification but of course we will be on the lookout for anything else we can find, from any lingering neotropical migrants to raptors such as Red-tail, Cooper's and Sharp-shinned Hawks, and American Kestrel.

Duck Day

Exploring the Lakes and Reservoirs of Henderson,
Haywood & Buncombe Counties, NC

December 17, 2017

Leader: Kevin Burke


   Join us for a day out in western North Carolina as we visit several of the area's lakes and ponds for ducks and other waterfowl. Winter is by far the best time of the year for waterfowl here in WNC and most of the birds should be in their full breeding colors in anticipation of the upcoming breeding season.

   Species seen varies with each trip, but we hope to see all or a selection of the following: Wood Duck, Mallard, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Canada Goose, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Ring-necked Duck, Redhead, Lesser Scaup, and Ruddy Duck. Local rarities have included: Common Goldeneye, Greater Scaup, and Snow, Ross's and Greater White-fronted Geese.