Trip Report

Curtis Creek Road
Old Fort, NC
July 1, 2020
Guide: Simon Thompson

I have always enjoyed driving and walking up Curtis Creek Road. This mostly unpaved road snakes its way from Old Fort up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. From mixed pine and deciduous forest, the habitat changes to Northern hardwoods and a trace of spruce-fir when we reach the summit. As well as driving slowly up the road we also walked a good distance enabling us to see and hear a lot more. The biggest surprise and certainly the bird of the day was the abundance of Swainson’s Warblers. At almost every stop in the appropriate habitat we could hear at least 1-2 singing males, with some even showing themselves albeit briefly. This species is probably common all along the escarpment, although accessible habitat probably prevents us knowing their true numbers. We continued up the road enjoying plenty of Northern Parula, Black-throated Green Warbler and Scarlet Tanager and it’s always fascinating to pick up additional species as one climbs in elevation. By the time we reached the top of the road Dark-eyed Juncos had appeared, and Blue-headed Vireos were far more common. This is the beauty of Curtis Creek Road- as one drives up in elevation the make-up of species changes adding endless variety to the day.

Curtis Creek Road Old Fort, NC
July 1, 2020

Birds seen or heard: 39 species

Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Broad-winged Hawk
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Acadian Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Yellow-throated Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Carolina Chickadee

    Tufted Titmouse
    Purple Martin (Heard)
    White-breasted Nuthatch
    Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
    Carolina Wren
    Gray Catbird
    Cedar Waxwing
    American Goldfinch
    Dark-eyed Junco
    Eastern Towhee
    Brown-headed Cowbird
    Common Grackle


    Louisiana Waterthrush
    Black-and-white Warbler
    Swainson’s Warbler
    Hooded Warbler
    Northern Parula
    Black-throated Blue Warbler
    Black-throated Green Warbler
    Canada Warbler
    Scarlet Tanager
    Northern Cardinal
    Rose-breasted Grosbeak

    Indigo Bunting