Trip Report

Roan Mountain NC/TN – Carver’s Gap 
June 13, 2020
Guide: Clifton Avery

A cool but mostly sunny morning greeted us as we got out of our cars at nearly 6,000 feet elevation along the main spine of the Appalachian Mountains. Although we arrived early there were already lots of cars parked and hikers heading up to the balds of Roan to take in the stunning views and blooming Rhododendron. We decided to take a less traveled route and walked down the road to an open area where we hoped to find a Golden-winged Warbler. No Golden-wing but we did get fantastic looks at a Canada Warbler. Chestnut-sided Warblers, Indigo Buntings, and Field Sparrows were quite active as well and allowed us some excellent views. As we walked back up to the gap we heard the beautiful song of the Hermit Thrush.

We then walked into the dense and dark Spruce/Fir forest to find some other high elevation specialties. Golden-crowned Kinglets were abundant and gave our necks a good stretch as we tried to spot them high in the canopy. We had fleeting glimpses of a singing Yellow-rumped Warbler, which have only recently begun to breed in the highest elevations of North Carolina. Brown Creeper, Winter Wren, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Pine Siskins were among the other birds present. We broke for lunch in the forest and afterwards began to make our way back to the gap. A flurry of activity occurred right before we walked out of the forest. A small flock of Dark-eyed Juncos crossed the path in front of us and almost immediately after we heard a small group of Red Crossbills fly over our heads. A Gray Catbird also perched in a shrub allowing us great views. Once we were back in the open we watched a flycatcher dart back and forth across the road. We quickly ID’d it as an Alder Flycatcher, one of our target species for the day! We then got back into our cars began driving back towards Asheville.

On the way back to town we stopped at Cane River Park and picked up a few new species for the day. The best one had to be 2 singing Northern Bobwhites. We also had nice looks at Yellow Warbler, Eastern Kingbird, and 3 species of swallow. It was an excellent day of birding.

Roan Mountain NC/TN – Carver’s Gap
June 13, 2020

Species encountered: 58 species

Wood Duck
Ruffed Grouse (Heard)
Northern Bobwhite (Heard)
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Kingbird
Alder Flycatcher
Least Flycatcher
Blue-headed Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Yellow-throated Vireo (Heard)
Blue Jay

American Crow

    Common Raven (Heard)
    Northern Rough-winged Swallow
    Tree Swallow
    Barn Swallow
    Golden-crowned Kinglet
    Red-breasted Nuthatch
    White-breasted Nuthatch
    Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
    Tufted Titmouse
    Brown Creeper (Heard)
    Winter Wren
    Carolina Wren
    European Starling
    Gray Catbird
    Eastern Bluebird
    Hermit Thrush
    American Robin
    Cedar Waxwing

    House Finch
    Red Crossbill (Heard)
    Pine Siskin
    American Goldfinch
    Dark-eyed Junco
    Chipping Sparrow
    Field Sparrow
    Song Sparrow
    Eastern Towhee
    Orchard Oriole
    Red-winged Blackbird
    Common Grackle
    Yellow Warbler
    Chestnut-sided Warbler
    Yellow-rumped Warbler
    Canada Warbler
    Common Yellowthroat
    Rose-breasted Grosbeak
    Indigo Bunting