Trip Report

Blue Ridge Birding

April 26, 2021

Guide: Kevin Burke

We had a great day of birding on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The morning started off a cool 47 degrees, but warmed up to nicely to around 70 when we ended. The skies were blue, the company was good, and the birds were active. We took a quick stroll around the Folk Art Center parking lot first thing and had PINE SISKIN, AMERICAN GOLDFINCH, and MOURNING DOVE. The whole day would be a good mix of residents and migrants.

Our next stop was further up on the parkway to look for warblers. We hopped out of the car and almost immediately heard several species. A WORM-EATING WARBLER was singing from the dry slopes. An INDIGO BUNTING was perching in a tree at eye level giving good views. BLACKBURNIAN, HOODED, and BLACK-THROATED GREEN warblers were also present in the area. The BLACKBURNIAN gave particularly good views of its fire orange throat. What a treat! The real gem of the forest came when we heard a CERULEAN warbler working the trees downslope. It eventually came up and gave us wonderful views, flying on both sides of the road. Our next stop netted a singing WOOD THRUSH, OVENBIRD, and AMERICAN REDSTART. We had a great encounter with a HOODED WARBLER perched low in the shrubs close by.

Moving higher up in elevation we stopped by the Craggy Gardens picnic area where we had our only AMERICAN ROBINS of the day. We also heard WINTER WRENS singing down the mountain, a HAIRY WOODPECKER, and got good views of GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET. It was time for lunch so we stopped at the Walker Knob pull off for a bite to eat. We were serenaded by BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER, and BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER, both of which gave great views. The real treat of this stop was a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH excavating a nest cavity in a dead tree. We also had a quick, but good view of CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER. Our last stop of the day was up at Mount Mitchell. We were rewarded by a roadside WILD TURKEY, singing DARK-EYED JUNCOS, and a flyover BROAD-WINGED HAWK.

It was a great day to be out. We tallied 49 species in all. Not bad for a nice April day. I hope to see you out there on the trail.

Blue Ridge Birding

April 26, 2021

49 Species Encountered

Eurasian Collared-Dove
Canada Goose
Wild Turkey
Mourning Dove
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Turkey Vulture
Broad-winged Hawk
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Least Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Yellow-throated Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo

    Red-eyed Vireo
    Blue Jay
    American Crow
    Common Raven
    Carolina Chickadee     
    Tufted Titmouse
    Golden-crowned Kinglet
    Ruby-crowned Kinglet
    Red-breasted Nuthatch
    White-breasted Nuthatch
    Brown Creeper
    Winter Wren
    Carolina Wren
    Eastern Bluebird
    Wood Thrush
    American Robin
    Pine Siskin

    American Goldfinch
    Chipping Sparrow
    Eastern Towhee
    Worm-eating Warbler
    Black-and-white Warbler
    Hooded Warbler
    American Redstart
    Cerulean Warbler
    Blackburnian Warbler
    Chestnut-sided Warbler
    Prairie Warbler
    Black-throated Green Warbler
    Scarlet Tanager
    Northern Cardinal
    Indigo Bunting