From Sparrows to Ducks, and Woodpeckers in-between, we'll explore the late migrants and winter residents of Henderson County with a relaxed easy pace. We'll check out as much as we can during our day and try to hit some of the best hotspots. There will be a fair bit of walking, so wear comfortable footwear and bring suitable clothing and your lunch.
Located at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Henderson County is a one of the best and most birded Counties in Western North Carolina. The County has a great diversity of habitats from high portions of the Blue Ridge in Pisgah National Forest, sections of Dupont State Forest and tracts of open agricultural land along the French Broad River. Over 300 unique birds have been reported in Henderson County over the years. November birding can provide its fair share of species including early winter duck arrivals, a variety of winter Sparrows, and some of the higher-elevation breeding birds that make their way down to the lower elevations to spend the winter.
We will meet at the Mills River Park parking lot (paved lot closest to the paved walking loop) and start exploring for sparrows, finches, and other songbirds. From there we will go down the road to Hooper Lane where we’ll walk the birder’s road a bit for our chances of Northern Harrier, Kestrel, and a variety of Sparrows such as Vesper, Lincoln’s Sparrow and White-crowned Sparrow. From there, on the way to Jackson Park we’ll swing into the Mills River Water Treatment plant for some early winter waterfowl such as Ring-necked Duck, Redhead, Bufflehead and Hooded Merganser. We’ll also dip into the new Conservation area just down the road – Kings Bridge for Sparrows. Jackson Park is a great place to observe our six woodpeckers, Hermit Thrush and Winter Wren, so we’ll wrap up our trip at that location. If we’re lucky, we may even see a local Screech Owl sunning himself in the Wood Duck house!
Join us for an enjoyable day exploring Henderson County, a very picturesque County where every bird matters!