From Sparrows to Ducks, and Woodpeckers in-between, we'll explore our 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. Winter birding provides its fair share of these species – including some rarities such as Snow Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Sandhill Crane, Short-eared Owl, among others.
We will meet at the Mills River Park parking lot (paved lot closest to the paved walking loop) and start exploring for Winter 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 possibly Short-eared Owl (seen occasionally in this area over the Winter months!). Next, on the way to Jackson Park we'll swing into the Mills River Water Treatment plant for some Waterfowl, and then off to Jackson Park for our five Woodpeckers and fantastic Sparrow Meadow. If we're lucky, we may even see a local Screech Owl sunning himself in the Wood Duck house! We will end our day at Lake Osceola looking for more wintering ducks. Possibilities are Redhead, Gadwall, Ring-necked Ducks, Pintail, Northern Shoveler and American Wigeon.
Join us for an enjoyable day exploring Henderson County, a very picturesque County where every bird matters!