The mountains of North Carolina are magical in the fall. September is a perfect month to visit to see migration in full swing. Warblers and other migrants gather in the mountains in mass to fuel up for their long trip south. Mid to late September is peak time to witness this grand spectacle of migration. We hope to see 23-26 species of warblers and many other migrants, such as flycatchers, tanagers, grosbeaks, and shorebirds.
We will visit a multitude of habitats this weekend. One morning we will head up to the Blue Ridge Parkway and bird the now famous Ridge Junction overlook. This overlook has been awesome in recent years for warblers, Tanagers, Grosbeaks, and many other migrating species. Once the morning slows down, we will head to the Mills River Overlook to join the Pisgah Hawk watch for the afternoon. The spectacle of Raptor migration is best viewed from this vantage point with 360-degree views. The evening will be spent at a nice local brewery for dinner and a beer.
The next morning, we will head to Jackson Park in Henderson County. This large municipal park is arguably one of the best spots for migrating fall warblers in the state. It has boasted one day totals of warblers in the mid 20s, with Connecticut, Mourning, Wilson's, Nashville, and many others being possible. Walking around this 220-acre park always turns up something special. In the afternoon we will visit the Mills River area to see if there are any shorebirds passing through. The Sod farms in the area have been very productive through the years, especially after rainfall. Dinner this evening will be at another local restaurant in Asheville.
Our final morning will be spent at the local Audubon Sanctuary at Beaver Lake for a couple hours after breakfast, where we hope to clean up on any migrant warblers we might be missing.
What Warblers can we Hope to See?
Cape May, Bay-breasted, Tennessee, American Redstart, Hooded, Northern Waterthrush, Canada, Chestnut-sided, Wilson’s, Magnolia, Golden-winged, Blue-winged, Northern Parula, Worm-eating, Kentucky, and many, many more.