Birdwatcher’s Digest Reader Rendezvous in Asheville

This past April we were so thrilled to host our first Reader Rendezvous for Bird Watcher’s Digest! This 5-day tour was supposed to happen in 2020, but I think you can guess what happened.

The group celebrating a great sighting!

The tour began Thursday, April 22nd and concluded on Monday, April 26th. The group consisted of 13 participants, Wendy Clark and Kelly Ball from Bird Watcher’s Digest and four of their guests. Simon was with the group every day and Aaron and Kevin helped guide the group too.

Wendy Clark and Kelly Ball from Birdwatcher’s Digest

Our Rendezvous began with a Birds of the Blue Ridge presentation at the hotel and dinner by 12 Bones Barbeque – an Asheville Favorite!

The next day it was up to the Blue Ridge Parkway for high elevation birds. We began at the Folk Art Center where we saw Yellow-throated and Blue-headed Vireos, Brown-headed Nuthatch and Orange-crowned Warbler.

Yellow-throated Vireo

Up on the Parkway we found Purple Finch, Pine Siskin, Worm-eating, Black-and-white, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Hooded and Blackburnian Warblers.

Worm-eating Warbler

We then enjoyed a delicious picnic lunch prepared by Chris Jaquette.

Picnic Lunch

In the afternoon half the group went to check out Highland Brewing, Asheville’s very first brewery, and in the evening we all enjoyed a delicious dinner at the famed Grove Park Inn.

The next day we headed to Henderson County, but unfortunately it rained all day! After a few wet hours at Jackson Park with looks at Blue-winged Teal, Solitary Sandpiper, and Blackpoll Warbler, we headed over to Mills River Park where we found Pectoral Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Tree, Barn and Cliff Swallow.

Solitary Sandpiper

By this time we were all sick of the rain so we went to plan B, which was having our “picnic” lunch back at the hotel along with a Birding by Ear Presentation by Kevin.

By dinner time the rain stopped and everyone enjoyed a visit to Oskar Blues Brewery in Brevard.

Oskar Blues Brewery in Brevard, NC

On Sunday we briefly visited Lake Julian Park where we found Osprey, Bald Eagle, Common Loon, Greater White-fronted Goose and Northern Waterthrush.

Birding at Lake Julian Park, Arden, NC

The majority of the day was spent at the Biltmore Estate. Just about everyone enjoyed touring this largest privately owned home in America, though a few opted to bird instead. Our best birds here were Red-breasted Nuthatch, Yellow Warbler and Brewer’s Blackbird. We had a delicious lunch on the Estate at the Stable Cafe.

Dinner was at a local favorite, White Duck Taco.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Finally, we concluded the Rendezvous with a visit to Beaver Lake in Asheville, where we had Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Osprey, Palm and Yellow-throated Warblers.

Birding at Beaver Lake

We really enjoyed hosting a Reader Rendezvous here in Asheville and we look forward to doing more events with Bird Watchers Digest!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

2021 North America Road Trips

Venture to St. Augustine

November 13 – 17, 2021 Narrative and Photos by Simon Thompson This trip to Northern Florida was one of our regular road trips, where we all meet at a given location before the official start of the tour and drive our own vehicles. The weather was beautiful, albeit a little cold first thing in the […]

Read More
2021 North America

Cape Cod & Rhode Island

Oct. 14 – 19, 2021 Narrative by Kevin Burke This was my first Ventures tour to Cape Cod and Rhode Island.  It will not be my last.  The stunning beauty of New England was on full display during our time here.  The weather was absolutely stunning with most days in the sixties.  It was unseasonably […]

Read More
2021 North America

Venture to Kansas

November 5 – 12, 2021 Narrative and Photos* by Aaron Steed *Thanks to Dawn Macheca for some great photos! Our inaugural Kansas Explorer trip aimed to sample a variety of habitats across ‘The Sunflower State,’ with special attention given to the various types of prairies on show. Chiefly among our targets was a selection of […]

Read More