Weekend Trips - Come Join the Fun! 

Forsyth Audubon offers a wide variety of opportunities to watch birds with fellow Auduboners. Close to home there are Second Saturday Bird Walks each month. Day trips explore a little further afield, checking out great birdings spots within a couple of hours of Winston-Salem. The chapter also plans winter and spring field trips with overnight stays at coastal and mountain locations, like the Outer Banks, the ACE Basin in South Carolina and Monterey, Virginia.

bitternWeekend  Field Trips.  We hold at least two weekend field trips each year. Beginners are always welcome. Our winter trip usually takes advantage of the Martin Luther King holiday in January and spends three nights at a coastal location. Recent winter destinations have included Chincoteague/Assateague on the Eastern Shore, Carteret County in North Carolina, the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Huntington Beach in South Carolina. Read about some of these trips by clicking on the links below.

Spring trips are timed to take advantage of migration, with some going south in April to such places as South Carolin's ACE Basin and others heading to the mountains in late May or early June as migrating species reach their summer breeding areas. Monterey in northwest Virginia always is a popular trip, but so are the North Carolina mountains. In 2012, our spring trip visited the Cataloochee section of Great Smokey Mountains National Park, searched for high-elevation birds along the Heintooga Ridge Road and stopped at numerous Blue Ridge Parkway overlooks. In 2013 and 2014, we visited coastal North Carolina. Our Field Trip Coordinator is Cynthia Donaldson.

Under a new Forsyth Audubon policy for weekend field trips, there is a fee of $25 per person for members of Forsyth Audubon and $35 for nonmembers who plan to go. Participation is limited to 25 people.

2017 Winter Trip Heads to the Eastern Shore of VA

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On Friday, January 13 we will Tour and Bird at Craney Island Dredged Material Management Area, Norfolk – Restricted access/waivers to be signed before the tour.  Tour begins at 12:30 PM.

Saturday morning, January 14:  Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel – police escorted tour of the man-made islands. 

Saturday afternoon: Chincoteague NWR

Sunday, January 15: Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Monday, January 16: Visit Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia on the trip home.

As usual, the trip will take place over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend.  We will use Friday, January 13 as a travel day arriving at the Craney Island promptly at 12:00 PM to prepare for our tour.  We will carpool with trip participants that have high clearance vehicles as recommended by Craney Island management.  Spotting scopes are also needed!

That night, we will be staying at a hotel along Atlantic Avenue, in Virginia Beach.

First thing Saturday morning, we will meet at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Police headquarters and check-in.  There is a requirement to pay the security guards who will accompany each group.  (We will have 2 groups.) The fee is $10 per person for the cost of the security guard; please bring cash so that the fee can be paid to CBBT Saturday morning. (Be prepared to pay $13 per car for the toll at the tollbooth.) A security information form is required from each person who registers for the trip. Detailed info will be sent to those who sign up.

From the vantage point of the man-made islands between the tunnels, we will see many ducks, gulls, scoters, and cormorants.

After the tour, we will plan to drive to Chincoteague NWR.  This means we will continue across the bridge and head north. We will eat our lunches in Kiptopeke State Park while we watch for birds along the Chesapeake River.  Then, we will drive 1 hour and 40 minutes north to Chincoteague Island.  (If you do not want to drive up to Chincoteague, you can bird around the Virginia Beach area.)

We will bird along the beach and then when the wildlife loop opens at 3:00 PM, we will drive around it.  The sunset is beautiful from Tom’s Cove (so I have heard,) so we may hang out there to see the “show.”  Dinner will be on your own that night because we will have a long drive to get back to the hotel.  And morning will come early….. (Don’t forget, you will pay $13 per car to get back across the bridge.)

On Sunday, we will bird Back Bay NWR.  We tentatively will be taking a tram tour of this refuge.  I am waiting to hear back from the naturalist about this.  I think we will be meeting early around 7:30 AM for the tour.  

This is a winter trip.  When we toured the CBBT 3 years ago, I experience cold like I had never felt before!  I will warn you to be more than prepared to face potential freezing wind and temperatures!  Of course, seeing some awesome winter shore birds, ducks, and scoters visiting from the far north, as well as the usual wintering land birds make battling the cold worth it!?! We can always hope for a rare bird or two to add to the adventure! The Snowy Owl is at the top of my list!

To register for the 2017 Winter Trip, send an email with your intent to attend to  forsythaudubon@gmail.com.  Sarah Gatto will then give you instructions on how to pay using a debit card or check.  Once payment is received, you will be officially registered.  Cost: $25 per person for Forsyth Audubon Members; $35 for non-members.  Remember, we will take the first 25 who sign up and pay. 

Click on links below to see recaps for other recent weekend trips.

Magee Marsh, Ohio, May 2016

Outer Banks, North Carolina, January 2015

Wilmington - Southport, North Carolina, May 2014

Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel - Mackay Island NWR, January 2014

Outer Banks, April 2013

Huntington Beach, January 2013 - see a video created by David Shuford

Great Smoky Mountains, June 2012 - see a video created by David Shuford

Outer Banks, January 2012


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