Birding Almost Heaven
Later this week I head south to the hills of West Virginia for the annual New River Birding and Nature Festival, held for a week each spring in and around Fayetteville, WV. It seems like this is the fourth year I've been to this festival--it's a can't miss for me.
The New River Birding and Nature Festival is kept intentionally modest in size so the quality of the experience is high. That's a great philosophy for a birding festival--bigger is not always better.
Birding by boat is a very popular field trip. As we float down the breathtaking New River, we're flanked on each shore by the ancient Appalachian Mountains. The songs of hermit and wood thrushes, scarlet and summer tanagers, Baltimore and orchard orioles, and many warblers echo across the gorge. Such a peaceful way to spend an afternoon. And, yes, we avoid the whitewater portions of the river.
Warblers are a key focus of the New River festival. We often see 20+ warbler species on a single field trip. These happy folks (above) have just seen their life golden-winged warbler. They are performing the Life Bird Wiggle® high atop a mountain, where it's safe to dance like no one's watching.
Mark your calendars for next spring and join us in Almost Heaven, West Virginia... (you know the rest...)