Mountaineer Mud Run 


20 Obstacles; 3 miles


Saturday, May 17th


High Country Fairgrounds


748 Roby Greene Rd.


Boone NC


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Spring is Here!
by Curtis Smalling

Latest Update: April 13, 2014

Broad-winged Hawks are just back and whistling. Photo by Steven Bullock
Spring is finally here despite some lapses in coldness and yuckiness. Birds are singing and migrating through and it is definitely starting to feel like the season has shifted. We have had a number of first arrivals in the past couple of weeks including Louisiana Waterthrush, Black-throated Green Warbler, Black and White Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Vesper Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Broad-winged Hawk, and several others. Some of the short distance migrants are also back and singing including Brown Thrashers, Field Sparrows and Chipping Sparrows. Resident Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are also back so be on the lookout for them on their usual haunts at Moses Cone and Price Parks.

Waterfowl continue with Pied-billed Grebes, Wood Ducks, Common Loon and others still being seen. While looking for waterfowl, you should have plenty of swallows including Northern Rough-winged, Barn and lots of Tree Swallows. And a few of our lingering wintering species are still around including Ruby-crowned Kinglets (singing a lot right now), Swamp Sparrow (also singing a lot right now) and White-throated Sparrows. A couple more weeks and their numbers will dwindle.

Wednesday walks will start in earnest on the 30th of April this year. Sorry for the late start, but schedules are tight this spring. In the meantime make sure to plan to be at the Boone Birding Festival on Saturday April 26th from 8-1 at the Daniel Boone Native Gardens. The theme this year is the Bard's Birds to coincide with the 450th birthday of William Shakespeare. Some educational exhibits (including live birds from Lees McCrae's Blue Ridge Wildlife Care Institute - even yes a Starling), bird walks and a plant sale all highlight the day.

For more information on birds in the High Country call the Watauga Birding Hotline at 828-265-0198. Also visit, and visit the Audubon North Carolina blog at and the High Country Audubon website at

Common Yellowthroats are back. Photo by Don Mullaney

Black-throated Green Warblers are back. Photo by Don Mullaney

Guy McGrane had a nice dozen Common Loons on Price Lake this week. Photo by Steven Bullock.