The West Virginia mountains in June are the perfect place for bird lovers and Nature lovers. The diverse high elevation boreal habitats, grasslands and boggy wetlands in and around Canaan Valley, WV, are the breeding ground for a wide variety of neo-tropical and other birds. The Festival features all-day and half-day field trips as well as evening keynote speakers (I will speak on Saturday) and evening sounds walks.
Jan and I will be leading the following field trips:
Saturday: 5:45am-3:30pm… Olsen Fire Tower + Big Run Bog then Fernow Forest (above photos) – Participants will carpool. Driving miles: 80 miles Round Trip. Our first stop will be at the Olsen Fire Tower area where we usually find numerous Canada Warblers singing on territory. The Olsen/Big Run area is home to many nesting warbler, thrush and vireo species as well as many other kinds of birds. The area where Big Run Bog empties into Big Run is often home to nesting Northern Waterthrushes. Just before arriving at Fernow Experimental Forest we will be in an area which often has Blue-winged, Kentucky and Hooded Warblers as well as American Redstarts and more. Most of our day will be spent in the Fernow Forest where we will hear and see lowland forest birds as well as higher elevation birds. The managed forest plots create a wide variety of forest habitats. Along Elklick Run in Fernow there are Louisiana Waterthrushes. Other warbler species we could encounter there are: Northern Parula, Black-throated Green, Black-and-white, Black-throated Blue, Magnolia, Yellow-rumped, Canada, Chestnut-sided, Blackburnian, American Redstart, Worm-eating, Hooded, Mourning, Common Yellowthroat and Ovenbird. Scarlet Tanagers and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks as well as many other non-warbler species are common. Public restrooms will be available at a stop between Big Run and Fernow. (Difficulty rating: 1-2: Most of the time we will be along dirt/gravel roadways near the cars. People who want to chase a particular bird might get into more difficult terrain) Leaders: Bill Beatty and Jan Runyan.
Saturday: 6:30pm I will be presenting the keynote, “I See Your Hooded and Raise You a Wilson’s” I have spent much of my life outdoors surrounded by multitudes of birds and other wild creatures. I have hiked every ridge and valley I could find, taken many thousands of photos for some of the world’s most prestigious magazines, handled tens of thousands of birds, been surrounded by lightning and drenched from head to toe in torrential downpours and loved every minute of it. Although I became known among photo editors for my work with insects, spiders and other invertebrates, birds were always my favorite. Through all of this, things happened…often with birds. From my book, “Rainbows, Bluebirds and Buffleheads” I will share some of my favorite stories from a lifetime of pursuing birds.
Additional information and registration: http://www.canaanresort.com/events/canaan-valley-birding-festival/ or https://169307c90649224df2b8-b894092ec8bd6bd97300c832b761e87a.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/general-uploads/CVR-Birding-Festival-2017-Event-Flyer.pdf