Archive for the ‘Birding’ category

This weekend: Audubon’s Annual Christmas Bird Count

We depart from our traditional format this week, in part because outdoor activities are sparse the weekend before Christmas, in part because it’s time for the Christmas Bird Count, one of the biggest — and the longest running — citizen science efforts around. Back in the late 1800s, a popular Christmas activity was the “Side Hunt,” in which hunters would choose sides, then head out and see which side could…

This weekend: Find a swan, a bald, your way

Tens of thousands of tundra swans make their way south from Canada to the North Carolina coast every year, never once stopping to ask directions. Yet we got lost between the parking lot and the trailhead. Check out those navigationally gifted tundra swans at the coast this weekend, or learn how to successfully find the trailhead in the Piedmont. Or, go to the mountains and climb a high bald you’ve…

This weekend: Wing It

Wings Over Water dominates the statewide outdoors scene with a bevy of events running through Sunday. Meanwhile, the fall migrants are on the move at Lake James while fall color enjoys one last big weekend in the mountains before focusing on the Piedmont. Coast As far is Wings Over Water is concerned, your weekend started Tuesday. Now in its 19th year, Wings Over Water is the coast’s premier celebration of…

This weekend: Learn a thing

Learn your shorebirds at the coast, learn your wildflowers in the mountains. Meanwhile, in the Piedmont you can learn a new stretch of trail. Coast Friday morning, our friends at the North Carolina Coastal Federation, along with Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours, are conducting a Coastal Birding Cruise. The one-hour boat ride, aboard The Shamrock, will explore the marsh and backwaters around Wrightsville Beach searching for shorebirds, from the pelican and…

A Wild Idea from the Triangle Land Conservancy

The timing of the Triangle Land Conservancy’s “Wild Ideas for Getting Outside” symposium on Tuesday couldn’t be much better. If ever there were an audience receptive to the notion of discovering new ways and places to to get outside and explore, the frozen Triangle would be it. After two straight weeks of cold, snow, ice and no school, who isn’t ready to bust down the door and go a little…

This weekend: Three cures for your cabin fever

We know, you’re about to go crazy from being held hostage by the cold and ice. As of today, your main hope for reclaiming at least some of your sanity is Saturday, when temperatures are expected to warm into the 40s and 50s, and the prospects for precipitation are low (as opposed to Sunday, when it looks like we’ll either be drenched with rain or graced with more snow, depending…

This weekend: Learn, learn, learn

To everything there is a season — and in this season of winter, the thing is making sense of the natural world. Learn your birds at the coast, your amphibians in the Piedmont, your naked trees in the mountains. Coast Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird — Yes, but what kind? It’s a question that perplexes many of us when we spy an avian friend flying overhead. And…

This weekend: Walk into history, ID your birds, a winter summit

This is a weekend for just about anyone. At the coast, take a mellow walk into the past in downtown Wilmington. In the Piedmont, brush up on your bird awareness for the upcoming census. In the mountains, strap on your crampons for a high country winter hike. Coast Often when we think of getting a little exercise on foot we think of putting on the hiking boots and fleece and…

90 Second Escape: Harper Creek/North Harper Creek WSA

Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video or slide show of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a…

This weekend: Check the change

Fall has arrived, and you know what that means. Actually, it means two things (probably more, but for our purposes here we’ll stick with two): the hardwoods are starting to change color and the snow birds are changing locals as they relocate south. Both activities you won’t want to miss — and won’t have to thanks to various North Carolina State Parks programs this weekend. Coast You know fall has…