Tag Archives: birding

This weekend: winter curious?

Carolina Beach State Park along the Cape Fear River

The natural world presents many questions in winter. This weekend, you have a chance to learn many answers.


When you head to the coast, hiking often isn’t atop your list of things to do. It should be, especially this time of year. The bugs are at bay (or at least at a minimum), the temperatures aren’t stifling, and, perhaps most significantly, it is serene, the calm before the summer crowds descend. read more

Your Weekend: Team run, color run, look — up in the sky!


There’s a team run (5K or 10K, your choice) at the coast, a colorful run in the Piedmont and a run to register for limited space on a Lake James waterfowl tour.

Coast: St. Patrick’s Day Lo Tide Run

The 12th annual Steve Haydu St. Patrick’s Day Lo Tide Run on Saturday offers an intriguing twist for both the 5K and 10K: team competition. Each team must have five or more runners, teams will be scored based on their top five runners. The hardest part of this event could be coming up with a worthy team name; teams so far include Shaggers for a Cure, Love is Bald and Fat and Stinky. Registration lasts until the morning of the race, so you’ve got time. read more

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.


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 black skimmer to (hopefully) the endangered piping plover (pictured). Guides will explain the area’s ecology as well. A great way to learn more about an area you may visit frequently, but likely don’t know well. read more

This weekend: Learn, learn, learn

Tundra swans at Hammocks Beach State Park (photo courtesy N.C. State parks)
Tundra swans at Hammocks Beach State Park (photo courtesy N.C. State parks)

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.


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 it’s a question you can find answers to Saturday at 9 a.m. at Hammocks Beach State Park. There, a ranger will lead the group in identifying and counting birds as part of the annual Great Backyard Bird Count. It’s a massive exercise in citizen science, as people around the country report who’s flying in and out of their backyards. Binos and bird guides available, bring your own if you’ve got ‘em. read more

This weekend: Check the change

Merchants Millpond: great for a paddle — or a cool-weather hike.

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. read more