Thursday, May 2, 2013

Big South Fork Announces Birding Walk at Bandy Creek on Saturday, May 11

The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area announces a birding walk with Dr. Charles P. Nicholson at Bandy Creek on Saturday, May 11. Nicholson holds a bachelor's degree and Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee and a master's degree from the University of Maine and serves as National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) manager for Tennessee Valley Authority. He is the author of the definitive book about Tennessee's birds, Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Tennessee, and numerous articles about birds and birding in scientific and other publications. Nicholson also taught bird watching at the University of Tennessee for a number of years and is on the board of the Tennessee Ornithological Society. He has over 35 years of birding experience on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee, including the Big South Fork area.

Participants should meet Dr. Nicholson and park staff at the Bandy Creek Visitor Center at 8:00 a.m. (EDT) and are encouraged to wear sturdy footwear and to bring binoculars and drinking water. The program will conclude by noon. We will first be walking the Bandy Creek Loop trail that starts beside the visitor center. Then we will hike a short distance of the John Litton Farm Loop and return to the visitor center. Over 160 bird species have been documented in the Big South Fork NRRA. Spring is an excellent time of year to observe the park's Neotropical migrants which winter in Central and South America along with the area's year-round residents. Attendees will be provided with a checklist of the birds documented in the Big South Fork for use both during the bird walk and during future birding outings. Both experienced and novice bird watchers are encouraged to attend.

Please contact the park at (423) 286-7275 for directions or additional information.

Hiking in the Smokies

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