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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Oconee Rivers Audubon society & GOS field trip

So tempting, but without donation, no go for me.

Saturday May 20, 2017
 BRASSTOWN BALD Leader: Bill Lotz. Depart: 6:45 AM. Return: 3:00 PM. Limit: 15. Cost: $5.00 entry/parking fee. (Bring money with you) GPS Coordinates: N 34.8743 | W -083.8112 Brasstown Bald is the tallest mountain in Georgia with an elevation of 4,784 feet. The high elevation lends a more northerly flavor to flora and the fauna alike. The vegetation, for example, is characterized by rosebay rhododendron, mountain laurel, yellow birch, mountain maple, and white pine; additionally, the botanically inclined may spy lingering sprouts of blight-stricken American chestnut trees. Target bird species, many at the southern limit of their breeding range, include Ruffed Grouse, Common Raven, Veery, Canada Warbler, and Black-throated Blue Warbler. TRIP RIGOR: MODERATE.

 SMITHGALL WOODS STATE PARK Leader: Bob Sargent. Depart: 6:45 AM. Return: 3:00 PM. Limit: 15. Cost: $5.00 entry/parking fee (bring money with you) GPS Coordinates: N 34.6919 | W -083.7671 Smithgall Woods State Park is a 5,664-acre property that contains Dukes Creek Natural Area, a premier catch and release trout stream, and has 28 miles of trails that afford access to elevations up to 2,000 feet. Burrell's Ford Road gives easy access to the Chattooga River. Target birds include Ruffed Grouse and numerous breeding and migrating passerines. TRIP RIGOR: MODERATE.

 SOSEBEE COVE AND POPCORN OVERLOOK Leader: Mike Weaver. Depart: 6:45 AM. Return: 3:00 PM. Limit: 15. Cost: $0.00 Sosebee Cove is a picturesque high-elevation north facing cove forest covering 175 acres. Due to its north-facing orientation, Sosebee Cove has a rich diversity of shade tolerant trees, shrubs, and wildflowers. The forest is a maturing second growth forest, although to many visitors the area has a feeling of being old-growth. The cove is a breeding ground for many of the mountain species we will look for, such as Wood Thrush, Veery, Chestnut-sided, Canada, and Black-throated Blue Warblers. TRIP RIGOR: MODERATELY DIFFICULT TRAIL, BUT SHORT IN DURATION.

 TRAY MOUNTAIN WILDERNESS Leader: James Ferrari Depart: 6:45 AM. Return: 3:30 PM. Limit: 15. Cost: $0.00. Tray Mountain, with an elevation of 4,430 ft. (1,350 m) is the 7th-highest peak in Georgia. The boundary line between White and Towns Counties bisects the mountain, but leaves the summit in Towns County. Tray Mountain is within the borders of the Chattahoochee National Forest and is part of the Tray Mountain Wilderness. Views from Tray Mountain include the Nantahala Mountains in North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Mountains in Georgia. This trip will feature migrant and nesting warblers, vireos, thrushes, and grosbeaks, in addition to great vistas, wildflowers, and other mountain flora and fauna. Access to the parking area is rather rough (passenger cars should be able to do it at slow speed). There will be a short, but steep, hike up and down on the same trail. The parking area is a good birding location, so participants may choose to hike only part way up. Carpooling is a must to reduce the number of vehicles. TRIP RIGOR: MODERATE.

 UNICOI STATE PARK Leader: Bob Sargent Depart 6:45 AM. Return: 12:00 PM. Limit: 15. Cost: $0.00. Unicoi State Park’s 1,050 acres includes a 53-acre lake, a trout stream, and > 8 miles of trails. Target species include breeding and migrating nightjars, flycatchers, thrushes, and warblers. TRIP RIGOR: MODERATE.

Sunday, 21th(too bad,those are the good ones)

 BRAWLEY MOUNTAIN Leaders: Meg Hedeen Depart: 6:45 AM. Return: No return trip to the State Park. Limit: 15. Cost $0.00. This is a 4-mile hike (round-trip) that meanders up and down Brawley Mountain and follows a US Forest Service Road through the National Forest. Migrants and breeding birds are abundant, including numerous warbler species, thrushes, tanagers, and hawks. Target birds include Golden-winged Warbler and Worm-eating Warbler, Scarlet and Summer Tanager, and Broad-winged Hawk. A Ruffed Grouse or 2 along the trail is also possible. TRIP RIGOR: STRENUOUS.

 IVY LOG GAP AND GUMLOG ROADS Leader: Bill Lotz. Depart: 6:45 AM. Return: No return trip to the State Park. Limit: 15. Cost: $0.00. This trip will start at the eastern entrance to Ivy Log Gap with stops along Byers Creek Road, Ivy Log Gap, Ravencliff Road, and Gumlog Road. Target species include Kentucky, Blackburnian, Cerulean, and Bay-breasted Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, thrushes, Summer and Scarlet Tanagers, Broad-winged Hawk, and Ruffed Grouse. We’ll make several stops along Forest Service roads to enjoy the species that depend on this section of national forest. Carpooling will be necessary to reduce the number of cars on the narrow and winding roads. TRIP RIGOR: EASY.

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