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Early Spring in North Carolina
Southern Warblers and Rare Birds
April 21-28, 2013

Here's your chance to escape the last grips of winter for warm early-spring birding. Black Rail; Red-cockaded Woodpecker; five species of southern warbler; Nelson’s, Sharp-tailed and Bachman’s sparrows; Painted Bunting; abundant shorebirds; and a bit of seabird watching are on our agenda. Here are highlights:

  • Southern Warblers – Expect Prothonotary Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, Hooded Warbler (above), Worm-eating Warbler, Swainson’s Warbler and more common species. Summer Tanager and Blue Grosbeak are among other southern songbirds.
  • Woodpeckers – The longleaf pine savannahs of Croatan National Forest offer excellent breeding grounds for the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker. But we’ll see other southern woodpeckers as well, including the flashy Red-headed Woodpecker. Joining the woodpeckers in the savannahs will be Chuck-will's-widow, for example, and Bachman’s Sparrow.
  • Marsh Birds – Black Rail will be our top goal. But salt marshes in the region host a delightful assortment of sparrows, including Seaside Sparrow, Nelson’s Sparrow and Saltmarsh Sparrow. Sora, Virginia and Clapper rails are also out there in the marshes.
  • Painted Bunting – It’s in a class by itself (and pictured here above). This section of North Carolina is at the northernmost extent of the breeding range for the eastern race of Painted Bunting.
  • Seabirds and Shorebirds – April on the North Carolina coast can have an impressive movement of seabirds. Northern Gannets are present in good numbers. We often see Pomarine Jaeger. Long-billed Curlew is possible. We'll take a boat to a busy shoal in the Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve near Beaufort, NC. Wilson’s Plover and Marbled Godwits are among the shorebirds. And we will take another boat to the dramatic Cape Lookout National Seashore, where we'll study terns, shorebirds and seabirds.

Fee: $1885 for single occupancy and $1791 for double occupancy. The fee includes seven nights lodging, breakfasts, birding, all park entrance fees, ground transportation, all ferry transportation, and other goodies. Birders who have attended other overnight outings with Vermont Bird Tours receive a 10% discount.

Trip Report: Here's an account from our last North Carolina trip.

Logistics: Our base for this outing is Morehead City, NC. You'll fly in and out of the small, pleasant airport in New Bern, North Carolina. Learn more about cancellation terms, food, the pace of our trips, and other fine print from our official Terms and Conditions page.

Vermont Bird Tours 2010
All images Bryan Pfeiffer / Wings Photography