Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Sweet Treat AND Great Birding!

Cute Husband and I arrived back at the Love Nest last night after a 23 mile walk in the woods and a 2 day fun filled and exhilarating stay at one of our favorite places in the world, Keswick Hall.

A crazy two part adventure... with more to come on our hike and the forest of nesting Hooded Warblers on our Appalachian Trail site.

In a nutshell, we went from sleeping here:
To resting our birded-out bodies here:

Bird list and binoculars standard equipment at both locations.

But, first Keswick Hall...

We've talked about the wondrous place before, but Warren and I are very proud to be a part of what Keswick Hall and Estates are trying to achieve.

Through the interest and dedication of Director of Operations, Matthias Smith and the support of his enthusiastic staff, we are helping Keswick conduct it's first ever survey of bird life on the 600 acres of property at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Along with the survey, we are getting the opportunity to introduce the members and residents to birding and the avian attractions that enjoy the diverse habitat that is Keswick Hall and Estates.

Development on the property is carefully managed and the golf course is certified as an Audubon Sanctuary (there are only 66 fully certified golf courses in the U.S.)!

The recent completion of nature trails takes visitors through pine forests, woodland streams and open fields.

A naturalists dream!

We went from following the white blazes of the AT to the tasteful signage which starts each of the Keswick trails.

We discovered loads of nesting birds, butterflies, deer and a two female box turtles enjoying the walk.

But, the highlight of our visit was taking some of the members, guests and residents out for a bird walk.
There is no shortage of nesting robins on the property, so it was quite a treat when one of our dedicated birders, Eric, started our first walk by sharing this egg he found on the golf course.

The Keswick birds cooperated on both our walks. Baltimore Orioles, Pine Warblers and Indigo Buntings all made singing appearances. Great looks at Green Heron and Brown Thrasher and we heard Wood Thrush, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher and a Great Horned Owl.

Birds as diverse as the habitat they share with the wonderful folks who live, work and enjoy Keswick.

Thanks for birding with us and sharing this amazing place with us!

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