Hi Folks, I apologize to those of you that I told yesterday that I had sent
out a post to EMAS with details about my sighting of Golden-wings and a
Brewster's Warbler at Little Sandymush Bald. I just realized that I
accidentally that message to the wrong listserv so here it is.:
Saturday morning I had Golden-winged Warblers and a Brewster’s Warbler in
far western Buncombe County on the ridge of Little Sandymush Bald.
I accessed this area by hiking up the Chestnut Gap Trail on Long Branch
Environmental Education Center’s property. The hike is about 4 miles
roundtrip to get to Chestnut Gap, which is where I had the golden-wings and
Brewsters. It is a challenging hike, very steep in places, and not many
switchbacks. You probably gain close to 1500 feet in elevation. You know
you are in the right area when the forest opens up into fields of
blackberry and forbs with scattered trees. The top of the open area is the
main ridge line that you can then follow west to the summit of Little
Sandymush and eventually Big Sandymush. Here are coordinates for where I
had the birds:
Brewster’s: 35.691311, -82.858215
Golden-wing: 35.69119, -82.860835
I wanted to hike all the way to Big Sandymush but ran out of time. I
imagine there are more golden-wings all the way there along the ridgetop.
Looking forward to returning soon to get a full survey of the area in.
For those of you unfamiliar with Long Branch EEC check out their website:
www.longbrancheec.org This is a truly special place that preaches
sustainability and conservation. I met the director/founder Paul and was
really inspired to learn of all of the interesting things happening at Long
Branch. I highly recommend checking this spot out! They have a little
community center with a guest book and donation box so be sure to leave
them a few bucks.
Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy is responsible for this land
being protected. Once again, thank you SAHC! Here is a link to an article
about one of the more recent land acquisitions SAHC made in this area.
Hooray we have Golden-wings on territory on public land in Buncombe
Ventures Birding Tours