Land trust to host second Uwharrie Naturalist Weekend

The LandTrust for Central North Carolina and staff from the North Carolina Museum of Sciences will host the second annual Uwharrie Naturalist Weekend on May 10 and 11, 2014.

This naturalist weekend is the only one of its kind in the area and showcases the 1,300-acre Low Water Bridge Preserve on the Uwharrie River. The focus of this event is breeding birds, and John Gerwin, ornithologist at the N.C. Museum of Sciences in Raleigh, along with museum and land trust staff, will lead hikes to point out unique bird species by sight and sound along the way.

Last year more than 50 people attended. Over the course of the weekend the group spotted more than 20 bird species, at least 14 species of wildflowers in bloom and 6 amphibian and reptile species, including one large timber rattlesnake.

This is the peak of birding season for neotropical migrants, so participants should see birds such as red-eyed vireos, ovenbirds, summer and scarlet tanagers, prothonotary warblers, and more.

The mature hardwood forest found on the property is important habitat for a variety of forest-interior dwelling bird species that migrate to the area from Central and South America to breed. Gerwin will talk about his research banding and tracking birds in the Uwharries and Central America, and he will also be mist-netting some birds for folks to see and hold, weather permitting.

The event is free but you must sign up. To RSVP please call or email Crystal Cockman at 336-633-0143 or

More details about the activities:

  • The event can be enjoyed for one or both days, as hikes will take place on different trails.
  • There will be morning and afternoon hikes each day, starting at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Hikes will feature discussions on native plants and any reptiles, amphibians or other species found along the way.
  • Optional camp on Saturday night and a late evening hike.
  • A canoe trip is scheduled for Saturday afternoon open to anyone who brings a canoe or kayak.
  • New this year, the Sunday afternoon hike will feature some of the history of this site. The afternoon hike will take attendees by a historic graveyard from the 1700s, with features including a dry-stacked rock wall. The hike will continue down to the banks of the river where an old pumping station remains, which is believed to be a remnant of the historic gold-mining heritage of the site.