I've become great friends with the folks who founded and run the festival—we're like family at this point. But it's also the people who come as my fellow guides/speakers—they are some of the most talented field birders and fascinating personalities on the planet. And it's the folks who attend the New River Birding Festival as participants. It takes a special person to see the intrinsic value in a small, friendly birding event run deep in the middle of a state that is probably not naturally on the radar of the average traveling bird watcher.
But that's changing...
I speak and guide at a bunch of birding festivals every year. And lots of times someone on one of my trips will say to me "Hey Bill, I see that you do that New River festival in West Virginia every year. What's that one like?" I always say: "Man, it's great! Low key. Great birds, food, people, scenery." But what I really should say is: "You've gotta be there to experience how great it is."
In this post (and maybe one or two others coming up) I'm going to show some images from the 2013 NRBNF to help you get a feel for what it's like.
|Male golden-winged warbler|
Then we're off after more birds...
There's a lot for us guides to point out...
|Ernesto Carman from Costa Rica came to guide this year. He has incredibly good spotting skills.|
|Keith Richardson, one of the festival's organizers and hosts, points out a worm-eating warbler on the Nuttallburg hiking trail.|
|Male Kentucky warbler.|
|Male prairie warbler.|
|Male scarlet tanager.|
There's a lot more beauty to enjoy than the feathered kind.
|Roaring mountain stream above Nuttalburg.|
|Flowering pawpaw tree.|
|Spidery grape vine.|
|Swirling stone. What made this pattern in the mountain?|