Congaree National Park owl

Robin Carter Dawn Chorus Walk at Congaree National Park

Sunday, May 3, 2015, 5:30 AM
Visitors’ Center, Congaree National Park

Leader: Donna Slyce

Robin Carter, who passed away in 2008, did more than anyone to promote birding at Congaree National Park. He established most of the annual birding events at the park, maintained a 20-year database of Congaree bird reports, and turned enthusiastically to sound recording at the park late in his birding career. To celebrate and continue Robin’s legacy, Friends will hold its Robin Carter Dawn Chorus Walk on Sunday, May 3, 2015. The Dawn Chorus Walk at Congaree National Park was started by Robin in 2005, and we now celebrate the event with the rest of the world on International Dawn Chorus Day. This year, we will be joined by some special guests–Robin’s sisters Janice Evans and Patty Sentor, who will travel from out-of-state to attend in honor of Robin. Curtis Derrick will present his poem “Song”, inspired by Robin’s sound recordings at the park.

We will meet at the Visitor Center at 5:30 AM. This will provide an opportunity to listen to the pre-dawn sounds of owls, nightjars, and migrating thrushes before the main event, which begins a half hour before sunrise. We can reasonably expect to hear as many as forty species of birds calling. Bird song experts will be on hand to help you identify what you hear, or you can just listen and take in the experience.

The Dawn Chorus hike will be followed by a free breakfast at 7:30 AM organized and prepared by Friends members. The breakfast menu changes slightly from year to year, but will include shrimp and creamy grits, bacon/date and cherry/orange scones, cheddar drop biscuits, a breakfast strata, fresh fruit, juice and lots of coffee.

Contact John Grego,, 803-331-3366

Adopt-a-Trail Workday

Adopt-a-Trail Workday (Yellow-throated Warbler)

Saturday, March 14, 2015
9:00 AM – around 1:30 PM

We will be clearing our adopted trails (Boardwalk, Sims Trail, Weston Lake Loop Trail, Oakridge Trail) and other trails of fallen limbs, switch cane, flotsam, and intruding branches. Our winter work-day theme is Yellow-throated Warbler, and we will be listening for these early migrants on the trail.

We will meet at the Visitor Center at 9 AM and will finish in the early afternoon. Work gloves, light hiking boots, water, and a snack are recommended. If you have loppers, long-handled shears (good for switch cane) or bow saws, bring them along. Friends members and Park staff will provide gear if you do not have any. Please contact John Grego (; 803-331-3366) if interested.

Red Bluff Road Ramble

Congaree National Park

Saturday, January 17, 2014
9 AM—2 PM

Red Bluff Road runs along the northern edge of the park between South Cedar Creek Road and Griffin Creek Road. The road is regularly intersected by jeep trails that lead to attractive beech bluffs along Cedar Creek through pine forests that the park actively manages with controlled burns. Rather than travel along the road itself, which is not in the Park, we will hike along a firebreak cut by Park staff and explore Cedar Creek along the designated jeep roads. Depending on time, we may hike to the farthest jeep trail and visit Elder Lake. There are several homesites along the way to investigate, including at least one we have not visited before on a field trip.

This hike will be mostly along jeep roads and fire breaks; there may be some wet spots to negotiate. Participants should be in moderate physical shape. Bring water and a snack and a couple extra layers-weather is unpredictable in mid-January. Light hiking shoes or boots are appropriate. We will meet in the South Cedar Creek Road canoe/kayak landing parking lot and then carpool to the western end of Red Bluff Road.

Contact John Grego to register: (803) 331-3366 or