Sunday, June 17, 2007

Tennessee to West Virginia

June 6,7, 2007

I got a little ways into the Wilderness the next morning. Found a few good birds including Acadian Flycatcher and Ovenbird. From there to the main eastward highway was a long drive following a creek falling out of the mountains, really scenic with a number of other simple campgrounds. Stopped several times for birding and just looking. I finally made it past the desolation of Pigeon Forge and its ilk and was approaching Johnson City. In Greenville is the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site, so I stopped there for a hour or so, and then beyond it went back up in the National Forest to check out some campgrounds. The highest and farthest was surrounded by Rhododendrons and I followed a little creek back in there for a ways. Got a Hooded Warbler, doing a call I wasn't familiar with, but it finally came out to pishing. I crossed the border into Virginia at Kingsport, and followed the Interstate north edging toward Kentucky. Just outside Jenkins right at the border I found another National Forest campground, Jefferson NF, this one with facilities and lots of hot water in the shower. I birded the evening following trails along a small creek, and then around the campground. The next morning in the campground was really good. The place itself was a flat valley bottom, hardly thirty yards wide, with a little trickle creek along one edge and both sides rising steeply covered with mature woods. Seven warblers including Black-throated Green, Yellow-throated, Kentucky, and Hooded again.


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