Day 1:  Arrival into Knoxville

Arrival and Afternoon Birding in Knoxville Area

After arriving into Knoxville in the afternoon, we will quickly
begin birding to start off the trip.  We will likely find Brown-
headed Nuthatch, Eastern Bluebird, Pine Warbler and a
few more of the many warblers expected on the trip.

After the birding wraps up, we will check into our hotel,
enjoy dinner as a group, conduct a trip orientation, and
then get some rest to prepare for the upcoming days of

Overnight: Knoxville

Day 2:  Sharps Ridge for Migrating Warblers and
Seven Islands Birding Park

After breakfast, we will head to Sharps Ridge. This prime
birding site is excellent for spring migration and not far from
where we will be staying. We hope to find a good number of
warblers to start the trip, especially some that don’t breed
locally: Tennessee Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Bay-
breasted Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Cape May Warbler,
Magnolia Warbler (uncommon), Nashville Warbler, Orange-
crowned Warbler (uncommon), Palm Warbler and Yellow-
rumped (Myrtle) Warbler.

From here, we will visit Seven Islands State Birding Park,
the first park of its kind in the state of Tennessee.  Not only
is this a good location for birding, it also offers excellent
butterfly and dragonfly viewing for those with that interest.  
Birds we will be looking for here include Northern Bobwhite,
Bald Eagle, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Prothonotary
Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Field Sparrow,
Grasshopper Sparrow, Summer Tanager, Blue Grosbeak
and Indigo Bunting.

We will have dinner about 5 PM.  Folks wanting to get to
bed early to support an early start are welcome to move in
that direction.  Others, with some energy left after supper,
can visit a nearby greenway which should add a few more

Overnight: Knoxville

Day 3: Cove Lake State Park and Cross Mountain and

Today will be spent enjoying views of many area nesting
warblers while visiting Cove Lake State Park and Cross
Mountain.  Some of the warblers we hope to see include
Black-throated Green Warbler, Black-throated Blue
Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, Yellow-
throated Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Golden-winged
Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Pine
Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler,
Swainson's Warbler (with a little luck), Common
Yellowthroat, Ovenbird, American Redstart and Northern

Before we return to our nearby hotel, we may detour to
Royal Blue Wildlife Management Area and/or Norris Dam.  
At these stops, we might pick up some of the key species
which we may have missed earlier in the day.

Overnight: Knoxville

Day 4:  Cherohala Skyway

This route offers excellent opportunities to see many of the
higher elevation breeding species in the area and is a
beautiful scenic route with about 25 miles in Tennessee
and the same distance in North Carolina. We will have
chances at many of the birds already mentioned, but we’ll
especially be looking for Black-throated Blue, Canada,
Blackburnian, Hooded, Chestnut-sided and Worm-eating
Warblers, as well as Least Flycatcher, Veery, Blue-headed
Vireo, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Brown Creeper and Dark-
eyed (Slate-colored) Junco.

Note:  Much of the time will be spent on winding roads.

By late afternoon, we should be at our hotel.  Following
dinner, those who are not yet finished birding for the day
can head to the Foothills Parkway to listen and look for
Chuck-will's-widow and Eastern Whip-poor-will.

Overnight: Townsend

Day 5:  Great Smoky Mountains National Park

We will start the day with another chance at Swainson's
Warbler, as well as Acadian Flycatcher, Louisiana
Waterthrush, and Northern Parula, and several more

We may take a drive around Cades Cove in the National
Park, looking mostly for birds of open areas, as well as
enjoying the view from this large cove in the middle of the
mountains.  As we drive along, we can learn a lot about the
history of the people that lived here before the Park was

In the early afternoon, we will bird around the Sugarlands
Visitor Center, good for Yellow-throated Warbler and
Louisiana Waterthrush, and then drive up to higher
elevations at Clingmans Dome.  Up here, we will try for
Common Raven, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-breasted
Nuthatch, Blackburnian Warbler, Red Crossbill, Pine Siskin.

We will go into the town of Gatlinburg for dinner and then, if
the group is ready for more birding, at dusk we will return to
Clingmans Dome to look for Ruffed Grouse along the road
shoulder. After dark, it's time to listen for the call of the
Northern Saw-whet Owl. Never a guarantee, at least this
area gives us a good chance to hear some of these small
owls and hopefully see one (with some luck).

Overnight: Townsend

Day 6:  Departure from Knoxville

You should schedule flights out in the afternoon, allowing
time for morning birding to try one more time for any target
For more information or to register for this trip, call Charles or Alison at
888-203-7464 or Charles directly at 720-320-1974 or by email at
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Detailed Itinerary
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Birding in Tennessee
in the USA
Tennessee Birding with Warblers and More