Mistletoe State Park has a full schedule of events planned for Saturday and Sunday.
A bird walk for bird watchers will take place Saturday, and a mountain dulcimer jam will be held Saturday and Sunday.
Bird watchers can expect to hike a trail that goes down a long creek with beautiful ferns, said Anne Waters, the volunteer field trip leader who will be navigating the excursion. It will be held from 9 a.m. to noon.
"We will be looking for wintering birds such as the ruby-crowned kinglet (a tiny olive bird with bright-red feathers that rises when excited),'' Waters said.
Several of the birds that Waters hopes to see nest in places such as Canada, Minnesota, Michigan and New York. These particular birds winter down here, where it is warmer.
Participants will carpool to the lake to look for Canada geee, loons and grebes after the short hike. These birds can normally be found in the Georgia and Alabama regions during this time of year, Waters said.
There are certain birds that Waters expects to see.
"We should see brown-headed nuthatch (an endemic bird only found in the Southeast), and bluebirds," she said.
Those planning to attend the event should take a water bottle and comfortable shoes. Binoculars and cameras also are a good idea, Waters said. Everyone should meet beside the Nature Center at Mistletoe State Park to begin the walk.
For music lovers, the park will play host to the mountain dulcimer jam.
Peggy Ertz is a member of the North Georgia Foothills Dulcimer Association (www.ngfda.org), which boasts more than 500 members and a satellite campus in Augusta.
Ertz and her husband, Rick, started the event with six or seven people just camping out and playing their instruments. About 50 people played last year, and there were always 20 to 30 people listening, Ertz said.
Campers will begin arriving Thursday and some will stay until Monday because of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. The public is invited to attend from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Music will be played at the newly renovated beach shelter. Beginner's classes will be available for spectators interested in receiving introductory dulcimer lessons.
"The instrument is basic to play," Ertz said. "It is one of only two instruments that is American in origin, (the other being the autoharp)."
Ertz urges all musicians and people interested in music, not simply dulcimer players, to attend.
"There will be music round the clock," Ertz said. "It's just a huge jam."
Admission for both events is free with a $3 per-car admission pass to the park, which can be contacted at 541-0321.
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