Sunday, September 27, 2015

September 27 - North Carolina's Outer Banks

Before visiting family in North Carolina I spent a few days in Kitty Hawk, which is located on the Outer Banks.   The first few days had fine weather, but the final 2 days were terribly windy with on-shore winds gusting into the 30-mph range.

On the nice days I was able to do a little bird-watching.  Locally in Kitty Hawk I was able to see a regional specialty in the form of Brown-Headed Nuthatches.   Along the beach were numerous Sandwich Terns, along with other tern species like Royal, and Common.   Surprisingly to me, there were quite a few of the Lesser Black-Backed Gulls on the beach.  They were joined by the expected Willets, and Sanderlings.

Click on images to enlarge

My favorite birding on this trip was at the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.  This area is located immediately south of the Oregon Inlet.  The birding here was productive.  There were several species of Ducks, and also Shorebirds and Waders.  There were a few dozen of the American Avocet, yet sadly none of the Black-Necked Stilt.  I saw more Tri-colored Herons in this location than I've ever seen before, and the flocks of White Ibis were also in high numbers.   A handful of Marbled Godwits were seen as well.

The  notable shorebird species seen were Piping Plover, Black-Bellied Plover, White-Rumped Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Dunlin, and Western Sandpiper.   Caspian, Forster's, and Royal Terns were seen here too.

This pic shows one of my favorite moments in life....waiting for the Sunrise !

Here is a shot of Pea Island in the daylight