Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Heading to the Beach

This Friday, my wife and I will be making the long drive to the Outer Banks of North Carolina for a family vacation. We’ve agreed to drive a longer distance on the first day than we usually do so I can go birding on Saturday before checking in to the rental house. We’ll drive all the way to Plymouth, North Carolina with no stops for birding, but then the real fun starts on Saturday. Our first stop will be Palmetto Peartree Preserve in an attempt to find my lifer Red-cockaded Woodpecker. The preserve has 20 nesting clusters and over 100 individual nests, which as I understand it is one of the highest concentrations of this species in North Carolina.

After Palmetto Peartree Preserve, we will head for the coast and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. This is a very large refuge located in the Outer Banks just south of the city of Nags Head. I am hoping to find many birds that I haven’t seen yet this year and possibly a lifer or two if I get really lucky. I have read that you can find Clapper Rails, a lifer for me, in the marshes at the property, but I know this can be a tricky species to find. Depending on the amount of time the first two stops take, we may make a quick stop at the Bodie Island Lighthouse to look around and check out the freshwater ponds located on that property.

We will then be spending the week at a beach house in the Corolla area. There aren’t that many places to bird up that way, but you never know what you can find on the beaches.

If anyone has any suggestions on other birding locations in the northern part of the Outer Banks, please let me know!

Here are a couple of pictures from last year's trip to the Outer Banks:

Sunrise in the Outer Banks

View of the marshes from the Corolla Lighthouse


Tammie Lee said...

Wonderful photos, I thought this was your WW post, but then I saw the other. Thank you for sharing all these wonderful image.

Kelly said...

...have fun. I hope you have as much luck as I did on Pinckney Island NWR. I can't wait to see your photos from the NWF. (Beautiful photos...)

Dawn Fine said...

Have a great time! Havent birded that maybe i can get a few ideas from you..Look forward to your posts of your visit.

EveT said...

I'm a local birder and photographer here on the Outer Banks (my hubby and I own Yellowhouse Gallery in Nags Head). There is a pair of roseate spoonbills hanging out just south of the Pea Island NWR Visitor Center; I saw them this morning in a large mixed gathering of egrets, herons, ibis... even some black skimmers were there! I have heard reports of a single woodstork being seen there, but I have not seen the woodstork. I have also heard that these spoonbills have been seen at the Visitor Center ponds (north pond) and that a pair of woodstork was seen within the past couple of weeks at the Bodie Island lighthouse. Good luck!!!

Chris said...

First time I've visited, glad I did, lovely shats. I like to watch birds here in Scotland.

Rob Ripma said...

@EveT - Thanks so much for the tips. I will definately be birding at Pea Island tomorrow! Hope to find all those awesome species!