Sunday, February 5, 2012

Nature Conservancy Tour of Bald Head Island

We had seen this tour advertised for some time so having Joe and Sharon here gave us the excuse to call and get on board.  Bald Head Island is a very exclusive community that can only be reached by boat or a very long (7 mile) walk from Fort Fisher at low tide!  The ferry ride to get there and back for each passenger is $25.  So to reach this island, we had to take two ferries, one from Fort Fisher to Southport and one from Southport to Bald Head Island.  We were bright and early.  Only electric golf carts are allowed on the island for transportation.  We were met by our young guide Kendall with a golf cart and found we were the only people on the tour this day!! It was really a bargain as we got taken all over the island to see the natural sights including some private land owned by the Conservancy.  The tour price was $50 ea but that included our ferry fare and riding all over the island.  Kendall was very knowledgeable and we were able to see some beautiful areas.  Here is more information:  Bald Head Island Tours

The above shot was on Ibis Island which was donated to the Conservancy and which is gated so that only Conservancy tours can get in.  Kendall said this was the most birds she had seen in the area.  There were many Black Crowned Night Herons -- mostly immature although there was one mature one, both mature and immature ibis and a lot of Tricolor Herons.

This was the one mature Black Crowned Night Heron.  The light was terrible for taking pictures -- too bright.  Unusual to see them with their eyes open during the day (at least for me).

This is an immature one with his fluffy light brown plummage.

One of the many tricolor herons that were there.  I haven't seen so many in one place before.

The two ibis on the left are the very immature ones that still have dark brown wings.  In the spring, you will see hundreds of ibis on the small islands around Bald Head.

We also saw a bald eagle through the spotting scope.  It has taken up residence and has thrilled the locals by perching on one of the houses near the ferry terminal although it was not there on Friday!

I also saw Hooded Mergansers way off in the distance.  It was obvious that the pictures I had taken the day before at Airlie were also of Hooded Mergansers which I had guessed.  I didn't know at the time, though, that I would find these down here.  They are very striking but my picture is just good enough for identification but not publication!!


Katie said...

You've won the VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD!! Congratulations! LOL

judy said...

Beth- As I've written before, I love your birding photos. You take wonderful pictures, and show me birds I will never get to see on Cape Cod. Thank you again. Judy S