Monday, April 15, 2013

A Visit From a Rochester Friend and a Bald Head Island Nature Tour

My friend Debi from Rochester came down to visit me for a few days just to keep me company as I have been alone since my dear husband left a couple of weeks ago and left me to cat sit while my oldest daughter is in Rio.  We started the day by getting up at 5:30 to make sure we got the first ferry to Southport so that we wouldn't miss our ferry to Bald Head Island.  From the ferry terminal we were taken by golf cart (no cars on Bald Head Island) to the Nature Conservancy headquarters.  For some strange reason, the building (which is painted white) has many of these Polyphemus moths hanging on the side.  This moth is 3.5 to 5.5 inches across and is the commonest giant silk moth.  It was really quite pretty and we actually opened up the wings so we could see the spots.  It could not have cared less!  I actually spotted three more varieties of moth hanging on the side of the building as well.

I am assuming this is a moth but could be a butterfly and I haven't identified it yet.  It might be a Noctuid moth of some kind.  It was about 3 inches across.

This might be a Spear Marked Black but again don't know for sure.  It was quite small -- probably only an  inch, inch and a half long.

This was a very bedraggled moth -- again can't identify but might be in the Sphinx family.  It was about the size of the second of the moths.

Our very first stop afforded us a view of this beautiful Green Heron in his mating plumage.  I have never seen one awake much less in this colorful plumage!

Another treat was a Black Crowned Night Heron adult also awake!!  Maybe this sudden wakefulness during the day is due to the mating season?

This is a juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron which is what I usually see down here.  He is also awake!

We spotted this Little Blue Heron high up in a tree!  This is the first of those I have spotted down here this year.

Even one of the resident alligators was up and swimming around.  It was a beautiful day of near perfect weather!

We spotted this Red Tailed Hawk off in the distance on a rooftop.

Later we suspect that it was the same Red Tail who was looking down from one of the most expensive houses on the island rumored to have sold for $15 million.

Cape Fear is known as such as ship wrecks were very common because there are significant shoals (sand bars) at the tip of the island.  This is Frying Pan Shoals and the waves go out forever.

On the ferry on the way back to Ft. Fisher I spotted all these seabirds and tried to get decent enough pictures to identify them.  The main bunch are Royal Terns but there may be some ringers in there as well.  They were just white dots with the naked eye.

One of the Terns in flight still pretty far off!  It was a beautiful day and we had a nice lunch at Fishy Fishy in Southport out overlooking the water  -- no sweatshirt necessary that day!!  

1 comment:

Sally said...

the green heron is beautiful! nice catch!