Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Outer Banks Birding Trip - Day 1 - Mattamuskeet and Pocosin NWR

Although this was not a black bear adventure, we were greeted right off the bat with sightings of five bears, four of them in this group of the mama bear and three cubs.  

We started out very early in the morning -- we had to be at the bus by 4:45 so that we would get north near dawn.  The day was cloudy but luckily the rain held off until very late in the afternoon.

We didn't get there earlier enough to see the Snow Geese take off from Pungo Lake, but we did see a lot flying overhead.  These, however, are the Tundra Swans which were there in abundance.

This was an amazing sight.  These are all Red-winged Blackbirds!! The sky was just black with them in this huge flocks of 1000's.  I had seen a small flock on the last trip but this was astonishing.

If you look closely in this blowup, you can see the red wings.  There are probably other birds in here as well but they were just too far away.

This is just one of many juvenile Bald Eagles that we saw.  We didn't see any mature ones this trip but did see lots of Northern Harriers.

This is a flock of American Widgeons that we saw fly overhead at Pocosin.

This Downy Woodpecker politely posed for us in two different locations while we snapped away.

This is the panoramic view across Pungo Lake.  The white line you see plus the white in the far background are the Snow Geese.  We saw flock after flock descending back into the lake.  Tundra Swans are in the foreground.

Onward to Lake Mattamuskeet where there were lots and lots of ducks in the marshy ponds.  Here are Gadwalls in the foreground.  It was a very grey day.

There were lots and lots of Northern Shovelers.  Here are both males and females dabbling.

One of the Shoveler Drakes stretching a bit.

A beatiful female and male Blue-winged Teal.  There were quite a few of these as well.  There were also Green-winged Teals which I finally got to see through the scope although too far away for decent pictures.

Some of the Shovelers took off here.

A nice little Ruddy Duck swam by in the calm water.

This will give you an idea of how many ducks were out there on the water intermixed with the Tundra Swans.  Good thing we had a scope and telephoto lens'.

We tried to see the Short-eared Owls at Alligator River but they were not to be found on this dreary night.  The Harriers hunt during the day but are replaced by the Short-eared Owls at dusk.  We then headed into Manteo for dinner and on to Nags Head for our sleep.

No comments: