Thursday, November 24, 2016

Black Bear Visit to Mattamuskeet and Pocosin Lakes in North Carolina

This was the star of the trip -- a very pudgie Black Bear who took his time lumbering across the field and into the Pocosin.  There is a very large population of Black Bears in this part of Eastern North Carolina -- Pocosin and Mattamuskeet Wildlife Refuges.  The farmers are allowed to farm this state land if they leave half the corn crop behind which feeds these bears.  We saw 20 altogether the day we went.  It was a gorgeous couple of days and it was great to be outside even if we had to get up at 4:30 to make sure we were there at dawn which is when you get to see the bears.

The next three pictures were ones my daughter took of a mama bear and the two cubs who were play fighting.  Towards mating season, she will push the cubs away and they have to find their own territory as the adult males will kill them if they are near mom.

Although tough to see in detail, there are five Bald Eagles in this tree - two adults on the left and three juveniles on the right.  Again, the Eagle was the hawk that we saw the most frequently up here.  Northern Harriers were second.

An Eastern Phoebe.

A Palm Warbler.

A lot of Black Ducks.

There are actually three Snipes hidden in the rushes. Can't believe one of our group spotted
these off in the distance!  

We didn't see anywhere near as much variety in the ducks as we have in the past.  There were Gadwalls and some Northern Pintails but the lighting was impossible to take pictures.  An Eagle had scared off many of the ducks just as we got there and the Tundra Swans were really really far out also.  There were a few Snow Geese but not the 1000s that are sometimes there -- maybe later.  It has been a very very mild fall which I think accounts for the sparcity.  I haven't even seen American Coots down at Carolina Beach Lake and they are always there by now.  There were quite a few at Mattamuskeet so maybe later!

No comments: