In late July eastern NC is hot and muggy, with long and lazy days. Except for early morning cooler time, the wildlife can seem to disappear. Things move slowly and life tends to hug the shadows and move only slowly if at all. Finding birds to photograph is difficult and to see them can be surprising. During this time of year, I frequently turn to the wildflowers which are in full bloom, or to the dragonflies who flit around in their multiple bright colors as if immune from the heat--the hotter and brighter the better!. The presence of these ancient critters is abundant at Goose Creek State Park in Eastern NC.This past week I spent a couple of days there looking for the few summer birds I could find as well as the abundant dragons. If you go here, be sure and check out the Boardwalk Thail across the swamp where you are sure to encounter many species decked out in their bright colors. See the photos below.
This past week daytime temps have approached the 105 degree heat index during the day. At the field, it has been hard to see much active wildlife with the exception of the summer loving dragonflies. They are buzzing around everywhere! The few birds I see are active usually before 9 or 10 AM. I have recently photographed a green tree frog around 7AM and a Nutria active early. The birds are as lazy as I am--hope this hot stuff leaves soon I am ready for fall!! See pics below.
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Last year was the first time Mississippi Kites were observed in fair numbers in my neighborhood of Brook Valley in Greenville, NC. From May through October they could be observed soaring and diving in the area daily. Behind my home, there were usually 2-6 resting on exposed pine branches in the tall trees growing there. I enjoyed watching their antics all summer and wrote a Journal article about them on this site. We missed them after they returned to their winter home in South America. I wondered if they would return again this spring and sure enough they arrived back in early May and have been around to entertain us again. I hope they will continue this pattern for years to come. See photos below taken recently.
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Jerry Lotterhos is a retired professor who resides in Greenville, N.C.