Monday morning of Thanksgiving week provided a beautiful clear fall day at Fort Macon with clear skies and temps in the low 50s. Birding here this fall has been excellent with many fall warblers around the park. On this trip, however, I found most of the warblers have moved on in their journey south. The only one left is the Yellow-rumped who will make their home here until next spring. They are literally in every tree and shrub. I was surprised to find Painted Buntings still hanging around. Late November seems past their usual departure date back to Florida and points south. Perhaps the late warm weather we have had has tempted them to hang around.. I saw and photographed 3 different females, but did not see a male. There were also a few late Monarch butterflies and a couple of late blooming wildflowers. The usual White Ibis were feeding in the freshwater pond. There were a few winter birds and a few Gulls flying around, one with a small fish I watched him catch near shore. As always, this great site offers surprises and variety. Enjoy pics below and I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving!
I have not visited this Refuge in two years. Last year the roads between my home and the Refuge were under construction and I was not able to get there. Usually by this time of year, the Tundra Swans and Snow Geese all have arrived from their northern home to live the winter months. Yesterday I was able to spend the morning there. I found some Tundra Swans on Lake Pungo and the surrounding impoundments, but i saw no Snow Geese. I spoke to one of the Park Rangers who said there are about 17,000 Tundra Swans currently at the Lake. He also said that the impoundments are in need of rain to bring water levels up for the birds. I did get a few photos of the Swans, a few wading birds, and some of our winter resident woods birds. Hopefully we will find Snow Geese and other waterfowl here as winter settles in Enjoy the pics below.
SEE GALLERY BELOW. CLICK ON ANY PIC TO ENLARGE. USE SIDE ARROWS TO MOVE BACK AND FORTH. SCROLL DOWN OR CLICK ON ARCHIVES ON RIGHT FOR PREVIOUS ENTRIES>
This past Wednesday I spent the morning at Goose Creek State Park in Eastern North Carolina. This is one of my favorite close to home sites year round. The species vary quite a bit around the seasons. Fall is a good time to see migrating warblers as well as Bluebirds who seem to gather here every year in early fall. I am not sure what the attraction here is for them, but I am sure it is food related. At the entrance to the Park, there is a mowed field area bordering a small swamp along a small creek forest. Here there were at least a hundred bluebirds flying from the bordering trees down into the field, obviously feeding on some favorite meal. I have never seen so many in a small area. I could not tell whether they were eating insects or some type of seed. Their behavior of hovering above the field for a few seconds before landing suggested that they were trying to flush insects. Bluebirds are associated with many American Indian legends. The Pima said the BB got its color by bathing in a clear mountain lake four times over four days. The Iriquois thought the spirit power of the Bluebird’s singing kept the spirit of winter away. At any rate, I was able to get some “in flight” photos as well as some perched in the trees along the border. Joining them in the hunt were a few Brown-headed Cowbirds , Palm Warblers, and sparrows.
Further back in the Park along the trail behind the camping area and along the Flatty Creek Trail, there were many Yellow- rumped Warblers along with a few Palm Warblers and a variety of local residents including a Black Snake. It was a pleasant fall morning with plenty of birds and some great photo opportunities!! Enjoy the pics below!
SEE GALLERY BELOW. CLICK ON ANY PIC TO ENLARGE, USE SIDE ARROWS TO MOVE BACK AND FORTH. SCROLL DOWN TO SEE RECENT PAST POSTS, OR CLICK ARCHIVES ON RIGHT FOR ALL PREVIOUS ENTRIES BY MONTH/YEAR.
Jerry Lotterhos is a retired professor who resides in Greenville, N.C.