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Outer Banks trip report
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- Subject: Outer Banks trip report
- From: "Robert C. Perkins" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2001 19:46:10 -0500
- Sender: email@example.com
My wife and I made our annual trip to the Outer Banks this
pastweekend. On Friday, starting from Williamston in heavy fog, we
visited LakePhelps at Pettigrew S.P. and saw some land birds but no
waterfowl. Visibility on the lake was possibly 50 yards. We stopped
at Alligator River where, using the directions in Fussell's book, we
saw some woods birds plus two harriers, a red-tailed hawk, an
unidentified hawk, and a kestrel. Our third stop on Friday was the
Elizabethan Gardens at Manteo. After visiting briefly with Jeff
Lewis and getting a very brief glimpse of an accipiter (possible
Cooper's or female sharpie, not the goshawk), we walked the garden,
looking at the camellias in bloom.
Our first stop south of Nags Head was Bodie Island lighthouse.
The shallow flats on the lighthouse side of the pond were covered
with shorebirds, including dunlin, a common snipe, and dowitchers.
I've seen dowitchers elsewhere a number of times and they've always
been silent. These were noisy and matched the calls on my Stokes cd
for long-billed dowitchers. Again, Fussell's book had alerted us to
the possibility. We also saw both green-winged and blue-winged teal
in addition to the more numerous pintails, etc. On our way out,
after admiring the meadowlarks, we stopped and got excellent views of
an American pipit.
There were no waterfowl at Oregon Inlet the three times we
checked it during the weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). Pea
Island NWR had lots of ducks, geese, and tundra swans all three days,
but no rarities. On Saturday after the rains let up somewhat, we did
find some plovers and sandpipers in with the ducks and geese on the
There were redheads plus other ducks at the ponds at the parking
area for Cape Point. We saw them all three days. We looked
carefully for other diving ducks. We saw a few hooded mergansers but
NO red-breasted mergansers, scaup, or ring-necked ducks (on the Outer
Banks). Before the rains began on Saturday morning, we found an
immature black-crowned night-heron at those same ponds. We got good
looks with binoculars and scope.
On Sunday we stopped a second time at Bodie Island lighthouse,
in spite of the wind and cold. The dowitchers and dunlin were too
far away for good ids, but we did see the teals again and added
greater yellowlegs to our tally. On the way out we saw a (the?)
We took the scenic route west, US 264, stopping at Stumpy Point
and Lake Mattamuskeet. On 264 in Hyde County we saw a harrier and
more kestrels than I had ever seen on a single day in the past.
Mattamuskeet had relatively few ducks and almost none out on the main
lake, probably because the wind was kicking up waves. We did find a
cedar waxwing along the causeway across the lake.
Our last find for the day came on the bypass around Greenville.
We stopped at two ponds close to the intersection of US 264 and US
13, finding hooded mergansers, ring-necked ducks and ring-billed
Our total for the weekend was 67 species, including the
accipiter sp. Since we concentrate on waterfowl instead of small
birds during our winter trips, we're quite happy with the total.
Robert C. Perkins, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Methodist College, Fayetteville, NC 28311