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outer banks birds


we birded outer banks yesterday. Best spot of the day:
the estuary park along the beach on Shallowbag Bay;
this is behind Jockey's Ridge and is part of Jockey's
Ridge State Park. You enter by a side road (sorry
forgot the name) that runs along the south end of the
big dune at Jockey's Ridge ; there is a church on the
corner where you turn. This road runs thru a
residential section. Just as the road begins to curve
at the Bay, you'll see an entrance to the estuary on
the right. Just a short distanct is a parking lot on
the right.  Two sections worth birding, these can both
be walked in one trip, as you can enter one way and
come out the other. You'll see a marked entry to a
nature trail from the parking lot. Follow it and it
will come out to a viewing platform in ffront of an
osprey nest on the bay. From the viewing platform
(facing the bay) turn left and walk along the beach;
this will bring you back to the parking lot where you

Yesterday, at low tide (the best time) we saw on the
exposed sand bars near the beach of the bay:

royal terns,
least terns,
black-bellied plover
sandwich terns
semi-palmated plovers
and the best:
2 piping plovers

We've seen piping plovers at this location in May
before. May is the best time to go there as the terns
crowd onto the sand bars and engage in great mating
behaviors, bringing fish, etc. Also saw an osprey pair
on one of the two platforms erected for them.

The path thru the dunes can be great too. Last fall we
saw a lapland longspur and last spring a chat.
Peregrine falcons pass over the viewing platform in
the fall (maybe spring too, but we've never seen them

At Bodie Island we saw the lark sparrow in the area
cited by Jeff.

At Cocquina beach whimbrels.


--Linda Jeannette Ward
--P.O. Box 231
--Coinjock, N.C. 27923

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