July 29, 2013
At Nags Head, N. C.
Exploring the Outer Banks, I walked the North Pond Wildlife Trail in the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge this morning just to get a feel for the refuge. Plenty of birds to be seen, including great egret, boat-tailed grackle, rusty and red-winged blackbirds, laughing gulls, terns, a probable tri-colored heron, catbirds and a yellowlegs, a bird that I am guessing has already returned from the far north to winter in the south. I am not sure, because the bird was a good distance away, but I think it was a greater yellowlegs.
Pea Island NWR extends from Oregon Inlet south to the town of Rodanthe, incorporating all of the land between the Sound and the ocean for 12 miles. The 5,834-acre refuge includes ocean beach, barrier dunes, salt marshes, fresh and salt ponds, and tidal creeks.
I had not realized until I got here that this refuge is a highly regarded birding destination, with more than 365 species seen. Among the possible sightings are black skimmer and black-necked stilts. I’d like to get some nice bird photos here this week.
I’ll need to revisit tomorrow. There is a lot more to see here, and in the adjoining Cape Hatteras National Seashore.