Winter Birding in

Northeastern North Carolina

Bob and I make our annual trip to the Outer Banks in search of birds. This year, we decided to go inland to Lake Mattamuskeet first then take the Swan Quarter ferry to Ocracoke and journey up the Outer Banks. We took the motor home and Ivy, of course. She got to play on the beach.

From Williamsburg, we traveled on Route 5 to Surry. The ferry across the James River is free now. We road on the Pocahontas.

We followed Route 45 into North Carolina to Lake Mattamuskeet. The park headquarters are in an old lodge. A causeway crosses the Lake and leads to a Wildlife Drive along the south bank. Egrets were plentiful. Check out the neat reflection this one created. We even saw wildlife: a muskrat.

We got up early Sunday morning and caught the ferry from Swan Quarter to Ocracoke, a 2-1/2 hour ride. They opened the front doors before we stopped. We drove past the Ocracoke Lighthouse. We headed to Howard's in Ocracoke for lunch and then caught another ferry to Hatteras.

We stopped at the Cape Hatteras lighthouse. It was closed and it looked like they had started clearing a strip for the rails they are going to use to move the lighthouse.

The scenery throughout the area is beautiful. We saw lots of birds: a black bellied plover in our campground near Rodanthe, lots of herons, pelicans, and swans.

Monday morning, we waited out the rain and walked along the ponds at Pea Island. Didn't get many pictures but saw lots of white ibises and egrets. We followed a flotilla of hooded mergansers. We did get a neat shot of a blue heron. The turtles were hanging out in a small pond. A large flock of pelicans sat fairly close by. Before we headed home, we stopped by Bodie Island lighthouse.

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