Date: 11/20/17 1:29 pm
From: Steve <sshultz...>
Subject: Outer Banks NC Birding 11/18-11/19

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> Susan Campbell and I birded along the northern Outer Banks (Dare County, NC) this weekend. The weather was much nicer than had been forecast, with the predicted gale force winds reduced to more of a southerly zephyr. The passing cold front brought only about 30 minutes of rain, the time passed quite easily in the relative dryness of the photo blind at Pea Island.
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> On the way east Friday, we stopped at the Beasley Rd goose confab, spotting about two dozen SNOW GEESE and 3 ROSS’S GEESE in with the clearly migratory (read: overly skittish) Canada Geese. No white-fronts or cacklers in sight. Nice numbers of TUNDRA SWAN at this location, which is not always chock full of the white birds like it was Friday.
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> Saturday morning’s calm conditions made spotting a VIRGINIA RAIL at Bodie Lighthouse Pond fairly easy. A SORA called from dense marsh grass.
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> We made the first of six failed attempted to see the King Eider at Bonner Bridge, apparently arriving about a half hour after the last sighting. I think I mentioned the poor fellow who drove quite a long distance in order to twitch the bird, sitting for about 10 hours in which he was at least entertained by the accommodating SNOW BUNTING that frequently foraged at arm’s length.
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> Moving to the dunes across from the PINWR visitor center, we spotted several PARASITIC JAEGERS and numbers of southbound ducks, with lots and lots of scaup and puddle ducks mixed in with the (mainly) BLACK SCOTERS. One of the skeins included an eider sp. trailing along, and we laughed that we hoped that was not the King. Hmmm…. Looking across the dune at North Pond produced a male EURASIAN WIGEON. Further ocean watching resulting in the addition of the other two scoters. Interesting was the group of about 8 WOOD DUCK migrating with scoters.
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> At the previously described Southern Shores location, we set up the trap for the BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD. The bird was super accommodating and in the trap more or less immediately. This made for a quick handling and measuring experience, and in just a short while, she (the bird, not Susan) was back on a favored perch clicking away at those annoying chickadees. Photos of the bird are at https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.carolinabirdclub.org_gallery_Shultz_bblh-5F2.html&d=DwIFaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=ymRCw6Q-sBitug_rdeO1Tokz-I_SX2LQN2_Ocvlal9U&m=lTLPEVtggtOuS7JES4E3jCc6iUtOX5ZmOCVk0R237k4&s=ylaetleWDePOZWFO3qcSG-P34LDLoxbgLasr1D5igrU&e=
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> Since Bonner Bridge did not produce the King Eider later in the day Saturday, we tried again (5th and 6th tries) Sunday morning. No eider. But did have 6 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS floating between the bridge and the spoil island where the seals haul out, and a PURPLE SANDPIPER on the seaward tip of the groin with PIPING PLOVER nearby. The ocean was alive with gulls, with hundreds of LAUGHING GULLS apparently wafting south (it will be interesting to see if this front takes most of them south). All the gulls made rich hunting ground for jaegers, and every few minutes a PARASTIC JAEGER would drift by.
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> On the way home, the stop at Beasley Rd was much less interesting. Only a few bored-looking Canada Goose stood about, the light was terrible, as is often the case here, and nothing out of the ordinary could be plucked from the intense glare of the late afternoon sun.
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> Hope to see you on the Banks at Wings Over Water – Encore Weekend (in three weeks). Info at https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.wingsoverwater.org_&d=DwIFaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=ymRCw6Q-sBitug_rdeO1Tokz-I_SX2LQN2_Ocvlal9U&m=lTLPEVtggtOuS7JES4E3jCc6iUtOX5ZmOCVk0R237k4&s=ovSsFzSf74QW5TPXEc05mfJCYVE7LMq-9y9pp1zZkqk&e= Or maybe you would prefer to enjoy the spectacle of swans at Lake Mattamuskeet? Swan Days runs the same weekend as WOW-E. Information on Swan Days can be found at the same weblink, just scroll to the bottom.
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> Happy T-day!
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> Steve Shultz
> Apex, NC
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