Outer Banks: December 14–15, 2019
By Steve Shultz
Widely considered at the top of the list for early winter birding sites in North Carolina, the Outer Banks of Dare County are home to thousands of wintering swans, ducks, geese, shorebirds, waders, gulls, and more. Join members of the Carolina Bird Club as we explore the Bodie Island lighthouse area, Oregon Inlet, Pea Island NWR, the ocean beaches of Hatteras and Bodie Islands, and other “hotspots.”
The trip will focus on waterfowl and shorebird identification as well as building a broad trip list including everything from grebes to sparrows. The trip starts Saturday, December 14, at 7:30 a.m. in the Bodie Island Light-house parking lot. Saturday will be devoted to birding along the immediate coast. Sunday will include a stop at Alligator River NWR and potentially Mattamuskeet NWR.
Detailed information including directions, lodging choices, dining opportunities, and more will be provided to registrants. Birds that you can expect to see include loons, numbers of Tundra Swans and Snow Geese, most of the dabbling ducks that winter in eastern North Carolina, chances to see sea ducks including all three American scoters, gulls, wintering passerines, and winter shorebirds including American Avocet and possibly Purple Sandpi-per, Long-billed Dowitcher, and Piping Plover. Alligator River NWR may provide an opportunity to see Black Bear, raptors, shorebirds (if water levels are right), and numbers of Tundra Swan and waterfowl.
The fee for this field trip is $35 and advance registration is required. Participation is limited to 15. Participants are responsible for lodging and meals. A number of motels, hotels, and other lodging are available in Nags Head north through Kitty Hawk. We will attempt to carpool in order to reduce the number of vehicles cara-vanning to the birding sites. Spotting scopes are useful if you have one. Dress for the weather and in layers. If we are enjoying a warm early winter, mosquito repellant may be useful. Lunch on Saturday will likely either be at a seafood restaurant or Subway. If you prefer, bring a bag lunch. A variety of restaurants are open for Saturday dinner.
Contact Steve Shultz or (919) 629-7226. Upon confirmation of your slot on the trip, you will be sent a registration form/waiver that can be submitted with your trip fee. Note that there is a modest fee to walk out on Jennette's Pier.