Outer Banks Field Trip Descriptions
Click ==> Map of meeting and field trip locations
|Friday, January 28
|Saturday, January 29
|Sunday, January 30
|Weather date for pelagic
Field Trip Descriptions
- Trips 1, 6 & 15 - Pea Island NWR, North and South Ponds Trips 1, 6, and 15 are full
- Caravan down to the entrance area of South Pond where drivers will carefully park along the roadside. If you travel to this area in advance of the guide, you can not enter until they arrive. We will scan flocks of common birds hoping for such species as Eurasian Wigeon, American Avocet, Marbled Godwit, American Bittern, and American White Pelican. In the grassy strips and in the shrub edges along the way, we may find a few sparrows and warblers. After leaving South Pond, we will visit nearby North Pond to continue our search. This area has seen quite a few rarities over the years, including Glaucous Gull, California Gull, Hudsonian Godwit, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Tropical Kingbird, Cave Swallow, and Brewer's Blackbird, just to name a few. Anything is a possibility at Pea Island! If time permits, you may want to stop by Oregon Inlet or Bodie Island on the trip back. A spotting scope comes in quite handy in these areas. Even in January, mosquito protection may be advisable.
- Trips 2, 7 & 16 - Palmetto Peartree Preserve and Alligator River NWR Trip 2 is cancelled; Trip 16 is full
- Plan for about a one hour drive to “P3” as it is known by the locals. Plan to look among the seven species of woodpeckers present for the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker. During our search, we should see a good assortment of woodland and edge species, including kinglets, warblers, nuthatches, and sparrows. Red-shouldered Hawk is likely and Barred Owl and Bald Eagle are real possibilities. Learn more about P3 by visiting www.palmettopeartree.org. After birding P3 and on the way back to the beach, the group will drive through and bird Alligator River NWR searching primarily for raptors and sparrows, although many species will be possible, including waterfowl and shorebirds. This refuge may be the best place in the state to find Ash-throated Flycatcher. Black Bears, Bobcats and Red Wolves are a possibility, too. Note: lots of birds but few restrooms in this part of the world, but they can be found (OBX Visitor's Center on Roanoke Island, service station at western end of Alligator River bridge, and porta-johns at entrance to Milltail Road in Alligator River NWR.)
- Trips 3, 8, 17 & 22 - Roanoke Island Trips 17 and 22 are full
- This trip will begin at the north end of the island where we will search the woodland edges for winter species such as Golden and Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Blue-headed Vireo, Brown Creeper, White-throated Sparrow, and hope to turn up over-wintering warblers. Ovenbird, Northern Parula, Black-and-white, Black-throated Blue and Black-throated Green Warblers have all been seen in recent winters, as have Baltimore Oriole, Painted Bunting and Western Kingbird! Wintering Ruby-throated Hummingbirds should be present as well. After that, we will visit the Roanoke Marshes Game Lands in search of saltmarsh species such as Marsh Wren, Seaside Sparrow, and Clapper and Virginia Rail. The on-site freshwater impoundment should hold a few shorebirds and waterfowl for us to view, along with Belted Kingfisher and a raptor or two. Last we will stop by the harbor in Wanchese Village at the south end of the island and scan the surrounding sound and marina for gulls, loons, grebes, and diving ducks. Wear comfortable shoes because you are going to cover a lot of ground on this field trip.
- Trips 4, 9 & 18 - Pine Island Audubon Sanctuary and Points North Trips 4, 9 and 18 are full
- This new offering will afford CBC members an introduction to this 2,600 acre site on the Currituck Sound. Mark Buckler, Director of the Sanctuary, will be the trip leader and guide. We will explore this former hunting mecca for waterfowl of our own, plus shorebirds, marsh birds and raptors—Bald Eagle is a distinct possibility. Afterwards, we head north and bird around the Currituck Lighthouse and N.C. Center for Wildlife Education. A boardwalk will take us to the edge of Currituck Sound where we will scan for waders, shorebirds, terns and waterfowl. King Rails and other marsh birds are a possibility. The forest edge can be good for overwintering passerines as well. Time permitting, we may scan the nearby ocean for scoters, loons and grebes. If you have not ever birded this area of the Outer Banks, this field trip will provide an experience you will be able to use in your future trips to the Banks.
- Trips 5, 10 & 19 - Bodie Island and Oregon Inlet Trips 5, 10 and 19 are full
- Caravan to the north end of Pea Island and bird around the Bonner Bridge and the rock groin. Species to look for include Great Cormorant, Common Eider, Harlequin Duck, Purple Sandpiper, Piping Plover, Glaucous Gull, “Ipswich” Sparrow, Snow Bunting and much, much more. This is “hallowed ground” to birders and many rarities have shown up here over the years. You definitely want to stay alert on this trip! Next, travel across the bridge and stop at the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center where we will scope for Long-tailed Duck and other diving ducks. Common Eiders and Brant have been seen here, as well. Continue on to Bodie Pond where we will scope for waterfowl, shorebirds, and waders from the new observation platform located behind the Bodie Island Lighthouse. Eurasian Wigeon and Cinnamon Teal have been seen here. The boardwalk that cuts through the marsh is good for rails and marsh wrens.
- Trip 11 - Pelagic aboard the Stormy Petrel II
- Departure from Hatteras or Wanchese depending on conditions. Captain Brian Patteson's trips aboard the Stormy Petrel II are very popular with birders from all over. It's a different world out there with very different and special birds. The trip is offered to a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20 CBC members. The back up date for this trip is Sunday, January 30. In the event of a cancellation due to weather, participants will receive a full refund. Please send your check ($150 per person, payable to Brian Patteson, Inc.) to Brian at P.O. Box 772, Hatteras, NC 27943. Give him your contact information as well—email and phone numbers. Go to www.patteson.com for more information.
- Trips 12 & 28 - Mattamuskeet NWR Trip 12 is full
- A birder's paradise, Mattamuskeet can be incredible at times. One of the best spots in the state for Golden Eagle, we will bird the Lake Landing area for waterfowl, shorebirds and waders, sorting through the more common species and hoping for something rare, such as Cackling Goose, Ross's Goose, Eurasian Wigeon, or “Common” Teal. Or, should we think bigger—something like a Barnacle Goose or a Trumpeter Swan! Speaking of big, American White Pelicans have been seen here several times in recent winters, as well. We will also bird along the causeway, famous for its overwintering passerines. In just the past 3 winters the causeway has hosted at least 13 species of warblers, including Ovenbird, Black-throated Blue, Yellow Warbler and Nashville Warbler. Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and Baltimore Orioles are to be expected, and last winter an Ash-throated Flycatcher and Bell's Vireo turned up. A Black-headed Gull is present most years, too, usually seen near one of the culverts that pass under the road. Side trips on the way back to the beach may include a stop at Stumpy Point Bay and Alligator River NWR. Note: Saturday's trip will not have access to the Lake Landing closed area but most of the wildlife drive and the causeway will be open. The “peninsula” will be open after 1:00 PM.
- Trip 13 - Pocosin Lakes NWR
- Pocosin Lakes is famous for huge flocks of Snow Geese in winter. We will search through the white feathers for Cackling Geese, Ross's Geese, and Greater White-fronted Geese. We will also study the blackbird flocks with hopes of spotting a Yellow-headed Blackbird. Overhead, we'll keep an eye out for Golden Eagles—this is one of the most reliable spots in the state for these awesome birds. Other possibilities include other waterfowl and farm field and edge species, such as sparrows, pipits and Horned Larks. Lots and lots of territory to cover on this trip with potential side trips on the way back.
- Trip 14 - Hatteras Point, Hatteras Island, Pea Island Trip 14 is full
- Local guides will rendezvous with the CBC party at the lighthouse parking lot. In four-wheel drive vehicles the convoy will cover the Point Campground, the Salt Pond and the beach. We will sort through the gull flocks in search of Thayer's, Iceland, Glaucous and California Gulls. Lesser Black-backed Gulls should be common. Peregrine Falcon is often seen out here as well. We will scan the ocean for loons, grebes, scoters and other water birds, hoping for alcids or other rarities. Last winter an adult male Common Eider was seen here at the point! Black-headed and Little Gull are also possibilities. The salt pond usually hosts good populations of birds; Eared Grebe is seen here occasionally. Snow Buntings and Horned Larks are also a possibility, and a Sprague's Pipit was seen here once, not far from the salt pond. We recommend packing a lunch for this trip. Your leader will plan some side trips on the way back depending on what has been seen that morning at points north. Please write “4WD” on the upper right corner of your registration form if you have a four wheel drive vehicle and are willing to take passengers.
- Trip 20 - Oregon Inlet/North Pond Trip 20 is full
- Start with a visit to the Oregon Inlet groin and old Coast Guard station followed by the local favorite birding spot—North Pond. Remember to check out the salt flats on the north end of North Pond. (See descriptions for trip 1 - North Pond and trip 5 - Oregon Inlet)
- Trip 21 - Nags Head Ocean Watch Trip 21 is full
- A scope is essential for this trip to scan the Atlantic for the winter birds that feast on the bounty of the ocean. Your leader will select some premium locations from which to watch the action.
- Trip 23 - The first ever CBC Round Up!
Basic rules (that may well be adjusted before the
- Four person teams are made up of different levels of birding ability
- Teams are made up by the CBC meeting planner and the chief judge
- Each team may use only one vehicle
- A “shotgun” start means the team picks where they begin
- The start time is 1:30 PM
- The CBC Daily Field Check List will be used as a scorecard
- One point per species per birder on the team, four points if all team members make the sighting. All members of the team have to turn in their card to the chief judge at or before 5:00 PM
- Any ties will be broken by how early the card was turned in
- Speeding tickets or citations for entering a restricted area are grounds for disqualification
- No score cards accepted after 5:00 PM
- Level 1: Recognizes most/all species in all plumages (breeding, winter, juvenile). Can identify chip notes and calls as well as songs. Knows species' habitat and behavior. Is familiar with the various venues in the target area and often leads field trips.
- Level 2: Knows breeding and winter plumage of most species and can identify some juveniles. Can identify songs and most calls. Knows the habitat of most species and the more unique behaviors. Occasionally leads field trips.
- Level 3: Knows breeding plumage of most species and can usually identify birds in non-breeding plumage with the help of a field guide. Has a general familiarity with the habitat of bird families (gulls, terns, waterfowl, warblers, woodpeckers, etc). Finds the bird's behavior not often helpful in identification.
- Level 4: Still developing basic identification skills. Less experienced at identification of coastal birds. Enthusiastic, if not highly skilled, birder.