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North Carolina

24th October 1987 - 1st November 1987. 

24th October.

The next stage of a BBC sound recording trip with Dave Tombs, previous days see here. We arrived in Manteo on Roanoke Island yesterday, our aim was to record the birds and atmospheres of the Outer Banks, especially the gulls. New species for me will be in bold.

From our hotel in Manteo we drove east to the Outer Banks and south to Pea Island where we saw 2 American Kestrels, Caspian, Royal and Forster's Terns, gulls with lots of Laughing Gulls, Canada Geese, Pintail, Semipalmated Plovers, Least and Western Sandpipers, American Coot, Grey Plovers, Brown Pelicans, Black Ducks, Snowy Egrets, an Osprey, 3 Common Flickers, Grey Catbirds, Myrtle Warblers, Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Fish Crows, Boat-tailed Grackles, 3 Sharp-shinned Hawks, an Eastern Towhee, Double-crested Cormorants, 2 Northern Harriers, Mourning Doves, 9 adult and 4 immature White Ibises, 10 Pond Sliders also called Yellow-bellied Turtle, 3 Little Blue Herons, 7 Short-billed Dowitchers, Greater Yellowlegs, 3 Tricoloured Herons, 2 Palm Warblers, Ruddy Ducks, a Seaside Sparrow, Pied-billed Grebes, American Wigeon, 3 Belted Kingfishers, Diamondback Turtles, 2 Dark-eyed Juncos, c20 Snow Geese, a Ruby-crowned and a Golden-crowned Kinglet, a White-crowned Sparrow, Sanderling and 6 Eastern Willets, recently split.

On the way back we stopped at Nags Head Woods seeing 3 Wood Ducks, Magnolia Warblers, Fish Crows, 3 Red-bellied Woodpeckers and a Brown Thrasher.

Brown Pelican 07a, Carolina, 10_87.jpg
White Ibis 05a, Carolina, 24-10-87.jpg
White Ibis 06a, Carolina, 24-10-87.jpg
Willet 01a, Carolina, 10_87.jpg
Willet 02a, Carolina, 10_87.jpg

Brown Pelicans, immature and adult White Ibis, Eastern Willets.

25th October.

A very wet day, we made a brief visit to Nags Head Woods and between showers saw Blue Jays, Fish Crows, 2 Wood Ducks, Eastern Grey Squirrels, Myrtle Warblers, a Red-bellied Woodpecker and 3 Pileated Woodpeckers. We returned to the hotel, then later went to Elizabethan Gardens on Roanoke Island seeing a Carolina Wren, Magnolia Warblers and a Green Anole.

26th October.

A much better day and we returned to Pea Island, where we saw 20 Tundra Swans, American Coot, Canada and Snow Geese, Pintail, American Wigeon, Gadwall, Black Ducks, Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, a Northern Harrier, Fish Crows, 5 Tricoloured Herons, 9 White Ibises, Great and Snowy Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Sanderling, Grey Plovers, Semipalmated Plovers, Greater Yellowlegs, Brown Pelicans, 4 Belted Kingfishers, 3 Sharp-shinned Hawks, several species of gulls, Royal Terns, Forster's Terns, Double-crested Cormorants, Least and Western Sandpipers, c200 Eastern Willets, 10 Short-billed Dowitchers, a Little Blue Heron, 3 River Otters, Pied-billed Grebes, a Night Heron, an Eastern Meadowlark, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet and 2 American Robins.

Later, we continued south to Cape Hatteras where there were lots of gulls mainly Laughing and Ring-billed Gulls, a Pectoral Sandpiper, 3 Wilson's Snipe, 3 Eastern Meadowlarks, a Northern Mockingbird, 3 American Kestrels and a Northern Harrier.

Photos: Right: Tricoloured Heron.

Below: Dave at Cape Hatteras and Laughing Gulls.

Laughing Gull.

Ring-billed Gull.

Dave 06a, on beach, Ocracoke Is, North C
Laughing Gull 06a, Carolina,
Ring-billed Gull 04a, Carolina, 31-10-87

27th October.

We left Roanoke Island and drove south to Fairfield for a 3 night stay, on the way, north of Fairfield, we saw 70 American Black Vultures, 2 Belted Kingfishers, Mourning Doves, 2 Red-tailed Hawks, 2 Turkey Vultures and 3 American Kestrels.

Later, we visited Lake Mattamuskeet our new recording location. We only had time to view a small part of the lake seeing Tree Swallows, an Osprey, 3 Great Blue Herons, 2 Great Egrets, Northern Cardinals, a Northern Mockingbird, Myrtle Warblers, Common Grackles, a White-tailed Deer, a Coypu, 2 Belted Kingfishers, 2 Common Flickers, Canada Geese, a Muskrat, Southern Leopard Frogs and an Upland Chorus Frog.

Lake Mattamuskeet. 

28th October.

All day at Lake Mattamuskeet where there are a great variety of habitats, we saw an Osprey, Boat-tailed Grackles, c500 American Wigeon, Canada Geese, 2000+ Snow Geese, Tundra Swans, Pintail, Northern Cardinals, 3 Caspian Terns, Great Egrets, a Bald Eagle, Black Ducks, Swamp Sparrows, 4 Belted Kingfishers, Pied-billed Grebes, 3 Eastern Phoebes, Great Blue Herons, a Northern Mockingbird, Wood Ducks, a Red-tailed Hawk, 3 Red-bellied Woodpeckers, 4 American Kestrels, Common Flickers, a Turkey Vulture, Red-winged Blackbirds, a Hairy Woodpecker, American Crows, a Cooper's Hawk, Tree Swallows, a Coypu, a Common Yellowthroat, 5 Moorhens and a Northern Harrier.

29th October.

Another full day around Lake Mattamuskeet, seeing Tree Swallows, Carolina Wrens, Common Grackles, Boat-tailed Grackles, Common Flickers, Northern Mockingbirds, 2 Bald Eagles, 4 Northern Harriers, Mourning Doves, 5 Red-tailed Hawks, Canada and Snow Geese, Myrtle Warblers, Carolina Chickadees, Pintail, American Coot, 2 Turkey Vultures, Song Sparrows, 2 Palm Warblers, a Prairie Warbler, Great Blue Herons, Tundra Swans, Pied-billed Grebes, American Wigeon, Canvasbacks, Mallards, 2 Belted Kingfishers, 2 Red-shouldered Hawks, 5 American Kestrels, Northern Cardinals, Great Egrets, a Common Yellowthroat, Grey Catbirds, a Downy Woodpecker, c12 Bobwhites, 4 Wilson's Snipe, a Great Yellowlegs, an Eastern Meadowlark, a Sharp-shinned Hawk, c35 Caspian Terns and White-throated Sparrows.

Environs of Lake Mattamuskeet. 

30th October.

An early morning around Lake Mattamuskeet, seeing much the same as previous days, also 3 River Otters, 2 Pileated Woodpeckers, 2 Red-bellied Woodpeckers and 2 Brown-headed Nuthatches.

Later, we drove back to the hotel in Manteo on Roanoke Island, then a drive to Pea Island and on to Hatteras Island, seeing Snow Geese, c500 Brown Pelicans, c200 Forster's Terns, 3 Royal Terns, 2 Caspian Terns, lots of gulls, herons and ibises including an American Bittern standing near reeds at the side of the road.

Then we took the ferry to Ocracoke Island and on a brief drive around saw Fish Crows, lots of gulls and several Sanderling.

American Bittern 01a, Carolina, 30-10-87




Top right: Royal Tern.

Above: American Bittern.

31st October.

We returned to Ocracoke Island where we spent the day, seeing lots of Fish Crows, Double-crested Cormorants, Laughing and Ring-billed Gulls. Also Myrtle Warblers, Northern Mockingbirds, Carolina Wrens, 4 Northern Harriers, a Great Northern Diver, 3 Common Flickers, Grey Catbirds, a Cooper's Hawk, 7 Cattle Egrets, Brown Pelicans, 2 Tricoloured Herons, 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2 Eastern Meadowlarks, c30 White Ibises, 2 Seaside Sparrows, Sanderling, Royal Terns, a Purple Sandpiper, 2 American Bitterns, a Peregrine, a Goshawk, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, 4 American Kestrels, a Snowy Egret, 2 Caspian Terns, Forster's Terns, 3 Great Blue Herons, a Pied-billed Grebe, an Osprey, 2 Belted Kingfishers, 3 Wilson's Snipe, 10 Night Herons and we heard 2 Clapper Rails.


Right: Laughing Gull.

Below: Ring-billed and Laughing Gull.

Bottom: Immature and adult White Ibis.

Ring-billed Gull 03a, Carolina, 31-10-87
White Ibis 08a, Carolina, 24-10-87.jpg

1st November.

Another day on Ocracoke Island, where we saw much the same as yesterday, including c20 White Ibises, 2 Tricoloured Herons, Seaside Sparrows, a Little Blue Heron, an Eastern Willet and 2 Scaup.

We also watched 2 Northern Mockingbirds fighting, but in a very ritualistic way, a dispute over winter territory?

2nd November.

We drove to Charlotte Airport, where Dave caught a flight back to the UK, and, I took a flight to New York, then a flight to Ithaca in New York State to stay with friend and fellow sound recordist Greg Budney.








New York State.

Tricolored Heron 04a, Carolina, 24-10-87
Laughing Gull 05a, Carolina,
Laughing Gull 07aa, Carolina, 31-10-87.j
Ring-billed Gull 05a, Carolina, 31-10-87
North Carolina 10a, Lake Mattamuskeet, 1
North Carolina 05a, Lake Mattamuskeet, 1
Royal Tern 01a, Carolina, 30-10-87.jpg
American Bittern 02a, Carolina, 30-10-87
Laughing Gull 10a, Carolina,
Laughing Gull 09a, Carolina,
White Ibis 04b, Carolina, 24-10-87.jpg
White Ibis 07b, Carolina, 24-10-87.jpg

White Ibis.

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