Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge & Hatteras Seashore, NC

We love going down to Hatteras. It’s only about a two hour drive.  A beautiful place to visit – even in the off-season! We have such a blast seeing all the birds and four-wheelin’ on the beach!  The weather was a bit cloudy and very windy with a few stray showers… Pretty much normal for this time of year. The sun did peek out a few times, which was so nice! We visited Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge and Hatteras National Seashore on Saturday and Sunday and Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge on our way home Sunday. We decided to take a different route in hopes of seeing a bear or an alligator! We didn’t see either this time. DARN IT!

Very Angry Atlantic Ocean

Saturday was a windy overcast day. We stopped at Pea Island to check the birds. We knew we weren’t going to stay long the first day because it was just way too windy, too cold and too cloudy! I managed to snag a few pictures of birds I’ve never photographed before!

Green-winged Teals

Northern Pintail

I also saw a White Ibis! I was so excited! I had never seen one before!

White Ibis coming in for landing

AND American Avocets!

Our first day  on the National Seashore we wanted to go on the Ocracoke Ferry. We were five minutes late catching the four o’clock ferry. The voyage is about an hour and it would have been dark by the time we got back….we really needed to get a hotel. The ferry is right across the street from the Southern most beach access on the National Seashore so we went four-wheeling.

Sea of Seagulls

Once we got to the “tip” of Hatteras Island, there was about 50,000 seagulls…All different kinds! It was a sight! We also spotted three White tails playing in the dunes

White Tailed Deer Checking The Area

Dunlin and tattered sand bag

As always there were several fisherman on the “tip” It’s so neat to watch them tackle the huge waves and have a good ol’ time casting out, praying for that record breaker catch! But this day there was a beggar… going from truck to truck to see what he could get thrown to him.

Beach Beggar

Handsome Brown Pelican ready for take off!

We got out of the jeep for a bit and looked for sand dollars, Whelk shells, and Moon snails. While walking, we spotted a oystercatcher. I just love their bright beaks and they are really interesting to watch in action! I also snapped a quick shot of the Hatteras light.

American Oystercatcher
Hatteras Lighthouse

We stayed in an amazing hotel Called “Breakwater Inn” I’m not into hotels that have too much. But this hotel was just right. We had an amazing view of the sound and the sunset…. Also a restaurant, a grocery store less than 30 seconds up the road and it was very clean!! Great Prices and Great off-season rates!

The next morning when we woke up we decided to do some more four-wheeling on the beach and slowly make our way to back to Pea Island so I could catch the birds while the sun was out. Another storm was on the way…Once we made it to Pea Island, there must have been 30,000 or more Tundra Swans. They were literally everywhere!!

Tundra Swans Preening

I saw more Ibis. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was to see these little guys… I didn’t realize they were up this way!

L to R: Blue Heron, Great Egret, & Two Ibis (one’s on a nest!)

We saw Tons of coots, Northern Shovelers, and Black Ducks. It was fun watching the coots play! While walking the trail we caught some Ruddy Ducks catching a light snooze ;)

Ruddy Ducks Sleeping

I have never seen a Tricolored Heron. Nor did I ever expect I would see one. Anyways, I happened to be looking for Black Stilts and I spotted this guy! Score!

Tricolored Heron

We took a different route home, and headed towards Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. It’s a really neat place for birders as well. Except this is a drive through refuge, rather than trail only. We saw tons of Tundra Swans, Northern Pintails, Northern Shovelers, and lots of tree swallows. I love this place, and can’t wait till the season starts so I can explore it deeper. We only skimmed the park a little, because we were on our way home and didn’t want to get home too late. We had an amazing Weekend as always! Support your local National Wildlife Refuges and National/State Parks by visiting OFTEN!! They need you!

Greater Yellowlegs

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge & Hatteras Seashore, NC

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s