NC Birding Trail – Coastal NC
In these days of North Carolina’s waning summer, the first glimpse of birds already in migration to their wintering grounds have birders from around the State taking notice and visiting their favorite birding sites from the coast to the mountains. With over 47 million Americans participating in wildlife watching, according to the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s latest survey, North Carolina has a rich diversity of locations to attract both birds and birders.
The coast and our low water inland lakes with extensive mudflats are hosting shorebirds such as Baird’s Sandpiper and Black-bellied Plover en route to their wintering grounds in Central and South America. More startling are the vibrant colors of the Yellow Warbler, American Redstart, the spectacular orange and black Baltimore Oriole, and other songbirds that have been spotted early this migration season – some destined for North Carolina with others merely passing through to lands beyond. The birding community is abuzz with excitement and anticipation as they travel across the State to see these migrants.
The over-wintering Rufous Hummingbird has made a return appearance at the coast as we say good-by to our summer Ruby-throated Hummingbirds until next year. The massive numbers of wintering waterfowl are yet to arrive at such locations as Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge and Lake Mattamuskeet, adding to the anticipation of what lies ahead.
The NC Birding Trail – Coastal Plain Trail Guide will help birders locate those out of the way spots for exploration and discovery of returning species this winter. The Piedmont and Mountain Trail Guide on-line information is now available. These sites provide additional locations for birders to visit as the Trail moves across North Carolina.
From the regular birds of winter to that rare vagrant, each season seems to bring the discovery of an uncommon species by a dedicated birder, as North Carolina continues to be a destination for birders from around the State, the US and beyond.
Visit the NC Birding trail web site for information, upcoming events or to order your copy of the NC Birding Trail – Coastal Plain Trail Guide.
Birding Refuges In Coastal NC:
Map of Refuges
Cape Hatteras National Seashore – Hatteras, NC
Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge – Swan Quarter, NC
Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge – Knotts Island, NC
Mattamuskeet and Swan Quarter National Wildlife Refuges – Swan Quarter, NC
Pocosin National Wildlife Refuge – Creswell, NC
Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge – Windsor, NC
courtesy of Lena Galliatano, NC Birding Trail
added: December 28, 2008
updated: July 27, 2009
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