Let’s Get Back To It!

Well, that was quite a blogging break I took, but now I am ready to rock and roll. There will be some big changes in the coming months, both in my life as well as here at Two Talons Up. More on that another day. Sheree and I took an unplanned trip down to Pine Knoll Shores, North Carolina, mostly for some nice beach R&R and to introduce our new pup, Izzy, to the ocean, but as luck would have it, there were some birds around as well. We stayed at The Atlantis, an awesome classic beach motel that caters to dogs, and their owners.

Ring-billed Gull

With spring migration still a few weeks off, I enjoyed taking time to just hang out with the gulls, Willets and assortment of over-wintering birds.

I completed only one eBird checklist, a 3-mile walk at Fort Macon State Park. Best bird there was an Orange-crowned Warbler.

The beach was populated with lots of Ring-billed Gulls, Forster’s Terns, a few Laughing Gulls, Willets and Sanderlings. On and over the water we spotted Red-throated Loons, Northern Gannets, Brown Pelicans, Horned Grebes and a few Herring Gulls.

On the motel property, mostly around the feeders, we watched Starlings and Red-winged Blackbirds gorge themselves while Cardinals, Mourning Dove, House Sparrow, Tufted Titmouse and Carolina Chickadee waited their turn.

Another Ring-billed Gull.

Information abut the nature trail at Fort Macon State Park

Location: North end of the Fort area parking lot & Northeast corner of the Beach Access parking lotDescription:

The Elliott Coues Nature Trail is a new hiking trail that connects the Fort area with the Swim Beach area. It stretches approximately 3.2 miles round trip and travels along the marsh, through the maritime forest, and through the sand dunes. The trail can be accessed both at the Fort parking lot or the Beach Access parking lot. Park visitors are reminded that these two parking lots have separate closing times and these times change throughout the year based on the month, so please be mindful of your time if you start your hike later in the afternoon.Point of Interest:Length:
3.20 miles
Round TripDifficulty:
Yellow Circle

Most refer to this area as Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, or the Emerald Coast. The only area I birded on this trip was Pine Knoll Shores (the beach), and Fort Macon Sate Park.

March is a great time to observe birds molting over to breeding plumage.

Forster’s Tern coming into breeding plumage

Laughing Gulls coming into breeding plumage

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