Sunday, April 26, 2015

Ocracoke Island, Part 1

Ocracoke Island is the southernmost island in Cape Hatteras National Seashore. To get there from the south, you take the ferry from Cedar Island. We waited in line in a misty rain.
Thistle and I visited Nan for the 2 hour ride because she had a better view. It was too windy and cold to ride outside.
 When we landed we headed directly to our National Park campground.
We tried to select sites in the lee of the wind.
Since it stopped raining, Thistle and I set out to explore the campground. We started with the Hammock Hills Nature Trail across from the campground entrance. We learned that rabbits are about the largest mammal on the island.
 Part of the trail is boardwalk over wetlands.
 We saw a pair of Great Egrets and a pair of Snowy Egrets.
 This was a great find…a Scarlet Tanager…male.
 Had to take two pics of that colorful bird.
Part of the trail goes through a small forest. There are no deer here because there is not enough of this type of habitat to support them. 
 The trail leads to the salt marshes on the western (inland) side of the island.
 Thistle was really enjoying the hike and the cool weather.
 Another kind of thistle was beginning to bloom.
 After the trail hike we headed over the dunes to the beach on the Atlantic side.
 Looking back at our RVs from the top of the dunes.
It was still windy and the waves were amazing!
 These people were surf fishing.
 Pelicans were skimming the waves back and forth.

 Many shore birds were scurrying around enjoying whatever the waves stirred up for them.

 These might be Red Knots, a kind of Sandpiper…new one to me.
 There was a dead shark washed up on the beach.
Wilson's Plover, I think.
 Dogs are allowed on the beach here, and I haven't seen Thistle this excited in awhile. He went to the end of his leash and ran circles around me.
 Willets working the surf.

 Willet in flight.
 It was a great day to be on the beach…for the birds, the people, and the dogs. Well, maybe not so nice for the shark.
Tomorrow we will drive into the town of Ocracoke and check out the lighthouse and some other things.

1 comment:

  1. Looks a bit cool there still. Great pictures, especially the ones with the red bird.....magnificent!


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