Friday, October 7, 2011

Birdwatching on the Masonboro Sound

This morning I drove up to Wrightsville Beach to take a birding tour of the intercoastal waters given by the Cape Fear Naturalist. The nice thing about going on vacation in October is that tour groups tend to be really small. In fact, this one was so small there was another tourist, the boat captain, the tour biologist and myself.

I wasn't sure that I could get anything decent in the way of a snapshot as the pontoon boat was rocking and rolling in the swells and wakes and I just have a bridge camera, not a DSLR with all the options and gadgets.

But a lot of the pictures turned out well. Here is a close up of the terns on the sandbar above:

The ones with the black heads are Caspian Terns and the ones with the wedge of gray are Royal Terns (along with a scattering of gulls).

And what happens when you get too close to a sandbar and set everyone off:

Brown Pelicans, Royal and Caspian Terns (in the air), Common Terns, Black Skimmers (the ones with black wings), and gulls of some type.

It was a terrific adventure and made me wish for Swarovski binoculars and a DSLR with a huge telephoto lens.


frayedattheedge said...

I love the last photo, with the smaller birds flying up into the air, but the pelicans looking quite unconcerned!

Karen said...

Anne: The pelicans finally decided three minutes later to take off too. I have some pictures of that, but they are quite blurry as at that moment the boat was hit by another boat's wake.