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Birds of Hatteras and Dutch Gap

Some non-gallery-worthy but interesting bird photos from Hatteras, plus one from Dutch Gap in Virginia.

These are Forster's Terns, a very common sight in the Outer Banks, caught at an interesting moment. If it were late summer, and they weren't both in adult plumage, I'd say it was a parent feeding a fledgling. But this time of year it must be courtship. Perhaps it's a sort of role-playing, with the male showing off what a good provider he can be!

Dunlin (back left) and Semipalmated Sandpiper foraging in close company. Dunlins are common winter-resident sandpipers in the Outer Banks; the Semipalmated is just passing through.

A flock of Sanderlings. These birds can be found in large flocks on seashores in winter and migration, feeding on mole crabs and other denizens of the surf edge.

Prothonotary Warbler, a unique swamp-dwelling, hole-nesting, beady-eyed, intensely golden warbler. Alas, we don't have any in Ottawa--we're a little too far north. They are abundant at Dutch Gap. Their natural nest site would be a woodpecker hole in an old dead tree in a swamp, but increasingly they use manmade bird boxes built over water. I'm still waiting to get a photo that truly does justice to this beautiful bird.

Virginia HighlightsVirginia/Carolina Triplist


May 15th, 2013 at 9:34 am
Good pix... but the Sanderlings shot is really striking.

May 15th, 2013 at 9:39 am
Awesome! I think you must have a high bar indeed for the gallery if these aren't worthy. I especially like #4.