Other Wildlife at OBX

 

I do have a passion for birds, but I also love and enjoy photographing all wildlife, great and small.

Here’s some of what I’ve happened upon during my walks at Pea Island NWR and along Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

 

 

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Grasshopper

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Moon Jellyfish

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Cannonball Jellyfish

 

If you missed my post on another jellyfish, Blue Buttons, click here, they were gorgeous!

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Gulf Fritillary

 

 

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Gulf Fritillary

 

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Black Racer

 

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Black Racer

 

As I headed to an observation deck at Pea Island NWR, a female White-tailed deer came out of the brush.  She stayed ahead of me, walking a little, then stopping to see where I was.  I followed, and stopped when she did.

I felt like I was playing the children’s game, “Red Light, Green Light”!  😅

 

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“Red Light”

 

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“Green Light”

 

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“Red Light”

 

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“Green Light”

 

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“Red Light”

 

We continued our game, all the way to the observation deck.

Okay, now I’m wondering if she’s going to walk up on the deck.  🤔

 

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White-tailed Deer & Pea Island Observation Deck

 

I wasn’t sure what to do.  She waited there several minutes and then turned to her left and started walking away.  I continued to and up on the observation deck and saw her heading away, with a glance back at me several times.

 

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“Goodbye”

 

I’ve never been escorted to an observation deck by a deer before!  😊

 

“Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way.” — John Muir

 

Little Bigger Birdies

 

The last post was the little birdies.  This post is sharing birdies a little bigger.  🙂

 

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Belted Kingfisher

 

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Gray Catbird

 

I’ve only captured one Eastern Meadowlark once before, one photo.  So this was a treat to capture several photos with two, then a bit later one of them in flight.

 

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Eastern Meadowlarks

 

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Eastern Meadowlark

 

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Eastern Meadowlark in flight

 

And finally, another special treat, having a Northern Flicker posing beautifully for me shortly after sunrise.  He spoiled me with wonderful photos. 

 

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Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted male)

 

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Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted male)

 

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Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted male)

 

If you’re not familiar with this woodpecker and wondered ‘where’s the yellow’, the next photo gives you a peek at the yellow under his tail.

 

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Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted male)

 

Once in flight, the Northern Flicker shares his fabulous yellow!

 

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Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted male) in flight

 

There are two races of Northern Flickers in North America:  the yellow-shafted shared above that lives in the eastern half, and the red-shafted of the western half.  I’ve never seen the red-shafted, I bet that blaze of red in flight is stunning too!

 

Little Birdies

 

My next few posts will be done in category groupings with lots of photos so I can ‘catch up’ on sharing the beauty of the birds along Cape Hatteras National Seashore during their October migration to or through here.

Let’s start with the little birdies…..those that stayed still long enough to allow me a photograph or two.  😉  

 

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Swamp Sparrow (new lifer #212 💃)

 

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Savannah Sparrow

 

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House Sparrow (actually a year-round resident)

 

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Blackburnian Warbler (new lifer #213 💃)

 

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Blackburnian Warbler

 

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Palm Warbler (Western female)

 

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Palm Warbler (Western female)

 

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Yellow-rumped Warbler

 

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Carolina Chickadee (another year-round resident)

 

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Brown Creeper

 

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Brown Creeper

 

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Red-breasted Nuthatch

 

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American Redstart (female)

 

Thank you, HJ (Avian101), for your assistance in confirming my two new lifers and the Palm Warbler (Western)!!

 

Boat-tailed Grackles

 

Boat-tailed Grackles are a coastal grackle species, found along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and all of Florida. 

They are noisy scavengers.  I’ve had to chase a small flock from our campsite a few times (sending them on to someone else’s hehe).

 

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Boat-tailed Grackles (males)

 

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Boat-tailed Grackle (male)

 

The females are half the size of the males and more shy, usually staying out of sight. 

 

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Boat-tailed Grackle (female)

 

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Boat-tailed Grackle (male) chomping on a seed

 

For the males, eye color ranges from bright yellow along the Atlantic Coast to a dull brown along the western Gulf Coast.

 

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Boat-tailed Grackle (male)

 

 

Blue Buttons

The remnants of Hurricane Delta blew across us and out to the Atlantic Ocean Sunday/Sunday night, with rain and 20-25 mph winds. 

Walking the beach the next day, I saw something unusual wash up on the beach in front of me.

 

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Blue Button
(white center is approx. one inch across)

 

And then another one washed up, even prettier……

 

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Blue Button 
(white center is approx. one inch across)

 

A few more waves and they were gone, washed back out to sea.  Aren’t they gorgeous?

I had never these before and researched to ID them and learn some info.

The Blue Button is not a jellyfish but actually a species of siphonophore, a group of animals that are closely related to jellyfish.  (A Portuguese Man O’ War is another siphonophore.)

A Blue Button is also known as a Blue Button Jelly, Disc Hydroid, Stinger, or Stinging Bluebottle.

Blue Buttons are found near the surface drifting in tropical and subtropical waters far out in the oceans, propelled by winds and ocean currents.  During bad weather, they can be blown ashore.  (That be Delta’s fault!) 

A Blue Button is almost flat, with stinging strands of hydroid surrounding it’s white disc.  Each strand has little branchlets off it that fatally stings its prey.  To humans, they do not give a powerful sting, but more of an irritation. 

 

 

Two Plover Species

 

This post I’m sharing photographs of two plovers.

The first three photos are of Black-bellied Plovers. 

 

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Black-bellied Plover looking at you (while a Willet refuses to)

 

Black-bellied Plovers are the largest and heaviest of the North American plovers.  They are also the hardiest, breeding farthest north, all the way to the very top of the world. 

After breeding season is over, the Black-bellied Plovers we see migrate down through Canada and the U.S. to their wintering grounds in the Caribbean and northern South America.

These here have already flown thousands of miles and still have a ways to go!

 

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Black-bellied Plovers

 

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Black-bellied Plovers

 

The next two photos are of another more familiar plover, the Killdeer.

 

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Killdeer

 

Killdeer are found across much of the U.S. and Canada.  Killdeer are graceful plovers common to lawns, golf courses, athletic fields, and parking lots. 

 

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Killdeer

 

A secret!  I photographed the above Killdeer standing in a puddle of water in a marina parking lot.  😉

 

Northern Parula Finds A Caterpillar

 

All alone, slowly walking….I could hear a tap..tap..tap..tap.  What is that?

I narrowed it down to the lower part of a bush, peering in with my lens. 

Perched on a branch, a female Northern Parula was in possession of a tasty meal and  slapping it back and forth against the branch.  I couldn’t believe I heard that.

Here’s a six-photo sequence of the action before my battery stopped.

 

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Northern Parula (female)

 

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Giving my battery time to catch up, I missed the ‘down the hatch’ shot, but here are my final two with the caterpillar all but gone.

 

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“Caterpillar All But Gone”

 

 

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“Aaaack”  or “Buuurp”

 

And just as quick, she was done and took flight to find another!

 

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A Gallery Of Birds

Here’s a selection of eight more bird species captured in recent days at Pea Island NWR.

 

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White Pelicans

 

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Great Blue Heron

 

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Red-winged Blackbird (male)

 

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Northern Cardinals (male & female)

 

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Canada Goose

 

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Yellow-rumped Warbler

 

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American Wigeons

 

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Northern Mockingbird

 

 

More to come……  🙂 

 

A Couple of Warblers

A couple of warbler species that I spotted right in our campground, and one is another new lifer for me! 

Welcome to my bird lifer list, #211 the Black-throated Blue Warbler!  This is a female, and she is a beauty.

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Black-throated Blue Warbler (female)

The Black-throated Blue Warbler breeds in eastern Canada, the upper northeast United States and down through the Appalachian Mountains, then migrates to the Caribbean for the winter. 

The next warbler is the Yellow Warbler.  I’m sharing three photos of several I watched foraging the bushes.  They are either females and/or immatures.  I didn’t see any adult males. 

Yellow Warblers (females and/or immatures)

 

Yellow Warblers are long distant migrants.  They breed across central and northern North America and spend winters in Central America and northern South America.

These two species are on their way to their winter grounds!

Red-breasted Nuthatch

A common nuthatch, the Red-breasted Nuthatch is a short-distant migrant.  Their northernmost populations migrate south each year within the United States, but many populations may not migrate at all. 

Those Red-breasted Nuthatches that do migrate, leave as early as July and may reach their southernmost point by September or October. 

 

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Red-breasted Nuthatch

 

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Red-breasted Nuthatch

 

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Red-breasted Nuthatch

 

These were taken during the evening’s golden hour at Pea Island NWR.

 

 

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