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Field and Swamp: Animals and Their Habitats

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Carolina Beach in town (mostly Carolina Lake), New Hanover County, NC

Carolina Lake, in the southern part of Carolina Beach near the main drag, is a gathering place of a wonderful variety of migrating birds in the winter.  For directions, see this live map.



Atlantic coast 10/20/14

Willet with Sand Flea (Emerita genus) prey Same Willet, which shows tearing and joint dislocation injury. Maybe caught in a fishing line? Wave showing unusual pattern    


White Ibis Male Mallard Natural abstract art    


Rock Doves and Boat-tailed Grackles Lesser Scaups (both male and female) and a female Bufflehead      
Crested Peking Duck (Anas platyrhynchos domestica),  introduced from China        

View on sunrise from the downtown area


Bonaparte's Gull        

Carolina Beach: looking at approaching thunderclouds  

Carolina Lake  5/23/11

Black Skimmer, Carolina Lake, at 5:48 PM  Black Skimmers Eurasian Collared Dove    

Carolina Lake  5/22/11

Mallard family with frisky duckling, apparently out of control, Carolina Lake  Common Starling Eurasian Collared Dove Female Red-winged Blackbird, Carolina Lake  

Carolina Lake 1/18/11

This day was cloudy and cloud cover was light in the afternoon.  The lake was partially drained, creating artificial mudflats that the birds took full advantage of.

Male Wood Duck in breeding plumage Juvenile Brown Pelican American Coot Killdeer in flight Killdeer


Male Mallard Female Mallard Male Northern Shoveler Female Northern Shoveler  
White Ibis, which has a muddy bill Great Egret Lesser Yellowlegs        

Carolina Lake 1/16/11

It was already getting cloudy.

Non-breeding Pied-billed Grebe Great Egret This might be a female Redhead.    


At Carolina Lake

The heavy rains caused flooding.  Despite a pump used to drain water from the lake, much grass was under water.

American Toad Bullfrog Tricolored Heron Male Red-winged Blackbird

At the beach

Sanderling Willet Male Boat-tailed Grackle in Cabbage Palm at Carolina Lake Sanderlings flying    

In an undeveloped field

Wild Poinsettia (Euphorbia heterophylla), one of many in a patch


Carolina Lake 5/14/10

Tricolored Heron        

In town 3/9/10

Ground Beetle (Gnaphosa genus).  The presence of wings is a mystery, maybe the remains of prey. Purple Dead-nettle    

Carolina Beach Marina 3/9/09

This Brown Pelican came in for a landing, keeping an eye on me the whole time.  OK, the last picture was of a different pelican...  This was an ideal place for pelicans to catch fish, because the fish were confused by the dead end that the marina created.




Here are some more Brown Pelican pictures:



Double-crested Cormorant        

Carolina Lake 3/9/09

Male Mallards: Note how the angle of light makes their heads look purple instead of the usual green Pied-bill Grebe American Coot Lesser Scaup Long-legged flies (Hydrophorus genus), which raced in rapid circles on the water before landing on this mass of algae.


Common Starling (formerly known as the European Starling).  This bird actually showed up a few blocks away from Carolina Lake. Northern Mockingbird, a few blocks from Carolina Lake

Carolina Lake 6/25/08

This series of pictures shows what seems to be a decision-making process among some ducks (a male Mallard, a Blue Swede, and two white domestic breed ducks), with the passive participation of a Swan Goose.  The mallard and the Blue Swede seemed to be a mated pair.

The original plan seemed to be to march east.  The ducks are quacking together. This really looks like a discussion, but note that the Chinese Goose seems to be left out. Final checking for agreement?


All marching west, with the mallard in the lead. More marching Finally, the Chinese Goose falls to the rear, emitting pitiful-sounding wails.    

Lots of Mallard families: the males seem to drop out of the picture, which is probably best considering their coloring (in contrast to the situation with geese).

Mallard duckling Unusual male Mallard.  One Mallard family Another Mallard family  

Two very good-looking birds often taken for granted

Male Boat-tailed Grackle Rock Dove      

Carolina Lake 1/6/08

Breeding female Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) American Coot.  See those big feet! Blue Swede    

Carolina Lake 1/5/08

Redhead (Athya americana), male in breeding plumage Male Boat-tailed Grackle Nonbreeding adult Common Starlings    


Copyright © 2005-2011 Dorothy E. Pugh

Map of Carolina Lake, Carolina Beach State Park

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