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Field and Swamp: Animals and Their Habitats

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Ocracoke Island, Hyde County, NC

Ocracoke Island is mostly park land (the Cape Hatteras National Seashore), but the town of Ocracoke has a lot of interesting wildlife, especially in its new Springer's Point Nature Preserve.  See live map.

Prickly Pears and a Scallop shell.

 

Ocracoke (beach), Hyde County, NC 4/23/16

   
Non-breeding, molting Black-bellied Plover Sanderling Willet    

Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC 4/23/16

 
Male Northern Cardinal Carpet Beetle House Sparrow gathering nesting material from cattails Male Red-winged Blackbird in cedar tree  

Springer's Point Nature Preserve, Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC 4/22/16

   
Beach Male Red-winged Blackbird Yellow-rumped Warbler    

Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC 4/22/16

Banner Birdfoot Trefoil Birdfoot Trefoil with some faded (fertilized?) flowers Evening Primrose Houses across the marsh

 

     
Mite, 1-2 mm long Blue-eyed Grass      

Ocracoke (beach), Hyde County, NC 4/21/16

Double-crested Cormorant Another Double-crested Cormorant Mostly gulls on a sand bar Tricolored Heron Same Tricolored Heron

 

       
Tricolored Heron and crow        

Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC 4/21/16

Barn Swallow Barn Swallows Blue Jay Brown Pelican Chive

 

Big house on the marsh Pink Wood-Sorrel Common Starling Common Toadflax Yellow-rumped Warbler

Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC 4/20/16

Birdfoot Trefoil in the middle of the day Birdfoot Trefoil in the early morning Male Northern Cardinal Eurasian Collared Dove Another Eurasian Collared Dove

 

Great Egret, with green patch indicating breeding status Mallard duckling without a family A drainage ditch in the big marsh on the south end Sunrise Tricolored Heron flying past the pier

 

     
Yellowlegs Same yellowlegs      

Ocracoke (beach scenes were at north end of the island), Hyde County, NC 4/19/16

Crow Egg cases Eurasian Collared Dove Small Ghost Crab Left at tombstone in the town cemetery

 

House Sparrow Another House Sparoow Osprey aircraft flying low over the marsh Another view of the Osprey aircraft Palamedes butterfly

 

       
Interesting street sign        

Ocracoke (halfway up the island), Hyde County, NC 4/18/16

 
Small Ghost Crab Blue-eyed Grass Grackle (nature trail) Palamedes Swallowtail (nature trail)  

Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC 4/18/16

Barn Swallow Beach Female Northern Cardinal at Springer's Point Nature Preserve Eurasian Collared Dove Another Eurasian Collared Dove

 

Grackle Gulls in a cedar tree Hen Male House Finch Same male House Finch

 

Male House Finch Male Mallard, possibly hybrid w/ American Black Duck Mourning Dove Palamedes Swallowtail Rooster

 

   
Common Starling Sunrise Yellow-rumped Warbler in breeding plumage    

Pamlico Sound, Hyde County, NC 4/17/16

Swan Quarter Swan Quarter Herring Gull Gull Common Loon taking off

 

Herring Gull An island Laughing Gull Herring Gull Herring Gull

 

Juvenile Herring Full Herring Gulls Herring Gulls Several Herring Gulls that apparently dove for the same object Many Herring Gulls following the ferry's wake

 

   
Juvenile Herring Gull Cormorants and gulls on Big Foot Island, which was created by dredging ferry channels Double-crest Cormorant    

4/19/15 (shortly before dawn)

   
Squirrel Treefrog? This one was much bigger than the one on the right.  But this is a very variable species. Squirrel Treefrog    

4/18/15

 
Willet Sanderlings and a gull Sanderlings Ghost Crab Feral cat.  Not seen at the beach, but put here for convenience.  

Springer's Point Nature Preserve,  4/17/15

     
Great Crested Flycatcher Snake      

4/17/15

   
Palamedes Swallowtail American Oystercatchers Horned Grebes    

   
Grackle reacting to cat Feral cat eating grass Crane flies mating    

4/15/15

     
Sixteen Mallard ducklings Karl at Herons Landing Female Rambur's Forktail, seen at Nature Trail outside of town Two Green Anoles apparently battling for territory; one was biting the other. Green Anole      

         
Tiny caterpillar, seen at Nature Trail Male Red-winged Blackbird          

4/14/15

Male House Sparrow American Mink (Neovison vison) Same mink Same mink Same mink

White Ibis Shield-backed bug Mallards Green Heron Eurasian Collared Dove

4/13/15

 
Blue-eyed Grass Common Shore Tiger Beetle Cormorants and Royal Terns Willet  

 5/24/12

 
Red Knot flying Two Red Knots Black-bellied Plover Sanderling  

Eurasian Collared Dove Black-bellied Plover Firewheels Bee fly at bee nest White-topped Sedge

5/23/12

Eastern Beach Tiger Beetle (Cicindela dorsalis).  The genus name may have recently been changed. Marbled Godwit Marbled Godwit and Sanderling Same Marbled Godwit and Sanderling Firewheels, in a small patch on a dune

5/23/12

A feral dog barking at me The same dog barking at my husband Bird's-foot Trefoil Mallard bathing in a large puddle left by a big storm Bear Grass

 
The south end Violet Wood Sorrel (perhaps a member of the same species  as Pink Wood Sorrel: maybe lighting accounts for the slight difference in color) White-topped Sedge Brown-headed Cowbirds  

5/13/09

     
Male Fiddler Crab, trying to intimidate me Same crab, looking intimidated by my much taller husband. Narrowleaf Blue-eyed Grass      

Springer's Point Nature Preserve, Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC  5/12/09

   
Ladybug Beetle (Cycloneda mundi) Blue-tipped Dancer.  See other damselflies. Little Wood Satyr (ventral) Little Wood Satyr (dorsal)    

North end of the island, NC 5/12/09

   
Salt Marsh Skipper Salt Marsh Skipper, ventral view Robber fly    

5/11/09

       
Milkweed Assassin Bug (Zelus longipes)        

May 13-16, 2007

Cattle Egret, Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/16/07 Male Brown-headed Cowbird, Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/16/07 Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus), Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/15/07 Male Red-winged Blackbird, Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/15/07.  These birds can control how much of the red portion of their wings shows. Fish Crow, Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/15/07

 

White Ibises, Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/15/07.  Note the grayish juvenile. White Ibises, Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/15/07 White Ibises, Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/15/07 Juvenile Brown Pelican,  Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/14/07 Probably hybrid goose (Greylag/Canada Goose), Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/14/07

 

Snowy Egret, Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/14/07 Royal Tern, Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/14/07 European Starling, Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/14/07 Barn Swallow, Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/14/07

May 9-11, 2006

Sachem, 5/9/06 Juniper Hairstreak, 5/10/06 Salt Marsh Skipper, 5/10/06.  See more grass skippers. Little Wood Satyr, 5/11/06 Stilt-legged Fly, 5/11/06

 

Ghost Crab, 5/11/06.  See more crustaceans. Brackish-water Fiddler Crab, 5/11/06

Land Birds

Great Crested Flycatcher (Myarchus crinitus), Town of Ocracoke, 5/15/05. Male European Starling, Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/9/06 Fish Crow, Ocracoke, 5/9/06 Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica), Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/19/05 Male Red-winged Blackbird, Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/9/06

Geese

Canada Goose and Greylag Goose  interspecies mating is suggested by some of these scenes.   I first saw this interspecies couple in 2003 and last saw what may have been them in 2005, when they mostly sat around. 

In May 2006, I saw no Greylag Geese and all of the Canada Geese were youthful and energetic.   They and the apparent hybrids pictured below, perhaps the offspring of the original couple, stayed together in a group, but no coupling was apparent.  There were four apparent hybrids in all, and about the same number of Canada Geese.

Goose family, town of Ocracoke, NC, 5/12/03.  Definitely not a typical Canada Goose (Branta Canadensis) family here!  The other adult is a Greylag Goose.  I counted 8 goslings, one of which seems to be facing toward me.  (Canada Goose goslings are tawny.) A little over two years later (town of Ocracoke, 5/18/05), I spotted what appears to be this odd couple again.  They stayed on land this time, mostly sitting or eating grass, and I saw them on several different days in the same general area.  I didn't see them in May 2006.

 

Apparent Canada Goose/Greylag Goose hybrid, maybe the offspring of the couple on the left, Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/18/05.  This goose and its Canada Goose companion hung around with the goose couple in the picture on the left in the evenings. The goose on the right (also pictured at left) hung around with this Canada Goose, doing some swimming and some flying.  The last time I saw them, they had spotted something interesting in Silver Lake and were flying toward it, honking wildly.  Note the contrast between the Canada Goose on the left and the apparent hybrid on the right.  Even though goslings had appeared in Ocracoke in mid-May of 2003, none of any species showed up this time anywhere on Ocracoke Island. Apparently a Canada Goose/Greylag Goose hybrid.  Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/10/06 Canada Goose, Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/10/06

Others

Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), town of Ocracoke, 5/19/05.   As its name suggests, this heron is mainly nocturnal. Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor), Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/10/06 Tricolored Heron, Ocracoke, 5/10/06 Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis), Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/10/06

 

Royal Tern (Sterna maxima), in breeding plumage, Ocracoke Island, Hyde County, NC, in flight, 5/9/06 Royal Terns (in breeding plumage), Ocracoke Island, Hyde County, NC, perhaps greeting the Hatteras Ferry, 5/9/06. Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola), Ocracoke Island, 5/16/05 (breeding plumage).

 

Juvenile Sanderling (Calidris alba), Ocracoke, 5/9/04.  A kind of sandpiper. Dunlin (Calidris alpina), Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/10/06.  Breeding plumage. Ruddy Turnstones (Atenaria interpres), in breeding plumage, Ocracoke Island, 5/16/05.  These migratory birds summer in northern Canada. Ruddy Turnstone, also in breeding plumage Ocracoke Island, 5/16/05.

 

Willet (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus), Ocracoke, 5/10/06 Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularia), Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/10/06 Greater Yellowlegs, Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/10/06

 

American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus), Ocracoke Island (north shore), 5/9/04.  American Oystercatcher, Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/10/06

 

American Coot (Fulica americana), Ocracoke Island, Hyde County, NC, 5/19/05. 

 

Female Common Green Darner (Anax junius), Ocracoke Island, 5/17/05

 

Another adult Laughing Gull, Ocracoke, 5/14/04.

Live Map of the town of Ocracoke (expandable)


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© 2006-2012 Dorothy E. Pugh