North Carolina Pelagics & Pineywoods

  1. 2018
    Wednesday, June 6, 2018 to Wednesday, June 13, 2018
    Tour Duration: 
    8 days
    Tour Price:
     $3,675 CAD, $2,750 USD
    Single Supplement:
     $695 CAD, $520 USD
    Tour Starts/Ends: 
    Norfolk, Virginia
    Guide: 
    Number of Persons Limit: 
    12
Highlights
  • An incredible opportunity to observe deep-sea pelagic birds and mammals not normally seen from shore like petrels, shearwaters, jaegers and pilot whales.
  • Breeding terns, shorebirds and waders along the barrier islands of the Carolinas. 
  • To see the successful efforts of the conservation work of the Pineylands and observe the critically endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker.
  • A chance to see southeastern breeding bird specialties like Swainson’s Warbler, Painted Bunting, Brown-headed Nuthatch and Bachman’s Sparrow. 
Overview

A short but bird-filled run to the Southeast US, this tour is centered around two days of pelagic birding in search of seabirds like Black-capped Petrel, Great, Cory’s and Audubon’s Shearwaters, Wilson’s and Band-rumped Storm-Petrels, Long-tailed and Pomarine Jaegers, South Polar Skua, and Bridled and Arctic Terns and good chances for other rarities. Marine mammals like Short-finned Pilot Whales, Atlantic Spotted Dolphins and Bottlenose Dolphins are also regularly observed on these pelagic trips. 

We then head to the Pineywoods of the coastal plain for a couple of days of birding targeting the highly endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker, as well as more common species like Brown-headed Nuthatch, Prairie and Yellow-throated Warblers and Bachman’s Sparrows. Other southeast specialties to track down include Swainson’s, Worm-eating, Kentucky and Prothonotary Warblers, Acadian Flycatchers, Blue Grosbeak and Painted Bunting. We will also take some time to bird the coast looking at shorebirds, terns and waders like Wilson’s Plover, American Oystercatcher and Least Terns. 

 

Itinerary View Short Itinerary

Day 1: Norfolk, Virginia
Arrival in Norfolk, Virginia. We will meet that evening at the hotel for a meet and greet over dinner. Night in Norfolk, Virginia.

Day 2: Outer Banks
After breakfast we will make the 3 hour drive to Hatteras, birding the coast of the Outer Banks along the way at locations like Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge and Cape Hatteras National Seashore. We’ll settle into our hotel in the late afternoon, and after dinner, turn in early due to the early meet time on the docks the next morning. Night in Hatteras.

Day 3: Pelagic
The first of our two back-to-back pelagic trips! We will be getting up early to head to the boat dock for a 5:15 meeting time. We will head out on the Stormy Petrel II and be on the ocean all day, getting back in around 5-6pm. We will likely see a good selection of seabirds with Black-capped Petrel, Cory’s and Audubon’s Shearwaters, Wilson’s and Band-rumped Storm-Petrels, Long-tailed and Pomarine Jaegers, and Bridled and Arctic Terns all likely to be encountered. Truly rare species are encountered with quite some regularity with birds like Trinadade and Fea’s Petrels, South Polar Skua, tropicbirds and Brown and Masked Booby! We’ll head for dinner afterwards and head back to the hotel to rest up for a second day of pelagic goodness! Night in Hatteras.

Day 4: Pelagic
We will head back out to the ocean for round two of our deep water adventure. Being that conditions can change from day to day, it’s certainly possible that we’ll see a striking different selection of seabirds and other ocean creatures. Marine mammals like Short-finned Pilot Whales, Atlantic Spotted Dolphins and Bottlenose Dolphins are also regularly observed on these pelagic trips. Again we’ll return to the docks by 5-6pm and go out for dinner. Night in Hatteras.

Day 5: Drive to Morehead City
We’ll have a leisurely start to our day and then leave Hatteras via a car ferry to head down to Morehead City. We should have some good opportunities to see near-shore animals like Sandwich and Royal Terns, Brown Pelicans and Bottlenose Dolphins from the ferry. It will be a couple hours each of driving and on the ferry, but we will do some coastal birding before and after the journey. We’ll turn in a touch early tonight as the next morning will be another early day. Night in Morehead City.

Day 6: Pineywoods
We’ll be rising early to head out to the Croatan National Forest to spend the day in the beautiful Pineywoods looking for southeast goodies like Red-cocked Woodpecker, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Bachman’s Sparrow and Swainson’s Warblers. Other species we’ll try to locate include Worm-eating, Kentucky and Prothonotary Warblers, Acadian Flycatchers, Blue Grosbeak and Painted Bunting. If we are feeling so inclined, we may try for some night birds like Eastern Screech Owls and Chuck-wills Widow. Night in Morehead City.

Day 7: Fort Macon State Park
For our final day of the tour, we will bird Fort Macon State Park in the morning and spend the afternoon driving back to Norfolk, Virginia for a final dinner/tour wrap-up. Night in Norfolk.

Day 8: Departure
Our North Carolina Pelagics & Pineywoods birding tour concludes today. You can depart for fights home anytime today.

 

Map
Featured Wildlife