North Carolina county #58 Sunset Beach
My next stop was Sunset Beach in Brunswick County. The hotspot details looked good and the website for the North Carolina Birding Trail had detailed information on how to explore the island around the beach. One of the reasons I picked this weekend was that school was not out until next weekend and I figured it was afternoon on Sunday so people should be heading home. I was wrong.
I actually was not able to even get a parking spot near the main beach entrance, and the place was packed. I didn’t let that stop me though and the NC Birding Trail directions, while out of date in some places, did lead me to other good spots for birding that were not busy.
One of the nice things about the beach is the great lighting, and I was able to get a few nice photos of birds. The Brown Pelicans in particular gave me a show as they passed low overhead in small groups.
No matter how many times I see them, I always stop to take a look at these Sand Fiddler Crabs, which are often in groups of thousands.
I saw Sanderling and several gull species and heard a Clapper Rail nearby. I even saw some Wood Storks which ebird had marked as unusual for this time of year. This is a good spot on the birding trail but probably would be better before the crowds show up. Still, the coast is always enjoyable to spend time at and I was satisfied as I left for Wilmington to spend the night.