North Carolina county #59 Fort Fisher State Recreation Area
On Monday morning I went to Fort Fisher State Recreation Area in New Hanover County. This park has the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Cape Fear River on the other, and no development other than buildings to enhance the park, such as a Visitor Center, Aquarium, boardwalks, etc.
I was there early and walked the Basin Trail which goes a little over a mile to an overlook. The trail is interesting as it goes through some brushy trees, along boardwalks, and through sandy wide open areas.
After the crowds near the beach the day before, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I guess this was far enough out of the way because I only saw a couple of people. The trail was very enjoyable, and the weather was nice. The birds were everywhere often with very good views. I took a lot of photos and managed two life birds on this trip – American Oystercatcher and Glossy Ibis. The Ibis was a good distance away, but the Oystercatchers were not as shy and I watched them for some time.
I thought they were a very attractive bird, if somewhat odd-looking with those large orange bills. Several Oystercatchers congregated in pools near Laughing Gulls and a Willet, and nearby were many White Ibises. I was also looking for and found, a few Painted Buntings.
An amazingly colorful bird, I was happy to be able to grab a photo of one.
I got several yearly firsts on this trip and would have stayed here all day if I didn’t have other places to visit. I would definitely like to come back some day. This was one of my favorite stops of the year.