North Carolina county #70 Neuse River Recreation Area
Craven County was easy, since I camped in the location I planned to bird – Neuse River Recreation Area. This is part of Croatan National Forest and the specific campground I stayed in was Flanners Beach Campground. You can see my Cricket trailer below. This was only the second time I’ve used it and so far it is a lot of fun.
Neuse River Recreation Area has some nice trails around it and also a really nice beach on the mouth of the Neuse River. I had meant to bring a monopod or tripod to try out some beach photos but forgot, but most of the photos came out OK anyway.
I had to take this one quick since after about two minutes clouds covered the moon and it never did return.
Typically when I do these trips, I schedule no more than three locations in a day. This time, my plan was to cover my camping location in the last morning before I left. However, I was so exhausted from the heat, walking, and early start that day that I fell asleep as soon as I got back to the camper. When I woke I still had a couple of hours of light so figured I would cover the location that evening instead.
The only miscalculation was that I had to go back and make dinner for myself, which I didn’t want to do in the dark, so I ended up having to skip the sunset.
The bird activity was pretty good for a while, and I spotted two more Summer Tanagers, along with some Red-headed Woodpeckers, a Northern Flicker, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, and several White-breasted Nuthatches. There were some gulls or terns in the far distance but I couldn’t make them out because I didn’t bring my big binoculars (and still don’t have a spotting scope). There were several Ospreys nearby catching fish and I managed to get a few photos of one.
For birding, this was a good coastal forest location with nice trails and beach access. I could see coming back here with the kids for some beach fun – the waves were very mild and from watching some fishermen I could see that the water depth increased extremely gradually.
I had one more county to cover on this trip but my update for it will probably not come for a few days.