This is Bill, again.
I usually go to the beach to walk, look for shells, watch for dolphins and generally enjoy the beauty of it. This past Sunday, Lida and i enjoyed a time at South Beach with Peter Vankevich and Carol and Tom Pahl who all know their birds.
I could already tell a sea gull from sandpiper and a pelican from a dolphin, but with their help I learned to distinguish between a Black-bellied plover and a Ruddy Turnstone. I was shown the difference between Herring gulls, Great and Lesser Black-backed gulls (check out the color of the legs!), the Laughing gull and the Ring-billed gull (check out their bills).
We saw thousands of cormorants flying over and hundreds of Brown Pelican hanging out on the flats.
What a treat this was! It was a warm, sunny day with just a whisper of wind. And we got to see several dolphins swimming by. Now I have another reason to head to the beach: to practice my fledgling birding skills.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a transcript of a letter written in 1949 by a visitor to the island. You can read the letter (which provides a glimpse into Ocracoke life sixty years ago) here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102509.htm.