Field and Swamp: Animals and Their Habitats

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Archived-by-Date Pages

Carolina Lake (unless otherwise specified), New Hanover County, NC

Carolina Lake, in the southern part of Carolina Beach near the main drag, is a gathering place of a wonderful variety of migrating birds in the winter.  For directions, see this live map.


Snowy Egret Female Ruddy Duck Bufflehead pair and scaup pair Bear Grass  

Same Bufflehead and scaup pairs        


Female White-winged Scoter Same female White-winged Scoter      


Common Starling Same Common Starling Tricolored Heron Same Tricolored Heron Same Tricolored Heron, in new location

White Ibis White-winged Scoter American Coot American Coots Double-crested Cormorant with a Ring-billed Gull



Male Bufflehead and juvie Red-breasted Merganser Female Red-breasted Merganser and male Bufflehead Same female Red-breasted Merganser and male Bufflehead    


Red-breasted Merganser Almost full moon Pied-billed Grebe Another Pied-billed Grebe  

In Town  12/23/18

Hurricane Alley's mural Gulls Rock Doves Ruddy Turnstone Town square


Willet Woodstock in the Christmas exhibit      

Atlantic Ocean  12/22/18

Sanderling Willet Sunrise    


Female Bufflehead Male Bufflehead American Coot and mystery duck Female Red-breasted Merganser Two juvie? mergansers


Snowy Egret Same Snowy Egret Another Snowy Egret Tricolored Heron White Ibis Same White Ibis


Belted Kingfisher      


Female Bufflehead Male Eastern Bluebird Full Moon Juvie Little Blue Heron Mallards eating feed left by resident, proof positive that they're the most intelligent duck species!


Pied-Billed Grebe Nonbreeding Male Ruddy Duck Female Ruddy Duck Tricolored Heron  


White Ibis Sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean Snowy Egret standing barriers used in lake dredging process Dogday cicada exuvia Post-mating Common Green Darner pair


Post-mating Common Green Darner pair Male Common Green Darner in flight      

Carolina Beach in town  9/27/17

Gulf Fritillary Another Gulf Fritillary Long-tailed Skipper Another Long-tailed Skipper Yet another Long-tailed Skipper


Snowy Egret "dancing" Same Snowy Egret      


Snowy Egret Same Snowy Egret, in flight Snowy Egret crouching Great Egret taking off Four-spotted Pennant

Atlantic Ocean  9/25/17

Willet Same Willet in foamy water Same Willet Same Willet Ruddy Turnstone w/ prey


Sanderling Wild Poinsettia or Fire on the Mountain (Euphorbia cyathophorbia), in town      



Atlantic Ocean 10/20/14

Willet with Sand Flea (Emerita genus) prey Same Willet, which shows tearing and joint dislocation injury. Maybe caught in a fishing line? Wave showing unusual pattern    


White Ibis Male Mallard Natural abstract art    


Four-spotted Pennant Passionflower Sagittaria genus Blue Swede  


Cloudless Sulphur Bottlebrush flower Firewheel Grass  

Subadult House Sparrow Sea Oats Tread Softly Yellowbelly Slider  


Virgin's Bower Carolina Lake Rambur's Forktail Palm fruits  


Rock Doves and Boat-tailed Grackles Lesser Scaups (both male and female) and a female Bufflehead      


Crested Peking Duck (Anas platyrhynchos domestica),  introduced from China        


View on sunrise from the downtown area


Bonaparte's Gull        


Carolina Beach: looking at approaching thunderclouds  


Black Skimmer, Carolina Lake, at 5:48 PM  Black Skimmers Eurasian Collared Dove    


Mallard family with frisky duckling, apparently out of control, Carolina Lake  Common Starling Eurasian Collared Dove Female Red-winged Blackbird, Carolina Lake  


This day was cloudy and cloud cover was light in the afternoon.  The lake was partially drained, creating artificial mudflats that the birds took full advantage of.

Male Wood Duck in breeding plumage Juvenile Brown Pelican American Coot Killdeer in flight Killdeer


Male Mallard Female Mallard Male Northern Shoveler Female Northern Shoveler  
White Ibis, which has a muddy bill Great Egret Lesser Yellowlegs        


It was already getting cloudy.

Non-breeding Pied-billed Grebe Great Egret This might be a female Redhead.    


The heavy rains caused flooding.  Despite a pump used to drain water from the lake, much grass was under water.

American Toad Bullfrog Tricolored Heron Male Red-winged Blackbird

Atlantic Ocean

Sanderling Willet Male Boat-tailed Grackle in Cabbage Palm at Carolina Lake Sanderlings flying    

In an undeveloped field

Wild Poinsettia (Euphorbia heterophylla), one of many in a patch


Tricolored Heron        

In town 3/9/10

Ground Beetle (Gnaphosa genus).  The presence of wings is a mystery, maybe the remains of prey. Purple Dead-nettle    

Carolina Beach Marina 3/9/09

This Brown Pelican came in for a landing, keeping an eye on me the whole time.  OK, the last picture was of a different pelican...  This was an ideal place for pelicans to catch fish, because the fish were confused by the dead end that the marina created.




Here are some more Brown Pelican pictures:



Double-crested Cormorant        


Male Mallards: Note how the angle of light makes their heads look purple instead of the usual green Pied-bill Grebe American Coot Lesser Scaup Long-legged flies (Hydrophorus genus), which raced in rapid circles on the water before landing on this mass of algae.


Common Starling (formerly known as the European Starling).  This bird actually showed up a few blocks away from Carolina Lake. Northern Mockingbird, a few blocks from Carolina Lake


This series of pictures shows what seems to be a decision-making process among some ducks (a male Mallard, a Blue Swede, and two white domestic breed ducks), with the passive participation of a Swan Goose.  The mallard and the Blue Swede seemed to be a mated pair.

The original plan seemed to be to march east.  The ducks are quacking together. This really looks like a discussion, but note that the Chinese Goose seems to be left out. Final checking for agreement?


All marching west, with the mallard in the lead. More marching Finally, the Chinese Goose falls to the rear, emitting pitiful-sounding wails.    


Mallard duckling Unusual male Mallard.  One Mallard family Another Mallard family  


Male Boat-tailed Grackle Rock Dove      


Breeding female Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) American Coot.  See those big feet! Blue Swede    


Redhead (Athya americana), male in breeding plumage Male Boat-tailed Grackle Nonbreeding adult Common Starlings    


Copyright © 2005-2019 Dorothy E. Pugh

Map of Carolina Lake

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