Birds of the Outer Banks: A Birding Guide

The Outer Banks is recognized nationally as one of the best birding locations on the East Coast. It is one of the many stops along the Atlantic Flyway, a well-known bird migration route. The OBX offers many trails to watch birds in their natural habitat as they stop along the shores of the Outer Banks. 

Bird watching has become a popular pastime on the Outer Banks for locals and visitors alike. It is so prevalent that a week-long annual birdwatching festival is held in the OBX every year. When you stay with Joe Lamb Jr, you can see what birding on the Outer Banks is all about. Spot birds you never would have thought you would have seen in your lifetime!

Birds of the Outer Banks

There are hundreds of different bird species that migrate above the coastal waters of the Outer Banks. Here are some types of birds you will encounter here on the OBX.

  • American Avocets-this shorebird is noticeable by its white and black plumage and upturned beak. They can often be spotted sweeping through the shallow waters as they search for food. They tend to visit the OBX year-round, especially during the breeding season.
  • American Black Duck-this bird is typically found among a mix of other waterfowl but can be easily spotted by the yellow bills of the males, the greenish bills of the females, and their shy personalities.
  • American Kestrels-also known as North America’s smallest falcon, the Kestrel can typically be found on the OBX during the fall migration and in the winter. It is noticeable due to its colorful appearance. The males can be spotted with their blue heads, red backs, and tails. The females are apparent by their red wings, backs, and tails. Look at natural perches as these birds can be seen feeding from a high spot.
An American Kestrel peering down inquisitively
An American Kestrel peering down inquisitively
  • American Oystercatchers-just as the name implies, the Oystercatcher can be found along the shore or on salt marshes, feeding on various oysters, mussels, or clams. These birds can be characterized by their colorful bills.
  • American Wigeons-this commonly found duck can be differentiated from most ducks by its small bill and by the white-colored forehead of the males. These birds can be found from October to April and can be seen feeding on small aquatic plants.
A flock of American Wigeons on the Outer Banks taking off into the air.
A flock of American Wigeons on the Outer Banks taking off into the air.
  • Black-bellied Plovers-this is a large Plover bird found in North America. Typically seen during the winter and the spring and fall migration, you can find this bird on grassy lawns and mudflats. They are characterized by their black and white breeding plumage and gray and white plumage during the rest of the year.
  • Brown Pelican-this is one of the most commonly seen birds on the Outer Banks. These large water birds are characterized by their large bills, dark body, and throat pouch which they use to typically scoop up small fish and crustaceans. Spot these birds gliding along the surf or in a squad, rising and falling with the waves.
A pair of Brown Pelicans floating in the waters of the Outer Banks.
A pair of Brown Pelicans floating in the waters of the Outer Banks.
  • Canada Goose-Canada geese are large water birds that can be seen flying around the OBX in a V-formation. These “honkers” migrate through the area yearly, characterized by their long necks, brown bodies, and white chinstrap.
  • Canvasbacks-this waterfowl can be differentiated from other ducks just by their long and sloping profile. Males are characterized by a red head, white body, and black crest.
  • Double-crested Cormorant-this large waterbird is known for its small head sitting on top of a kinked neck, hooked bills, and dark bodies.
  • Eastern Willet-these birds are a famous sight in the Outer Banks. They can be identified by their long bill, gray legs, and stunning white striped wings. They tend to frequent the mudflats or hang around shallow water where they constantly probe for food.
  • Eurasian Wigeons-these birds can be a rare sight in the Outer Banks. You can typically find them flying in a flock of American Wigeons. They are characterized by their rust-colored heads. They frequent the Outer Banks from October to late March.
  • Great Blue Heron-This large bird can typically be found wading through shallow water, scanning for prey. With a large wingspan, these birds can be spotted year-round on the Outer Banks, though not typically during the breeding season.
A Great Blue Heron, standing majestically as it watches its surroundings.
A Great Blue Heron, standing majestically as it watches its surroundings.
  • Great Egret-this large bird is distinguishable thanks to its sizable white body, yellow bill, and black legs. Typically, bird watchers can find this bird stalking the shores in a Heron-like fashion.
  • Gray Plover-don’t let the small size of this shorebird fool you. They are feisty and resilient little birds. This bird is characterized by its gray to grayish brown plumage. During the breeding season, a dark neck band will appear, though it will appear incomplete on females.
  • Laughing Gull-this is one of the most common gulls you can find in the Outer Banks. These birds are characterized by their white and gray bodies and loud and raucous calls.
A Laughing Gull prowling the shoreline of the Outer Banks.
A Laughing Gull prowling the shoreline of the Outer Banks.
  • Killdeer-this bird is a member of the plover family. They can be seen year-round near parking lots, campgrounds, or flats in the Outer Banks.
  • Mallard-this common duck is characterized by the male’s trademark green heads, black tail curls, and gray flanks. On the other hand, the females can be identified by their brown with orange plumage and black bills.
  • Northern Gannets-this exciting bird find can be found thanks to their black wingtips. They can often be seen diving into the ocean in large groups of over a hundred or more birds. 
  • Northern Harrier-this slender hawk is characterized by their owlish appearance. They have a v-shaped wingspan and long tail feathers. Males are identifiable due to their gray and white feathers, while females are classified by the brown plumage.
  • Northern Pintail-this is another common duck found in the Outer Banks. It is a medium-sized “puddle” duck, identified due to its long, thin neck. The “pin” tail is long in males.
  • Osprey-the Osprey is a raptor known to feed on live fish and for grabbing its prey by plunging directly into the water. These birds are characterized by their white bellies, black beaks, and “crooked-winged” flight.
A beautiful Osprey in flight over the Outer Banks.
A beautiful Osprey in flight over the Outer Banks.
  • Peregrine Falcon-another raptor found in the Outer Banks. It is one of the fastest flying birds alive. During the fall migration, you can find these birds characterized by their striped underbellies and dark heads.
  • Snowy Egret-this bird is noticeable because of its crazy head of feathers. They are characterized by their heron-like behavior and large snow-white bodies. You can catch them in shallow bays or tide pools where they can pursue fish.
  • Yellow-Rumped Warbler-this bird is known as the most common warbler in North America. They are easily identifiable by their bright yellow patch of feathers right above the tail, yellow streaks on their breast, and a yellow crown during the spring.
A small Yellow Rumped Warbler enjoying the warm weather on its perch.
A small Yellow Rumped Warbler enjoying the warm weather on its perch.
  • White Ibis-this bird is a definite must-see for all birdwatchers or visitors of the OBX. It is a medium-sized wading bird classified by its red face, red legs, red bill, and prominent black tips along the wings.

Birdwatching OBX FAQs

What is the best season for birdwatching?

What month is best for bird watching on the OBX? It depends on the migration paths of birds. Typically, the best time to go birding in the Outer Banks is March because this is when the spring migration officially kicks off. However, any month or season can be a great time to see birds as they make the OBX their home.

Best birdwatching locations on the Outer Banks?

Where is the best place to watch birds on the Outer Banks? Several spots along the OBX allow you to break out the binoculars and watch these migrating birds without disturbing them.

North Carolina Birding Trail

This comprehensive network of trails spans the state, from the mountains to the coast. There are many sites on the Outer Banks which have been recognized as portions of the birding trail, and many bird watchers consider these areas to be the best spots to find flocking birds.

  • The Elizabethan Gardens
  • Roanoke Island Marsh Game Land
  • Jockey’s Ridge State Park
  • Bodie Island Lighthouse
  • Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
  • Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore
  • Currituck National Wildlife Refuge
  • Duck Town Boardwalk
  • Kitty Hawk Woods
  • Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve

The Outer Banks is home to thousands of different species of birds passing through on their way to migrate south. With plenty of marshland and hundreds of miles of sandy shores, there are plenty of locations you and the family can stake out and watch the Outer Banks’ most popular feathered visitors in their natural beauty.


Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates is one of the most trusted vacation rental managers in the local area by growing into a market leader in the Vacation Rental and Sales Industry. Joe Lamb Jr. and his family have played a vital and intricate role in the Outer Banks Community for decades.

Over the past 50+ years, Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates have worked diligently to help promote the Outer Banks for the amazing beach and family vacation destination that it is, helping to increase tourism in the area and grow our beautiful community.

Fishing Honey Holes Along The OBX

– A Joe Lamb Jr. Blog Series

Welcome back to the third and final installment of our Outer Banks fishing blog series. Our first post of the series displayed the most popular types of fishing in the OBX while the second post focused on popular fish that you can catch here in the Outer Banks

Planning for memories to last a lifetime can be done at any of the following locations.

We are smack dab in the thick of the fishing season here in the Outer Banks. With the right insight and a little luck, you will be reeling in some monster fish in no time! So dream big and travel far!

Some of the Best Surf Fishing Spots in the OBX

A fisherman is silhouetted by a sunset on a beach in North Carolina as he gets a rod ready to cast out. Birds can be seen flying in the background

What are some of the most plentiful surf fishing areas?

On the Outer Banks, many people enjoy going surf fishing. It’s a fun activity, especially in the fall when the fishing is excellent and the ocean and air are both cooling off, making a day at the beach even more enjoyable. Where do you even begin when there are miles and miles of beach on which to cast your line? Here’s a rundown of some of the most well-known surf fishing spots along the Outer Banks.

Hatteras Inlet

Hatteras Inlet’s northern end requires a 4WD vehicle. Alternatively, you can park at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum parking lot and walk 2 miles north to the beach. Take the ferry to get to the other side of the island. Summer ferries run every 30 minutes, from 5:00 a.m. to midnight, with each ferry holding 30-60 vehicles; off-season ferries run every hour. The trip takes about 40 minutes and follows the coastline of Hatteras Island before heading out into the open inlet waters. 

You can park near the ferry docks and walk to the beach, or you can drive to the 4WD beach access ramp down the road from the ferry docks. Before driving on the beach in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, make sure you have a beach driving permit and a fishing license that are both still current.

Cape Point

Cape Point is a well-known surf fishing spot on the Outer Banks. North and South facing beaches are formed as a result of land jutting into the Atlantic Ocean and curving sharply back towards the shore at the Point. There are two powerful ocean currents that meet off Cape Point: The Labrador and the Gulf Streams. To get to the Point, you’ll need a four-wheel-drive vehicle and a beach driving permit, or you can walk from the public access point.

During peak times, Cape Point can be overrun with anglers vying for prime casting spots. Don’t trespass on anyone’s fishing territory, but don’t be shy about striking up a conversation either. Many of the local fishermen have been coming to Cape Point for decades and are happy to share a fish story or two, or even a few tips, with a newcomer.

Oregon Inlet

Oregon Inlet is the most visited inlet on the Outer Banks, and for good reason: it has an abundance of fishing spots. The sandy beach stretches from the oceanside to the sound side on the northern beach, and 4WD vehicles are authorized with a permit. It’s a great spot for surf fishing. In the inlet, the beach turns into a seawall and the soundside has a small sandy beach access. The southern beach is excellent for surf fishing. The southern side is better for fishermen who want to park their car and walk to the beach, while the northern side is better for anglers who want to drive out to the beach.

You don’t have to go to one of these places to have a productive surf fishing trip. Almost anywhere on our beaches is a good place to try your luck with the fishing rod. If you’re not a fan of surf fishing, try throwing a line in from one of the Outer Banks’ many piers instead. There are plenty of types of fishing for you to explore in the OBX! 

Some of the Best Sound Fishing Spots in the OBX

View of the Sound at sunset looking west

Where are the best fishing spots soundside?

When it comes to Outer Banks fishing, fall is prime time. However, fishing in the ocean isn’t for everyone, so we asked some local fishermen about great spots to fish in the sounds. Here are a few of the best-kept secrets in the Outer Banks. When fish find a spot with plenty of bait they stay there.

South Side of Oregon Inlet

It’s a great place to take kids and you can go fishing in the ocean-like waters. There’s parking and a short trail to a shallow lagoon or small bay right next to the Bonner Bridge on the south side. The bay is a great place for kids to learn how to fish because it is sheltered.

Whalehead Club Boat Basin

This is a safe place with a few surprises. Flounder have been caught in the basin, which is strange considering that the water is primarily fresh. Also, keep an eye out for largemouth bass. It’s a wonderful location for families with children.

Roanoke Island, South of Washington Baum Bridge Boat Ramp

NC Marine Fisheries built a dock at the end of the ramp, and locals swear by it. There are a lot of Rockfish and Spot in the water.

See You Soon in the OBX

The Outer Banks are unmatched by any other vacation destination, especially for Outdoor Junkies. Snag huge Bluefish, Stripers, and more from the beach. Paddle around the sound side of the islands to keep an eye out for big Red Drum, delicious Flounder, and other marine life. Add a rich fishing history and beautiful surroundings to the mix, you’ve found the ideal fishing spot.

Are you thinking of going fishing on the Outer Banks? Finding the new trails and roads less traveled is always exciting, so try a few of these spots and venture out to find some honey holes in the OBX on your own!

Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates is one of the most trusted vacation rental managers in the local area by growing into a market leader in the Vacation Rental and Sales Industry. Joe Lamb Jr. and his family have played a vital and intricate role in the Outer Banks Community for decades. 

Over the past 50+ years, Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates have worked diligently to help promote the Outer Banks for the amazing beach and family vacation destination that it is, helping to increase tourism in the area and grow our beautiful community.

Popular Fish Found Along The OBX Coastline

A Joe Lamb Jr. Blog Series –

Welcome back to our Outer Banks fishing blog series. During this second post of the three blog post series, we’ll be looking at different fish species, popular in the OBX area. Be sure to check back next month to find out how we wrap up the world of OBX fishing for our outdoor enthusiasts with some awesome local spots to throw a line in! 

Where two large currents meet, a variety of fish species thrive. To be honest, the waters off of Outer Bank, NC, rank as one of the world’s most productive fishing regions.

There are many ways to fish on the Outer Banks, but last month we broke down the 4 most popular Types of Fishing in the area. 

Are you ready to find out what types of fish you can catch within a short walk, bike ride, or drive from your vacation rental in the Outer Banks of North Carolina as a weekend warrior or a full week fall vacationer?

Beach Fishing

Sea fishing, surf fishing, fisherman into the waves try to cast the line

What can you catch from the beach?

On the Outer Banks’ more than 100-mile shoreline, there are countless opportunities for surf fishing.

In North Carolina, the weather has a direct impact on surf fishing opportunities. Depending on the season, the weather, the tides, and the contour of the shoreline itself, different species can be abundant or non-existent.

Here are 5 types of fish you can catch from the beach in the OBX:

  • Gulf Flounder
    • Also Known As: Flounder
    • Limits: 15” long minimum, bag limit of 4 per day
  • Croaker
    • Also Known As: Hardhead fish, pinfish, kingfish
    • Limits: None
  • Black Drum
    • Also Known As: Drum
    • Limits: 14” – 25” long, bag limit of 10 per day
  • Red Drum
    • Also Known As: Redfish, Puppy Drum, Channel Bass
    • Limits: 18” – 27” long, bag limit of 1 per day
  • Sheepshead
    • Also Known As: None but they are often confused with Black Drum
    • Limits: 10” long minimum, bag limit of 10 per day

Sound Fishing

Group of friends sitting on pier by the sound and fishing.T

What can you catch from the sound?

More than just saltwater fishing can be found on the Outer Banks of North Carolina West of these islands is a complex network of sounds, canals, and inlets where freshwater (from inland rivers) meets salt water (from the Atlantic) to create a brackish mix. 

You can cast a line in some of the local sounds like Roanoke, Croatan, and Pamlico.

Here are 5 types of fish you can catch from the sound in the OBX:

  • Speckled Trout
    • Also Known As: Spotted Seatrout
    • Limits: 14” long minimum, bag limit of 4 per day
  • Gray Trout
    • Also Known As: Weakfish
    • Limits: 12” long minimum, bag limit of 1 per day
  • Spot
    • Also Known As: Yellow Belly
    • Limits: None
  • Striped Bass
    • Also Known As: Rockfish
    • Limits: Varies, contact The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for more info.
  • Summer Flounder
    • Also Known As: Flounder
    • Limits: 15” long minimum, bag limit of 6 per day

Pier Fishing

a pier extrending out into the ocean with people fishing off it

What can you catch from the piers?

Looking for a little more adventure but not too far away from the coast? A few blocks away from our vacation rentals in Kill Devil Hills and Hatteras Island are the legendary ocean piers of the Outer Banks (Avon and Rodanthe). Because blanket licenses cover all fishing piers, you won’t need to get individual licenses. While pier fishing is very accessible, you will have to pay a small fee.

Consider checking a recent fish report before heading out to the pier. Here is a link to Jennette’s Fishing Report.

Here are 5 types of fish you can catch from the piers in the OBX:

  • Dolphinfish
    • Also Known As: Mahi Mahi 
    • Limits: No minimum length, bag limit of 10 per day
  • King Mackerel
    • Also Known As: King, King Fish
    • Limits: 24” long minimum, bag limit of 3 per day
  • Spanish Mackerel
    • Also Known As: Horse Mackerel, Spotted Mackerel
    • Limits: 12” long minimum, bag limit of 15 per day
  • Hogfish
    • Also Known As: Hog Snapper
    • Limits: 17” long minimum, bag limit of 2 per day
  • Black Sea Bass
    • Also Known As: Blackfish
    • Limits: (North of Cape Hatteras) 12.5” long minimum, bag limit of 15 per day | (South of Cape Hatteras) 13” long minimum, bag limit of 7 per day

Charters / Fishing Excursions

Fishing rods are stored on top of a charter boat roof ready to be used for fishing.

What can you catch from the charters and excursions?

Want to catch a few big fish away from your Outer Banks vacation rental? Book a fishing trip to the open seas off the coast of the OBX. There is a higher price tag for these trips, but they can be shared with friends and family, so it’s worth looking into the maximum number of people who can come with you.

A full day of offshore charters begins at 5 a.m. because the trip to the Gulf Stream takes about an hour. Food, drinks, sunscreen, and seasickness remedies are all that you need to bring; the captain and crew will provide everything else, as well as any guidance.  For easy access to the ocean, Outer Banks charter fishing boats are located near the inlets (there are no inlets on the northern Outer Banks so there are no Outer Banks charter fishing boats there either). Marinas usually offer services for cleaning the fish you catch.

Film tourists can visit the filming location of the famous National Geographic show Wicked Tuna North vs. South. All of the boats featured in Wicked Tuna South are slipped out of Outer Banks Marina in the fishing village of Wanchese. Depending on the filming schedule people can book a private charter on a few of these boats.

Here are 5 types of fish you can catch from the open seas of the OBX:

  • Grouper
    • Also Known As: Black Bass 
    • Limits: 20” long minimum, bag limit of 3 per day
  • Blue Marlin
    • Also Known As: Billfish
    • Limits: 99” long minimum, 1 / vessel/trip either Blue or White Marlin
  • White Marlin
    • Also Known As: Marlin
    • Limits: 99” long minimum, 1 / vessel/trip either Blue or White Marlin
  • Amberjack
    • Also Known As: Allied Kingfish
    • Limits: Varies, contact The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for more info.
  • Cobia
    • Also Known As: Black Kingfish
    • Limits: Varies, contact The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for more info.

More To Come

Keep an eye on this blog for some great local fishing hotspots around the Outer Banks in our last blog of the series coming next month! And don’t forget to share your fishing pictures from your OBX vacation with us online! Using the hashtag  #bestcatchjoelambjr. In the meantime, check out some other fun things to do in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and we wish you tight lines until next month!

Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates is one of the most trusted vacation rental managers in the local area by growing into a market leader in the Vacation Rental and Sales Industry. Joe Lamb Jr. and his family have played a vital and intricate role in the Outer Banks Community for decades. 

Over the past 50+ years, Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates have worked diligently to help promote the Outer Banks for the amazing beach and family vacation destination that it is, helping to increase tourism in the area and grow our beautiful community.

Black Bear Central at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

A black bear resting at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.
A black bear resting at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.

Every once in a while we’ll get a notice or something will come across our desk that is a reminder of just how remarkable the world of the Outer Banks is.

In this case, it’s not quite the Outer Banks, but awfully close. Right next door at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.

The Refuge, it seems, has one of the largest, if not the largest, concentrations of black bear on the East Coast. Perhaps one of the largest populations to be found anywhere.

For those of us who have driven on US 64 as it passes through East Lake, which borders ARNWR, it’s probably not much of a surprise hearing this. It’s not as though a bear is seen every day, but it is not that rare either. Same for US 264 through Stumpy Point.

For that matter, anyone who has hiked, kayaked, biked or spent any time in the Reserve, seeing a black bear is a part of the experience.

By and large the bears want nothing whatsoever to do with humans, so when they do see one of us, they saunter off into the brush or woods. To our civilized eyes they look kind of cute, and certainly harmless, but the fact is they are wild animals weighing between 200-400 pounds with a lot of muscle. 

About the only time they will get upset or approach humans is if there is interaction with cubs. Mama bears tend to think of that as a threat.

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is 152,000 acre refuge that is for the most part on mainland Dare County. There are hiking and biking trails in the refuge as well as extensive areas for kayaking. 

It’s name is a reference to the northern most reach of the alligator, so yes, there are alligators that live there, as well as an extraordinary diversity of birds and an active breeding program for the endangered red wolf.

The Outer Banks is a place of many surprises. A visit to this remarkable strip of sand is better with a stay at a Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates home.

Exec Director of Corolla Wild Horse Fund Retires


Measuring the impact that Karen McCalpin, the Executive Director of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, has had on the Outer Banks and Corolla in particular is tough. Not because there hasn’t been any, but because the impact is so huge.

For the people who have gotten to know her and the passion and love for the Corolla Wild Horses it’s tough to imagine what it would be like without her. But that reality is coming to pass.

After 10 years, Karen is retiring. Her last day will be December 31.

Karen McCalpin.
Karen McCalpin.

She’s moving back to her native Pennsylvania. Most of her family is there…grand kids, children and a husband who has commuted for most of her time at the CWWF.

The CWHF was 10 years old when Karen took over and under her leadership it has become a dynamic advocate for the Colonial Spanish Mustang. Before she came on the scene, there was some doubt about the genetic pedigree of the Corolla herd, with many horse experts believing the Corolla herd was a mixture of American breeds and at most there was a little bit of mustang in them.

Karen wanted to know. She insisted on working with the best genetic experts and having the herd examined by some of the most respected members of the Horse of Americas Registry and the American Livestock Conservancy—two organizations that determine the lineage of horses. What she found was, yes, the Corolla Wild Horses are a direct genetic link to the mustangs the Spanish explorers brought to the New World.

Having the Colonial Spanish Mustang designated as the North Carolina State Horse was a result of her outreach to school children.

There was a side to her that was tough and unyielding—qualities she needed when she went toe to toe with USFW over the size of the herd that would be allowed in Carova—a herd that would have been so small if USFW had their way that it is doubtful if the horses could have survived.

And this is just a partial list.

So…yes, Karen will be missed, but she is one of those luck few who can look back on something an know their legacy will live on.

She will be moving on to another position. Somehow it’s not surprising what she will be doing next. She will be the executive director of a therapeutic riding center in Pennsylvania.

Our OBX version of the Northern Lights

Photo Taken by Jim Trotaman of J. Aaron Trotman Photography (link to page below)
Photo Taken by Jim Trotman of J. Aaron Trotman Photography




Alaska may have the Northern Lights and the popular book “Life of Pie” may have referenced a neon green, glowing carnivorous island. However, this weekends amazing light show on the OBX puts it in the running for one of Mother Nature’s best performances yet! A shout out to our friend Jim Trotman for capturing some of this weekends fascinating show while out strolling the beach himself.

A stunning parade of neon blue lights dancing across the ocean’s surface, flowing smoothly like an orchestra playing a grand aqua-blue symphony. The waves lighting up each time they rippled across the surface or crashed on the beach. This unique natural occurrence is referred to as bio-luminescence. A change in the oxygen level in the ocean took place this weekend causing a unique algae bloom. This bloom was extremely interesting as the algae were from the marine –dwelling species of dinoflagellate Noctiluca scintillans commonly known as Sea Sparkle. When this specific species of plankton is stressed by too much motion a chemical reaction occurs creating a bright neon light referred to as bio-luminescence. Some believe this is could be a defense mechanism to ward off predators others think it is mother natures way of showing us that magic still exist.


The glowing blue neon waves weren’t the only thing that made this weekend a fascinating spectacle.

The start of the New Moon occurred on Saturday .  Like a scene from Avatar, the moon rose over the sparkling neon water and enchanted the beach goers with its orange and reddish hue cascading light through-out the night sky. I have truly never witnessed anything more mesmerizing. It isn’t every day you have the chance to be transported to another world. A place where the sky’s glow red, the water glitters a neon blue and the moon takes over half the night sky.

The Outer Banks of NC has many spectacular things to offer but in my opinion one of its best qualities is something that can only be provided by Miss Mother Nature herself. If you missed it, don’t worry. The Sea Sparkles will one day return. You too will be able to witness the enchantment that mother nature has to offer.  Be sure to book your Outer Banks vacation early as Oceanfront properties are the first to book!


OBX-Lots To Do This Summer

Scene from last year's BrewFest.
Scene from last year’s BrewFest.

Now that summer is here, there is almost too much to do on the Outer Banks. This is Outer Banks Craft Beer Week culminating in the OBX BrewFest on Sunday. The following weekend its the Rogallo Kite Festival on Jockey’s Ridge.

There’s Kid’s Days at almost all of the Kitty Hawk Kites stores—weekly events, they’re usually on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The Town of Duck has a full schedule of happenings on its Town Green. This Saturday it’s Dare Days at Manteo—which is a wonderful family celebration.

All of that is great stuff to do, but here at Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates. we started thinking about what are some of the lesser known things to do on the Outer Banks—things that maybe won’t attract a huge crowd but might create a lasting memory. There’s a lot of them, so we can’t possibly list them all, but here’s a list to start things going.

Most of these are recurring events, so if this coming Wednesday isn’t convenient for a red wolf howling, there’s always the following Wednesday.

Howling Wolf-Red Wolf Howling

June – August, Wednesdays – 7:30-9:00pm

Creef Cut Wildlife Trail

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and the Red Wolf Recovery Program offer you the opportunity to learn more about red wolves at the only place in the world where they still exist in the wild! Meet at the designated time at the parking lot for a chance to hear the harmonious howl of this endangered species.

Summer Howlings cost $7 per person (bring cash, check, Visa, or MasterCard).

Children 12 and under are FREE!

Bring a flashlight and insect repellent.

Dress for the weather; howling will occur except with lightning, heavy rain, or wind or impassable roads. Decision to cancel will be made at least 1.5 hours prior to the scheduled program.

Do NOT bring pets.

Do Bring insect repellant

Questions: Call 252-216-9464.

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge Crabbing/Fishing Rodeo

June 11, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center

For three hours once a year, North Pond at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge is open to the public to allow fishing and crabbing. All Federal, State and local crabbing and fishing regulations apply. Round up them dawgies!  Come and enjoy this unique opportunity.  You access North Pond from the Visitor Center and Visitor Center parking lot.

Faire Days Summer Festival Series 2016

Scarborough Faire, Duck

Every Wednesday, All Summer Long, June 8 – August 31, 1:30-5:00 pm

• Sound System Music – 1:30-3:00pm

• Live Music – 3:00-5:00pm

• Virtual Fishing – with Capt Dan Banks …1:30-5:00pm

• Magician – fun with The Impossible Chris … 2:00-5:00pm

• Petting Zoo & Pony Rides – with Little-Zoo-To-You … 1:30-4:00pm

• Paint a Wooden Mustang – with Wild Horse Museum Store … 1:30-5:00pm

• Face Painting – with Bonnie Collins … 1:30-5:00pm

• Glitter Tattoo Table – with Luxury … 2:00-5:00pm

• Author Book Signings – with Island Bookstore … 1:30-4:00pm

• DIY Sun Catchers – with Urban Cottage … 2:00-5:00pm

• Color Your Own Tiki Mask – with The Island Attic … 1:30-5:00pm

• Paint a Duck – with Simply Scarborough … 1:30-5:00pm

• DIY Bead Jewelry & Letters  – with Ruff Haus … 1:30-5:00pm

• Product Demos & Tastings – 1:30-5:00pm

• Assorted Games/Prizes/Crafts – 1:30-5:00pm

• Food/Wine/Shopping Specials – 1:30-5:00pm

15th Annual Under the Oaks Arts Festival

Whalehead Club, Corolla

June 21 – 22, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Enjoy this annual outdoor art show on the waterfront grounds of Historic Corolla Park at the Whalehead Club in Historic Corolla.  This festival features the unique talents of quality artists with a wide variety of media plus local food concessions, and art auction.  Admission is FREE!  Event runs 10am-5-pm June 21 and 10am-6pm June 22, 2016.

Unprecedented-Cold Stunned Sea Turtles on Outer Banks


loggerhead turtle
Cold Stunned Loggerhead at Roanoke Island STAR Center

We sure had a warm December on the Outer Banks. Then suddenly earlier this week, temperature plummeted, we had a dusting of snow and a whole day where the temperatures struggled to reach the freezing mark. Inconvenient and a little bit miserable for us warm blooded animals, but for for cold blooded animals—especially sea critters, it’s a disaster.

For evidence, look no farther than the unprecedented number of sea turtles washing up on Hatteras Island beaches—somewhere around 350 at last count.

The STAR Center at the Roanoke Island Aquarium was designed as a care facility for injured and sick sea turtles, but never anything on this level. The problem, according to Christine Legner who oversees the facility, with all the warm weather, the turtles “ . . . just didn’t get the cue to leave.”

It is taking an amazing community and cooperative effort to help the stricken turtles. An otherwise cold stunned turtle will recover if they are kept in a relatively warm environment that will allow their bodies a few days to readjust. Every year the STAR Center gets a few dozen cold stunned turtles—mostly green sea turtles with a few Kemps Ridley and an occasional leatherback—and they are prepared to handle a typical winter influx.

350 or so? No. No facility is ready for that. Yet the aquarium team working with N.E.S.T. (Network for Endangered Sea Turtles) volunteers have managed to do an amazing job, losing to date just six turtles.

Walking into the STAR Center, there are bins and buckets everywhere with one, two or three turtles recovering. In the large tanks, some of the turtles are engaged in what is called a swim test—the last step before they are released.

The problem with releasing them is they cannot be released into local waters and have to be sent south. The first batch of 85 was sent to Florida earlier this week; the next batch is scheduled to be released into the Gulf Stream by the Coast Guard from Fort Macon, NC early next week.

Things have slowed down with milder weather and hopefully, the sea turtles who are still swimming about got the cue and headed to warmer waters.