Daily Archives: July 24, 2014

A New Sunset Experience

Even after always living about two hours from the Outer Banks, Motor Man and I learned something new about that area this week.

We never knew before, that from the middle of July until about the middle of September, tens of thousands of purple martins roost under the William B. Umstead  bridge over the Croatan Sound near Roanoke Island, just west of the town of Manteo. Then, in September, they begin their migration to South America.

Since we were in the area Tuesday evening, we researched online and learned that, every day, the birds leave their roosts under the bridge around sunrise and return at sunset. During the day, they fly over the coastal plains of North Carolina in search of insects.  The information suggested that you arrive at the bridge about 30 minutes before sunset to watch the martins return.

It had been an overcast day, and the clouds provided a beautiful sky as we waited.

 walk in golden hour 7-22-2014 7-41-03 PM

Since we had the tripod, we took advantage of the photo op. (Sadly, a light reflection on the lens created spots on my face and Motor Man’s shirt.)

jrdb 7-22-2014 7-39-29 PM

 As the sun was setting, the martin activity began to increase.

pier before sunset 7-22-2014 8-00-54 PM

Most of the birds were about halfway across the approximately 2-mile bridge, so we weren’t able to get really good photos of them from our vantage point at the foot of the bridge.

martins2 7-22-2014 8-12-41 PM

But it was a nice evening and a new experience for us. We also learned of a special sunset boat cruise, sponsored by the Coastal Carolina Purple Martin Society,  so there’s the possibility of a future blog post with better photos of the martins.

~These Days Of Mine~