The annual migration is underway, and the celebration will get started early Saturday when the Swan Days Festival celebrates the return of tundra swans and other migratory birds to Lake Mattamuskeet in Swan Quarter.
The family-fun event in coastal Hyde County starts early on Saturday when the first vehicles leave for guided tram tours to see huge flocks of waterfowl at Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge. Tram tour reservations are full, but visitors still can drive to see a variety of birds large and small by joining a 10 a.m. car caravan from the visitor center.
“I saw a bald eagle this morning. I saw a juvenile first, then a quarter-mile down the road, I saw mommy or daddy,” Debbie McGowan, the refuge administrative officer, said.
“They definitely live around there.”
The waterfowl migrating from the North have been arriving and are spread around the lake.
“The last couple of weeks when it started getting cold, they started coming in,” McGowan said. “They are here. The numbers are high – swans, ducks, snow geese and then Canada geese. We’ve got good numbers on everything.”
Talks Under the Big Tent start at 10 a.m. with Lewis Forrest’s presentation on the history of the lake and the lodge. Marco Gibbs talks about Indian artifacts at 11:30. Lunch with the Guides with Morgan Harris is at noon. Mark Willard talks about the lodge renovation plans at 1 p.m. Lewis Forrest talks again at 2 p.m.
A new participant is the nonprofit Earthquest, which will present birds of prey at 2 p.m. in the parking area.
Food and craft vendors, along with exhibits and demonstrations, will provide plenty to keep families busy.
For information, contact the refuge at 252-926-4021, go to www.facebook.com/swandays or search Facebook for @hydecountychamber.
Cobia meetings: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council states from Virginia to Florida are gathering public comment on the public information document for the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for cobia.
The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will hold two meetings:
▪ 6 p.m. Dec. 8, Doubletree by Hilton Atlantic Beach, 2717 W. Fort Macon Road, Atlantic Beach.
▪ 5 p.m. Dec. 15, Dare County Government Administration Building, 954 Marshall C. Collins Drive, Manteo.
Contact Michelle Duval at 252-808-8011, or go to http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/noticesandnews.
The public information document can be obtained at www.asmfc.org under Public Input. Public comment is due by 5 p.m. Jan. 6 to Dr. Louis Daniel, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St, Suite A-N, Arlington, Va. 22201, or at firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line: Cobia PID).
Concealed carry: East Wake Conceal Carry will offer one-day N.C. concealed carry handgun classes on Saturday and Sunday in Wendell. The cost is $70 cash. Class size is limited to 10 students. Eye and ear protection are provided. Pistol rentals are available. Contact Ed Stone at 919-427-4424. Additional classes are at www.eastwakeconcealcarry.com.
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