Pandemic Road Trip 3: Eastern Shore and Atlantic Coast of Virginia (April 2021)

As we left Alligator River and North Carolina, it got cloudy and finally started to rain.

We drove through Virginia Beach and across the Chesapeake Bay and came back to Kiptopeke State Park, where we spent part of our last trip too. In fact, the rest of the trip would coincide with part of the route we took on that trip. I like to go to new places, but sometimes I like to revisit places that I've been before, and certainly Kiptopeke and Chincoteague are places worth going back to. (Click on each image to see the high-resolution version)

Kiptopeke State Park and Cape Charles

We were ready to write the rest of the day off, but the sun dipped below the clouds and rewarded us with a nice sunset.

Sunset at Kiptopeke State Park

At this time, the Loblolly Pine trees were pollinating, the yellow dust was swirling in the air day and night (not good for my allergy), even this Painted Skimmer dragonfly was covered with the fine pollen particles.

Painted Skimmer

Kiptopeke State Park

This being the height of migration season, we enjoyed watching the birds in the coastal woods.

Prairie Warbler

Prairie Warbler

Common Yellowthroat

White-eyed Vireo

While we were chasing the warblers and vireos, a Bald Eagle made a cameo.

Bald Eagle

One of the more unexpected encounters was with a small flock of Purple Finches; it was rather late to see these wintering seed-eaters at this location.

Purple Finches

We made a quick visit to the town of Cape Charles. We found this interesting "lighthouse" some distance from the bay. Later I found out that it is the town water tower. I must say it is tastefully decorated, adding a little visual landmark to the otherwise unremarkable town.

Municipal Water Tower in Cape Charles

Kiptopeke is always a good place to see sunset, we enjoyed yet another spectacular one.

Sunset at Kiptopeke State Park

Sunset at Kiptopeke State Park

Chincoteague / Assateague

After leaving Kiptopeke, again we headed to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Here, too, we saw the migrating birds, and we had some good look at a flock of Yellow-throated Warblers.

Yellow-throated Warbler

Yellow-throated Warbler

As if wanting to stake its claim, a pugnacious House Wren sang loudly from the bush.

House Wren

At last, I had good looks and photographed the indigenous Delmarva Fox Squirrel (which I did not see in the last few trips), and a Sika Elk (an introduced species).

Delmarva Fox Squirrel

Delmarva Fox Squirrel

Sika Elk

In the lagoon (Swan Cove) near the Atlantic Ocean, we enjoyed watching terns diving for fish and egrets prowling the shallows.

Forster's Tern

Snowy Egret

This time we stayed a night in a motel across the channel from Assateague Island, with the Assateague Lighthouse in view.

Assateague Lighthouse

There were a few horses in the pen at the back of the motel, one of them is a perlino (with cream gene), which at first I thought was albino. Though I rarely take pictures of captive animals, this one is unusually pretty with almost human eyes that I could not pass up the opportunity.

Eye of a perlino horse

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The Outer Banks (North Carolina)

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