Willow Pond is behind the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center, at the east end of Harkers Island. There is a nature trail that wends around the pond, and ties in with a trail over by the Cape Lookout Visitors' Center.
Here is a link to a WRAL video about Willow Pond.
On this trip, we saw - among other critters - a Little Blue Heron. As we entered the blind, he took off. We thought we had spooked him, but I managed to get a few shots as he flew off. But it wasn't us.
Backtracking a moment. As we quietly approached the blind, frogs were sounding off in a noisy cacophony. There were some white ibis lurking in nearby trees - that's not uncommon; we refer to them as 'the ubiquitous white ibis' - and some squirrels next to the blind. There were some terns flitting about, and a couple of egrets. The frogs, however, were the thing ...
The heron had targeted a frog out in the lily pads and grasses. He swooped in and took up the frog.
The rest of the frogs instantly went silent. Leece snickered and said you could almost hear an amphibian gasp of shock and dismay.
The heron took the frog back to his original spot, and worked the frog around till he could swallow it headfirst.
Here are some photos Leece taking flower shots by the museum entranceway, and then out at the pond:
Leece's Willow Pond shots from 2010
Willow Pond 2011
Core Sound Waterfowl Museum 2012 (includes some of Willow Pond and the nature trails)
Willow Pond and the soundside trail 2013
Core Sound Waterfowl Museum 2013 (includes decoys and boat models)
Willow Pond 2014