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Winter Birds at Pungo Reserve
Photographer captures wildlife at Pungo Reserve
February 25, 2018
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hroughout the year, Buddy Rogers roams the Pungo Wildlife Refuge, hunting for local and migrating wildlife. This season, he’s been tracking snow geese and tundra swan. Armed with a Nikon camera and a telephoto lens, Buddy indulges his passion for wildlife photography, capturing striking images of migrating waterfowl.

Migrating waterfowl in the skies above Pungo Nation Wildlife Reserve.
Buddy Rogers.

“I first started noticing wildlife photography in my dad’s Wildlife in North Carolina magazine. I bought my first 35 mm camera in the early 80’s,” he said. Though he enjoyed photography, he was frustrated with the process. “It was a bit disappointing to have to send off the film and get the prints back only to find out I should have made an adjustment.”

Waterfowl visiting winter habitats in coastal North Carolina.

As a young man, Buddy graduated Wayne Community College with an Associate Degree in Fish and Wildlife Management. Though his degree landed him a job in Tennessee looking for a small fish called the snail darter, he returned to Pamlico County and went to work for Texasgulf for the next 42 years. He continued to take photos but film photography still proved irritating. Then digital cameras came on scene, allowing him to make adjustments immediately in the field rather than weeks later.

“Digital photography really changed all of that for me.” It was 2004. Buddy went full digital.

Patience pays off, as evidenced by this capture of birds in flight at sunset..
“A lot of people’s first impression might be this is a paste up of 2 images. It’s not. I waited a long time, and fired the shutter many times to get this.”

Retirement in 2016 brought a new opportunity; the chance to travel beyond Alliance for his shots.

Though Lake Mattamuskeet is a draw for many birdwatchers, Buddy prefers Pungo. “Pungo National Wildlife Reserve caught my eye. It’s a part of the Pocosin Lakes Wildlife Refuge System just north of Pantego. It has over 12,000 acres of wetlands, forests and farm land. Many of the crops planted there are left for the wildlife.“

Buddy visits year round. “During the summer months, the black bear come out in the open to feed on tender ears of corn. There is also a very good chance to see white-tailed deer and other wildlife.“ He regularly makes the hour and a half drive. “I’ve never been disappointed.”

Majestic in flight.
Snow geese get their turn in front of the lens.
Incoming, snow goose turns for final approach.

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Posted Sunday February 25, 2018 by Allison DeWeese

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