Date: 2/10/17 12:38 pm From: John Fussell <jofuss...> Subject: Cape Lookout on Sunday, 5 February
Marty Wall, Lou Teer, and I made an expedition to Cape Lookout point last Sunday, 5 February.
The ferry schedule is very limited this time of year. You don't get to the Cape Lookout dock until about 1020, and the last ferry back leaves at 1430. So, we spent most of our time walking. The tip of the point has built out another 1/2 mile beyond where shown on the latest Google Earth imagery. So, it was about a 4-mile walk, each way.
The island off the point has obviously expanded greatly since the last Google Earth imagery, so most of the "point birds" were actually over on the island, all rather distant and in the sun (and many probably out of sight on the south side of the island).
So, our long walk was pretty much a waste of time. Our best birds at the point were a Peregrine and 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. (The ocean was fairly smooth and was white-dotted all over with resting adult gannets.)
(With the expansion of the point, there sure is a lot of beautiful habitat for ground-nesting waterbirds. I assume that there is also nice nesting habitat on the island as well.)
When we got back up to the lighthouse, we had about 20 minutes left to scan the ocean. Sure enough, we saw our best birds of the day then--2 Razorbills. (We should have stayed at that location all day!)
On the ferry ride to the cape in the morning, we had seen an immense cloud of Redheads--I have no idea how many there were. On the way back, the captain ran a bit closer to Core Banks than usual and stopped at one point. He then pointed over toward the banks, toward the edge of the marsh. There was another large flock of Redheads on the water. In the afternoon light, the combined heads of all the drakes created a light reddish line in front of the green marsh grass.
(After all that walking, the shrimpburgers we got at Harkers Island were extra good.)