Date: 10/23/17 2:52 pm
From: Brian Patteson (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: DOVEKIE at Cape Hatteras this afternoon
I made a quick trip to Cape Point this morning to see if any seabirds were moving on the light SE wind and within about two minutes I saw a Great Shearwater come sailing by in the surf zone. I also saw several gannets, a couple of distant Cory’s Shearwaters, and two Parasitic Jaegers over the next 30 or 40 minutes. This was from the south beach where the tide comes in and separates “Shelly Island” from the point for a few hours until it goes out again. The tide was rising.

This afternoon I returned on the falling tide and I was able to drive onto the island. I arrived shortly after 3:00 PM and immediately noticed a few Cory’s Shearwaters moving while offshore scanning with my binocular. Most were pretty distant. A few minutes later I noticed something small bobbing in the surf right in front of the truck. I was shocked to find it was a Dovekie, which was the last bird I expected to see on a warm day in late October. It was about 80 degrees out with a 20 knot SE wind. I quickly got out of truck with my camera to document the sighting but the bird flushed and all I got were a couple of unfocused flight shots. Anyhow, i’ve seen thousands of Dovekies over the years, but this is my first fall sighting.

I drove out toward the eastern end of the island and watched the south beach for over an hour and saw close to 100 Cory’s Shearwaters, a few gannets, and two Parasitic Jaegers. Close to 4:30 the shearwater flight appeared to be over and I suppose they moved out with the tide, making me wish I gotten there sooner.

Brian Patteson
Hatteras, NC
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