Date: 10/24/17 4:00 pm
From: John Fussell <jfuss...>
Subject: Re: DOVEKIE at Cape Hatteras this afternoon
Excepting an injured Dovekie on the shore next to a menhaden plant in
Morehead City (had probably been caught in a net), the first live Dovekies I
ever saw were on what seemed like a very unlikely day. Although it was late
November (27 Nov 1966, I think), it was a totally bluebird day--clear and
warm, with light winds. A friend and I were surfing on Bogue Banks (near
the old Iron Steamer Pier), when the friend pointed out that several little
birds were swimming around us. They were Dovekies. I quickly caught one of
them--it was seemingly exhausted. The rest of the afternoon we noticed
numerous small flocks of Dovekies flying by.

When I got home that evening, my parents had an injured Dovekie that they
had picked up on a highway somewhere in the vicinity.

For many days thereafter, there were many dead Dovekies along the drift line
of the island, at least in the Atlantic Beach-Pine Knoll Shores area.

John Fussell
Morehead City, NC

----- Original Message -----
From: "Brian Patteson (via carolinabirds Mailing List)"
To: "Carolina Birds Listserve" <carolinabirds...>
Sent: Monday, October 23, 2017 5:51 PM
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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