Date: 1/31/18 2:31 pm
From: Brian Patteson (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Nice loon flight today but few auks
I checked Cape Point this morning and there were a lot of birds moving, but today it was Red-throated Loons. They were going by at a good clip early this morning. Many were distant, but there was a steady eastbound flight ranging from 50 to 150 a minute for quite a while. There were more close birds later in the morning. There were comparatively few Razorbills today: I saw less then 100 in time I was there. Conditions have changed, and it was dirty water as far south as I could see. Yesterday there was some clear looking water a mile or more out. This is not unusual after a long period of north wind and the associated down shore current it helps generate. In a day’s time the water at the weather buoy- 20 miles out- dropped from over 66 degrees to the low 40s. In the past, such an incursion of cold water has been good for finding other alcids a few miles out. Some might remember the CBC boat trip in 2011 when we had hundreds of Dovekies and quite a few puffins. There were also a few murres around that winter, but it was tough to find them because there were so many birds to look at. There is still 60 some degree water well inshore to the east of Cape Lookout. This means the alcids should pile up here for a while.

Brian Patteson
Hatteras, NC
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