Day 2 on the boat made Day 1 look good. We started out the same, missing the terns again. Once out into the ocean, we had a few jaegers and started seeing shearwaters and storm-petrels.
A bit of excitement came as 3 Pomarine Jaegers buzzed by several times. There were more Cory’s Shearwaters around (one was called a Scopoli’s by Todd McGrath although I couldn’t say anything other than it looked slightly different). A Manx buzzed through, but I didn’t see anything more than just a dark blob moving.
At one point, a Bridled Tern made a distant appearance. This was a bird Nancy really wanted and I started to find her. Someone else shouted “No, Long-tailed Jaeger.” That didn’t make any sense to me and I stopped to take another look. Of course, the bird kept going and Nancy didn’t get on it. I’d say I saw it enough to count, but not great for a life bird.
Somewhere along the way we found a large sack of drugs floating on the water and had to sit around waiting for the Coast Guard to pick it up. Interesting, but not enough birds to be thrilled. The fishing was dull as well, with only one caught today.
We did have a few Black-capped Petrels, one of which was cooperative. Again, we had a leader only Band-rumped Storm-Petrel. The jaegers made another appearance and came almost within touching distance before sitting on the water for a few minutes.
The leaders gave up pretty early today and most of the time was very birdless. We ended up getting back in so early that the captain was able to pull off to the side just before going under the bridge and let us watch the terns for several minutes. I finally got a decent look at the Sandwich (thanks Christine for thinking to ask) and took some nice photos of a Royal as well (good enough to see that it was banded). No one even offered a tally for today.
Just to show how Pileateds were everywhere this trip, I saw one flying down a side street as we returned to the hotel. After a quick stop, we went out looking for a nicer dinner. Ken and someone else from the boat joined us (I should have noted names, Julie I think). All were fairly disgusted by the leaders and it doesn’t sound like anyone wants to go out of Manteo again. We ended up at The Full Moon Cafe, which turned out to be very nice. I had shrimp and grits, which was quite good and different. Everyone else’s food looked as good. The service was incredibly nice, splitting our checks even though they have a no splitting for parties of more than 5 policy.
We went back to the hotel, said good-bye to Ken and Julie and started packing to get ready to leave tomorrow.
The Jaeger Show: