Cape 11/20

Sunday was supposed to be the last BBC pelagic of the year (actually the Saturday before but bad weather pushed it back). At the last minute, I decided to go and then spend Monday on the Cape, finally getting around to chasing the Brown Booby and anything else that was around. Unfortunately the trip was canceled due to high wind, so I decided to head down and spend Sunday working my way out to Provincetown.

The good thing about the cancelation was that I could get up and leave at a normal hour. I reached the Cape a little before 9 and realized that the wind was going to be a problem here as well. I poked around Falmouth a bit, scanning Salt Pond and not feeling like getting out of the car at several other ponds and not seeing much.

I eventually moved on to Marstons Mills and the pond there. Looking pretty much like Lyman Pond, it was loaded with wigeon and Gadwall. Once the birds moved a bit, the male Eurasian Wigeon was very obvious. Also dug up a Bufflehead and a Hooded Merganser.

Eurasian Wigeon

Next stop were some of the beaches in Dennis, where I took one look at the people being blown around and moved on. After a stop for gas, I headed to Fort Hill to look for the Ash-throated Flycatcher that’s been hanging around. On arrival, I heard from Vin and Mike that it was seen earlier. I wandered towards the spot and ran into my friend Geoff and ended up talking to him and someone I didn’t know for an hour.

Others had been searching harder than we were and also had no luck, so we decided to move on (the other guy turned out to be Carl, who was there with Wayne and Jim) and look for the booby. After a lunch stop, we reached MacMillan Wharf and started scanning the breakwater. Wayne immediately found some Razorbills and Harlequins but nothing jumped out. We moved to the other end and found many more Razorbills, a nice Red-necked Grebe, a Common Tern, and eventually a Thick-billed Murre. There were hundreds of cormorants to sort through but we couldn’t find the booby among them (and other reports from the day were all negative as well).


Red-necked Grebe

Common Tern

Murre and Razorbill

We eventually decided to move on to Race Point. A flock of Snow Buntings was flying by as we arrived but they didn’t stop. On the beach, we had more terns and many gannets, plus a few ducks and Razorbills. We realized that daylight was running out and went for a run to Herring Cove and then back to the wharf. Herring Cove was busy and it was getting dark, so we turned right around and hit the wharf. Even more cormorants were present, but we scanned until it was too dark to see and couldn’t find anything among them.

At this point, we said goodbye and I headed off to find my hotel and get ready for an early start tomorrow.