The Long Tailed Duck was there both days but he was very active today. The blur is him flapping his wings!
Because I wanted to see if the Oystercatchers and the Marbled Godwit had returned, after we took our lake walk (and we were afraid it was going to rain), we headed down to Ft. Fisher again. We were amazed to see probably ten of those wind surfers with the big sails (kite surfing maybe) out in the bay. It was a very brisk day and they were moving fast. The water temp is about 60 degrees and they all had on wet suits but it was quite a sight. On the way back I decided I had to take her at least once to the "secret beach", the coquina rock beach down at the south end of Kure Beach. We had the fabulous luck to run into a former president of the now defunct Wilmington bird club and he pointed out several birds that I am sure neither of us would have seen and added three birds to my sister's life list! They were very, very far away and of course the light wasn't good. This is a Red Throated Loon and they sit with their bills pointed slightly up. I am sure I have seen these before but dismissed them as Cormorants. We also saw a Common Loon later.
This is a Northern Gannett. These are generally always found off the coast out away. I had seen them before but my sister hadn't so it was a treat for her.
My sister got a better picture. I had left my good camera in the car. So she gets full credit for this one!
There was also a flock of Buffleheads cavorting in the waves. There are all males and one lone female in this bunch.
We also got to see a Razorbill but it was too far out to get a decent picture -- just good enough to identify the bird. Neither Gail nor I had seen one of these before but recently they have been making quite a splash down on Sanibel in Fl as they are a very infrequent visitor down there!
Bruce (our bird guide) was looking for Purple Sandpipers as he said they like this kind of weather. He also told us this was the only natural coquina rock beach for quite aways -- didn't know where you would find one like this again. It is a prime feeding area for birds. Unfortunately Hurricane Sandy wiped out all the beach accesses for about a mile and the only on foot access is a bit of a way down but I will make an extra effort at low tide now!