We were able to start our trip early by studying gulls before we left the dock (Herring, Great Black-backed, Laughing, Ring-billed, and Bonaparte's). We only had two Purple Sandpipers on the jetty as we left. Highlights from the trip were thousands of Black and Surf Scoter. A curious thing happened with these...most of the the Black Scoters stayed on the New Jersey side and the Surf Scoters stayed on the Delaware side. We had maybe a half dozen Northern Gannets on the way over and A LOT more on the way back (with some flying right over the back of the boat). A huge school of Bottlenose Dolphins on the way out of Cape May and a total of three Harbor Seals on the way out of Delaware. Also had many Red-throated Loons, a few Common Loons, Red-breasted Mergansers, Horned Grebes, Double-crested Cormorants, Buffleheads, and a big show-offy Great Cormorant who flew right past the nose of the boat. A couple of real spiffy American Oystercatchers greeted us as we came back into Cape May.
It was a lot of fun, and even the weather was pretty good to us.
It's not often that you get such good views of a Great Cormorant in Cape May. Note the white breeding plumage coming through on the head of this bird [photo by Brian Johnson].
That's what we came for! Up close and personal views of Northern Gannets are always what we hope for on our March ferry trip [photo by Brian Johnson].