Whales & Wildlife on Cape Cod

A birding weekend with Mass Audubon reveals unique and beautiful birds at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, where they also do bird banding. Along the way, we discover some large and endangered whales, make new birding friends and visit popular Cape Cod eateries…

One of our first birds is


a Northern Flicker

We spot 3 or 4 Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers chasing each other around on moss-covered trees. Our trip leader, Tia, points out that a certain type of moss on trees that you see all over the Cape indicates healthy air.

You know what they say about a Bird in Hand? Well, in our case as birders, lots of birds in the bush are better than a bird in the hand. Here, a Red-breasted Nuthatch, recently banded, is about to be released back into the wild.

We head to Mac’s Seafood in Eastham for some Lobster Rolls, which are sinfully delicious. It will be a long time before I buy another Lobster Roll, however, because the Lobster Fishing industry is one of the reasons the North Atlantic Right Whale is critically endangered. Ugh.

We finally arrive in Provincetown – on the tip of Cape Cod – and board our Whale Watching boat. The harbor is beautiful and iconically New England. I’m including some black and white images here, because sometimes I think photos look better in B&W than in color.

Race Point Beach

On the way out to the ocean, we see Northern Gannets, Iceland Gulls and Dunlin.

We are hoping to see whales. Finally, our Boat Captain spots this tell tale sign of a whale:

A Fin Whale!

The Fin Whale is the second largest whale on earth, next to the Blue Whale.

This time, the Fin Whale swims quite close to the boat…

Race Point Beach, at the tip of Cape Cod.

Return to P’town

After a wonderful Italian dinner at Montano’s in Truro, we turn in for the night at the Cape Colony Inn in Provincetown. Very reasonable room rates in the off-season!

The next day, we wake up to pouring rain and so take our time returning to Race Point Beach. A very special part of the trip, for me, was seeing two North Atlantic Right Whales in front of a fishing vessel through the scope. If you look closely in this photo below, you can see carbuncles on their backs. If anyone can tell me what sort of fishing boat this is, please post a message below.

Birding at Fort Hill

Fish aren’t jumping, but the Harbor Seals are!

Back in Wellfleet, we stop in for breakfast at PB Boulangerie French bakery and pastry shop. Don’t ignore the stop lights on the front porch or the line inside, or you may get annoyed looks from other customers. The line is worth it, since the pastries and coffee are rich and delicious!

The last nature refuge we experience on the way home is Bell’s Neck in Harwich.

This is my last bird…. a beautiful Lesser Yellowlegs.

Thanks for coming along on our bird and whale watching journey. Hope to see you again soon!

8 thoughts on “Whales & Wildlife on Cape Cod

  1. Well, dear, as usual, it was a wonderful journey!!! I felt the cool crisp ocean air on my face and loved ALL the B/W photos that are so New England 🙂 It is also nice to see those wonderful North Atlantic bird species from neighboring countries. It reminds me that we get ALL kinds of wonderful immigrants:)

    Liked by 1 person

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