As we continue this series, we are heading out on an ornithological adventure on one of the East Coast’s most important shorebird feeding habitats – Fort Fisher Basin. Whether you call it “The Basin” or “The Fort”, this dynamic landscape of tidal flats, salt marshes, dunes and beaches is a bird watchers dream.
Head South on the Cape Fear River from our River Park Marina and you’ll make your way past Carolina Beach State Park, and just South of the Rocks at Fort Fisher is the Zeke Island Reserve. For those kayaking or trailering their boat here is the address: 2514 S. Ft. Fisher Blvd. Kure Beach, NC 28449 *Note that access is at the very end of Ft. Fisher Blvd past the Ft. Fisher/Southport ferry landing, sometimes GPS’ will have you turn beforehand. Type “Federal Point Boat Launch” into your GPS to be directed to the exact launch point location. If you just use the numerical address, the GPS may tell you to turn or stop before the very end of the road, please disregard, and continue to the actual end of the road.)
The Basin was one of the three original National Estuarine Research Reserve components dedicated by NOAA and the Division of Coastal Management in 1985. The Reserve protects coastal habitats for long-term research, education, and stewardship. This unique habitat is ripe with wildlife, as fish, shrimp, crabs, clams, and oysters use the estuary as a nursery ground. Atlantic loggerhead sea turtles occasionally nest on the site’s ocean beach. Redfish, flounder and trout are the main draws for fishing, but there are also black drum, ladyfish and more. Small sharks and rays cruise the waters behind the Rocks and occasionally there are explosions as schools of jacks attack baitfish they followed into the protected waters. Bird species such as dunlin, black-bellied plovers, short-billed dowitchers, white ibis, and great blue herons as well as black ducks, mallards, and pintails have all been recorded at Zeke’s Island.
Whether you are exploring for the first time, or this is your hundredth trip relishing the natural beauty of the Cape Fear area, our river-centric amenities at The Bluffs make it easy for you to choose your adventure. Fishing, birdwatching, kayaking, paddleboarding, or day-tripping…this river is ready. As you soak in the beauty of our area, you’ll understand what we mean when we say living on the water means more at The Bluffs. So, get out there and embrace river life at its best. Come discover The Bluffs in person and pick out the perfect Move-In Ready home or homesite for you, and let the adventures begin!