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Sunday, 26 July 2015

Two new seabirds

Yes I know, it was nearly a year ago I went on one of my dream days out by doing a pelagic trip off the west coast of America, but some months ago I was having a review of some of the hundreds of photos taken on the trip. Close inspection of some of the images discarded as not good enough actually provided me with two birds that had been called on the trip but not picked up by me, bothe being lifers.  When faced with so much photographic opportunity it is difficult to pick out odd birds in the melee following the boat, especially when trying to pick up on bill colour, size variation and flight pattern from a moving boat on a slight swell.

The two species are Black-vented Shearwater and Pink-footed Shearwater both of which were identified in very small numbers by others on the boat.  I have posted similar shots of confusion species to illustrate the differences.
Black-vented Shearwater Puffinus opisthomelas 
Pink-footed Shearwater  Puffinus creatopus
The Black-vented is more Manx Shearwater size and has a dark bill and there are differences to the pale feathering on the underwing.

Flesh-footed Shearwater  Puffinus carneipes
Sooty Shearwater  Puffinus griseus
The Sooty Shearwater is very numerous in Monterey Bay but the Flesh-footed Shearwater with its pinkish base to the bill and slightly larger size does occur in small to moderate numbers.

Two armchair ticks, can't be bad....now back to work tomorrow so another lull in posting likely.

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