White-faced Storm Petrel


by Martin

Words are inadequate. Overused superlatives fall short. Perhaps it’s even on some ‘Bucket Lists’- birds to see before you die. The White-face Storm Petrel. I joined Dani and Juan; founders of the newly formed Lanzarote Pelagics, and perhaps his species above all others is rightly their icon. In celebration then, a few photos with some brief captions from our excursion on 30th June, this year.

Juan, MG and Dani. Pointing to THE iconic bird emblazoned on our T-shirts.

Usually first in to the ‘chum’ and never leaving


no shortage of birds to look at

Wing shapes:

traditionally illustrated as a peculiar paddle shape, in fact the wings were more often Wilson’s Petrel shaped, but could even be slim and rakish. The following 3 photos show some variation:


Feeding and Dancing

They look weird I mean really. Flying along low, approaching the water’s surface, the yellow webbed feet are spread wide and slightly submerged in the water then they bounce/ping/ leap/ jump. Whatever the word is, maybe ‘boing’ like Zebedee  (don’t ask) off the surface propelling themselves high in the air and leaving an obvious splash behind. Amazing sight!

The White-faced Storm Petrels have to dodge surfacing Dolphins and Wales and swim around turtles too

White-faced Storm Petrel avoiding pod of Bottle -nosed Dolphins

Looking forward to the next time…

8 thoughts on “White-faced Storm Petrel

  1. phil Woollen

    Awesome Martin. I know a couple of Wirral lads who’ll be tempted by the pelagic. We went a couple of years back lokking for W F S Petrel and took the ferry from Lanzarote to Gran Canaria and logged 22! No where near as good photo’s as those though. Any Tropic Birds?

      1. phil Woollen

        Just sent an email to one of my Wirral seawatching compatriots – might have to get out there again next year. We hoped for R B Tropicbird and one had been seen in the harbour just prior to our visit.

  2. Anne Cotton

    Stunning photos there – I love the “boing” by Zebeddee one – and yes, I’m old enough to remember;-)

  3. Gijsbert van der Bent

    Wow Martin, what a bird! Do you by chance know if there are opportunities for seabirdwatchting/pelagics at neibouring Fuerteventura (november-december)

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