Interesting Wilson’s Petrel

With white belly feathering

One of the more curious birds seen out of a very nice selection over 2 days of full on pelagic birding at the Banco de la Concepción, N.of Lanzarote, on 15-16th Sept. 2012. It made me wonder about the Fuegian Petrel – the chilensis form of Wilson’s Petrel. However the white patterning is somewhat random and chilensis normally has obvious white tips to underwing coverts and is smaller with more fluttery flight (Alvaro Jaramillo pers coms). It seems more likely to be a’sport’ and Martin Gray ‘tweeted’ to say he had seen several such Wilson’s in Antarctica. Nevertheless it is seemingly the first example mimicking the white belly feathering of the pacific breeding taxa such as chilensis,  gracilis and the recently discovered pincoyae, reported in the North Atlantic.

Still much to learn about these birds (as with so many!). Thanks to Alvaro Jaramillo, Ash Fisher, Bob Flood and Dani López-Velasco for comments

What else did we see on the Sept 2012 Lanzarote pelagic? Here’s a rough list, thank to James Lees and when have time- more to blog about:

Here are the totals from the Lanzarote Pelagic I was on last week. SWINHOE’S PETREL, White-faced Petrel, 5 European Storm Petrels, 10 Wilson’s Storm Petrels, 200 Band-rumped Petrels, 80 Bulwer’s Petrels, 3 Scopoli’s Shearwaters, 2 Sooty Shearwaters, 1000 Cory’s Shearwaters, 30 Manx Shearwaters, 10 Long-tailed Skua’s, 2 Arctic Skua’s. 7 Pomarine Skua’s, Great Skua, 2 Black Terns, 2 Arctic Terns, 30 Common Terns, Hammerhead Shark, 50 Sea Turtles, 30 Spotted Dolphins, 200 Bottlenose Dolphins and 12 Bryde’s Whales!

I pinched Eric Didner’s photo of Facebook. Here’s the guys we were with:

Suggestion of what to do if you have just seen a Swinhoe’s Petrel in the Western Palearctic:

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  1. Pingback: Swinhoe’s Petrel – another much closer! | Birding Frontiers

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