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Thread: Record number of Pterodromas at Estaca de Bares

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    Default Record number of Pterodromas at Estaca de Bares

    Hi all!
    I had an unforgettable and epic day of seawatching yesterday at Estaca de Bares (Galicia, NW Spain) together with Dave McAdams, Ricardo Hevia and Bert Savijn.
    We had 4 Fea´s / Zino´s Petrels heading west in a couple of hours in the evening. 1 of them passed at mid distance, 2 fairly close, and 1 of them extremely close, no more than 300 metres from land. I was lucky enough to have the camera ready and was able to take several record shots of the closest bird, which I will upload later (no bill details can be seen in the pics, they´re .......but at least you can make out it´s a Pterodroma, which isn´t bad for a pic taken from land
    Each of the birds was in view for more than 5 minutes, so the observations were very good. 2 of them passed by nearly at the same time, and the 4 of them were following a direct route, not feeding nor doing "circles". Also, each of the birds was lost several miles to the West of the headland, and the following birds were first found fairly distantly (more than a mile) to the East, within minutes of "losing" the previous ones, so based on that, I think it´s fairly safe to assume the 4 birds were probably all different.
    It´s interesting to note that on the closest bird, an obvious and striking white area was visible on the underwing coverts, but unfortunately the bill wasn´t seen well enough...The underwing of the other 3 birds appeared very dark, and no bill details were seen either.
    Does anybody know of other european records involving more than 2 birds in a day?
    But nearly as impressive was the number of Long-tailed Skuas seen, with a smashing record of 525 !! birds heading west in 6 hours . Again, as in last weekend´s passage (which we had thought was unbeatable...), 95 per cent of the birds were adults. Most birds were migrating in tight flocks, of up to 20 birds, and many of the groups passed very close to land, allowing us to take some pics of them too.
    Regarding other species, we had 1000 "Commic" Terns, 6 Roseate Terns, 170 Sabine´s Gulls, 63 Poms, only 80 arctic skuas, 110 Bonxies, tens of thousands of Manxies, several thousand Cory´s, Sootis, etc...

    Daniel López-Velasco

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    Senior Member Sherpa's Avatar
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    Two birds in one day past Flamborough Head, East Yorkshire, September 1991, seen by John McLoughlin and Andrew Lassey.

    The white underwing sounds interesting.

    I am surprised that every UK and Irish bird this year has been reported as Fea's. Lets face it, Fea's, Desertas and Zino's are going to be very difficult or impossible to seperate from land. Zino's is arguably the only one 'proven' in north west Europe, based on data logger results. The accepted Fea's will have to be reviewed once Desertas is widely accepted as a separate species.

    Sherpa

    P.s Well done with your sightings. Sounds fantastic.
    Last edited by Sherpa; September 6th, 2011 at 08:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherpa View Post
    Zino's is arguably the only one 'proven' in north west Europe, based on data logger results.
    What are the details (date, location, etc.) for that one?

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    Yes, well done Daniel!

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    Senior Member Sherpa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelF View Post
    What are the details (date, location, etc.) for that one?
    For Zino's data logger results see the following link http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail...alBirds/972986

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    Moderator Brian S's Avatar
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    Daniel

    ....and a South Polar Skua yesterday? Any news on that?

    Brian S

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    Senior Member Alex Lees's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian S View Post
    Daniel

    ....and a South Polar Skua yesterday? Any news on that?

    Brian S
    here

    apparently pics to come from the pelagic too...
    Dept. of Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK

    My website - Neotropical Bird Club -Tropical Forest Research - Punkbirder - Wikiaves

    In natural science the principles of truth ought to be confirmed by observation. — Carolus Linnaeus

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    From Birdguides today:

    Spain: sea watches in the last week at Estaca de Bares, Galicia, northwest Spain produced:-- 1,092 mostly adult Long-tailed Skuas, 6 Pterodroma-type petrels, 1 Barolo's Shearwater, 1 South Polar Skua, 1 Wilson's Petrel, Black Scoter, 1,000s of Manx Shearwater, many Great Shearwaters, Balearic Shearwater, Great Skua, Pomarine Skua and Arctic Skua
    (what's a "Barolo's Shearwater"?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelF View Post
    (what's a "Barolo's Shearwater"?)
    OK, found out - Macaronesian Shearwater Puffinus baroli.

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