Victoria pelagic

To: "Chris Brandis" <>
Subject: Victoria pelagic
From: "Stephen Keen" <>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 17:48:43 -0000

Last word from me!

Hi Stephen
If you were looking with the sun behind you, afternoon, the pale under wing of StSws are very white and can cause confusion.

It was mid morning, but pretty bright, so OK fair enough.

Telling a SoSw
from the shore is pretty difficult as their flight is generally longer glide than a StSw. With the pale phase WtSw, which are extremely rare, you would be looking for the same jiz ase ordinary ones, ie with the wings held forward with plenty of glide.

The jizz was identical to the dark ones. We had hundreds of Fluttons there: smaller, more compact, and jizz more like Manx, Balearic, Black-vented. We were very impressed by the powerful jizz of Wedge-tailed, probably shooting myself in the foot by saying this but they almost gave the impression of a Pomarine Jaeger. Including the pale one.

There are Fluttering Shearwater that is black and
white and common off Bass Point, if I remember that is were you were correctly, and there is a very occasional Streaked Sw. We have published the relative abundance of the seabirds off Wollongong twice and about to start the 20 year one so the data is pretty robust. I have seen the best seabirders make mistakes as they (we) all tend to call first to gain every ones attention rather than to be sure and have some miss the sighting as they often just zoooom through.

What you have to bear in mind is these aren't birds we called on the spot, rather notes were taken, and research done on our return. I am perfectly happy to accept the Short-taileds as such, I think it goes without saying they must have been; I have merely attempted to explain why we came to the conclusion they were Sooty in the first place. I took offence to the tone of a couple of emails early on, including one at least from someone in a position which ought to carry the responsibility of educating the uneducated. There is absolutely nothing in the available field guides which says "if you see large numbers of Sooty-type shearwaters of NSW in summer they will be Short-tailed", so we got it wrong!

All the best


Cheers  Chris

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