Mis ID'd petrel on a web page

To: "Tom and Mandy Wilson" <>
Subject: Mis ID'd petrel on a web page
From: <>
Date: Sat, 17 Oct 2009 19:35:19 +1100
Hi Tom,

No worries...but I'm certain it is a White-headed Petrel for the reasons I gave and for the reasons Jeff subsequently gave : )

On a CSIRO voyage from Portland across the Bight to about level with Albany and then back across the Bight and down to Hobart (about 10-15 years ago) I saw several birds very like the pic you found on the web. They were quite some distance from the ship but clearly showed pale grey collars. At the time I had no field experience with Soft-plumaged Petrel but confidently concluded that's what they were...the very next day I had a 'real' Soft-plumaged Petrel flying around the ship and immediately recognised my error. The earlier birds were of course White-headed Petrels with pale grey crowns and collars! So yes they do seem similar but once you get your eye in these two species...especially in the flesh....are quite different. Here's a good comparative pic with both species flying side by side.

And here's the links to my images of both species



Rohan Clarke

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