Eaglehawk Neck, Tasmania - Pelagic Reports 3&4 Sept 2011 - photos. TWO n

To: Mike Carter <>, Daniel Mantle <>, "" <>, Nikolas Haass <>
Subject: Eaglehawk Neck, Tasmania - Pelagic Reports 3&4 Sept 2011 - photos. TWO not one CHATHAM ALBATROSS?
From: rob hynson <>
Date: Sun, 11 Sep 2011 07:11:19 +0100 (BST)
Hi Mike & Nikolas,
I've looked through my photos and I took 2 sets of shots, one from 10.40:39 - 
10.41:27 and the second from 10.44:07 - 10.44:50, seen at the link below.
In the first set of photos I see the neck smudge/irregularity Nikolas refers to 
when viewing the bird from the right and the mandibular unguis does not look 
that dark. The second set of photos (which are much closer) shows a much darker 
mandibular unguis, of the photos posted from the second set, only one is in 
flight viewing the bird from the right, I think the neck smudge is there but 
its not a great angle for comparison. Also from the second set of photos, the 
bird on the water looks like it has the same mark although not an ideal 
I also think the bill colouration does change with different angles, in some 
views the bill looks yellow/dusky yellow where at other angles especially with 
closer views, the dark mandibular unguis is quite obvious. 
I still think we are dealing with one bird and a combination of asymitry in 
bill colouration and a trick of the light may be at play but given the short 
time between my two sets of photos and not being able to confirm the neck 
smudge when viewing the bird from the right I can't rule out the possibility of 
two birds. 
Does anyone know if the mandibular unguis is in plane with the rest of the 
bill? Im just wondering if it is tilted in or tilted out would this lead to the 
mandibular unguis looking dark at some angles and concolourous with the rest of 
the bill at other angles?

--- On Sun, 11/9/11, Nikolas Haass <> wrote:

From: Nikolas Haass <>
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Eaglehawk Neck,Tasmania - Pelagic Reports 3&4 Sept 
2011 - photos. TWO not one CHATHAM ALBATROSS?
To: "Mike Carter" <>, "Daniel Mantle" 
<>, "" <>
Cc: "Jeff Davies" <>, "Rohan Clarke" 
<>, "David James" <>, "david 
mitford" <>, "rob hynson" <>
Date: Sunday, 11 September, 2011, 13:57

Hi Mike,

Interesting point! I had a look through the posted pictures again - although I 
haven't had a chance yet to look through all pictures. It appears that the 
mandibular unguis seen from the right looks paler than seen from the left. If 
you look at the shape of the gray/white border at the neck, there is a slight 
irregularity on the right side seen on most pictures (from the right) but #9889 
and #0003 (in both cases the angle makes it difficult to impossible to see that 
particular area). On the left side there is a very conspicuous pattern with a 
line diverging from the left laterodorsal base of the hood towards the chest. 
This is seen on all pictures where the angle makes it possible to judge. 

Therefore I believe that it is only one bird and that the difference seen in 
the mandibular unguis is a combination of as asymmetry (R<L) and a "trick of 
What do you think, Mike?

Dan, David (M) and Rob, what do you think? What do your pictures show?


Nikolas Haass

Sydney, NSW

From: Mike Carter <>
To: Nikolas Haass <>; Daniel Mantle <>; 

Cc: Jeff Davies <>; Rohan Clarke 
<>; David James <>
Sent: Sunday, September 11, 2011 10:20 AM
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Eaglehawk Neck,Tasmania - Pelagic Reports 3&4 Sept 
2011 - photos. TWO not one CHATHAM ALBATROSS?

Hi Nik & Dan,

You list seeing only one Chatham Albatross on your Eaglehawk pelagic on 3 
September (see below) and none on 4 September but it appears to me that Raja 
photographed two! One is a typical bird with virtually the whole of the 
mandibular unguis black but the other has very little black there. So at a 
distance the bill would appear wholly yellow. Have I properly understood? Your 
comments please.

Mike Carter
30 Canadian Bay Road
Mount Eliza  VIC 3930
Tel  (03) 9787 7136

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