I am pelagic
illiterate, so would appreciate any help I could get on the following
Just offshore from South Werribee, about 6 birds, which may
have been Huttons Shearwaters.
The first bird I saw had a
definite white nape, which I'm unable to find in any of the field guides, a dark
head and throat, sharply demarcated by a white breast down to the undertail
coverts which appeared dark. This bird was calling almost continuously,
much like a new puppy. Maybe a juvenile?
Next on the scene was a much browner bird, very
mottled/speckled underneath. No distinct white on breast. Maybe a
different species or same species different ages?
They were then joined by a completely brown
I'd lost the plot by now
I only had Slater FG with me and the illustrations
in no way resemble the birds seen.
The closest likeness I can find is Mike Carters
photo on page 307 of the Photographic Index "Seabirds" although the
birds seen today had a definite dark throat above the white
and as best I could see, no white in the
Also the bill was rather short, more like a petrel
than a shearwater in the illustrations.
Unfortunately, the bay wasn't exactly calm today,
so the boat was rocking and rolling, making identification rather
Later in the day saw another 3 birds, this time
brown above, with white breast. (Closest illustraltion, only for
comparison, would be a Tahiti Petrel.)
I may get out again on Sunday, but this time I'll
take the video!!!
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Maybe best to email me directly, unless you think
others are interested in this posting.