More Jaegers photos and a personal statement

To: "Robert Inglis" <>,
Subject: More Jaegers photos and a personal statement
From: "Colin R" <>
Date: Fri, 04 Jan 2008 11:44:44 +1000
Hi Bob

I thought your photos were well worth sharing and despite the fact it's
not a 'Barc-worthy sighting' - it's remarkable to see an Jaeger (or
Skua) sitting on the beach! Re the white flash - I agree - this can be
difficult to use as a distinction between Poms and Artics. In Ireland,
many years ago, I saw quite a few of both over a number of years while
land based sea watching. In most cases it's the general build and (back
to this again!) jiz that is the easiest way to differentiate. Artics are
lighter in overall appearance and have a 'lighter' flight. Poms are more
'ponderous' and heavy winged, while Great Skuas (Bonxies as we called
them) were heavier again - and they don't have a light phase. The wing
flash can be useful, but, I do not think definitive. Incidentally the
tail feather projections were almost always non-existent or distance
negated their use as positive ID. With experience we became quite
proficient at identifying each species - proved, in some cases, by their
sudden close approach chasing local terns or gulls for food. 
An exciting find, anyway, Bob and I wish I had been able to get to see


On Thu, 3 Jan 2008 11:58:03 +1000, "Robert Inglis" <>
> The Jaeger:
> (Note: This is Stercorarius parasiticus and is known [or has been known]
> in
> other parts of the world as Arctic Skua, Parasitic Skua, Jeager, Sea
> Hawk,
> Richardson's Skua.)
> In response to my posting about a sighting of what I considered to be
> probably a Arctic Jeager
> Mike Carter wrote:
> "Not the best angle I'm afraid but because the bill looks fairly
> substantial
> and because the bird lacks a white blaze, I'd favour Pomarine Jaeger. Do
> you
> have shots from other angles, particularly showing bill and head in
> profile?"
> Thanks for your input, Mike. As I said, I am not an expert on seabird
> identification and I appreciate any suggestions on diagnostic features.
> Your request for more images is fair and reasonable.
> I have added two more images to my Flickr account.
> Go to:
> The images are now in a "Set" titled "Jaegers" and can be viewed by
> clicking
> on the "Jaeger" set or on one of the jeager images on the entry page.
> I have allowed for viewing of the images in "original uploaded" size. To
> do
> that click on an image to view it in "standard" viewing size; then click
> on
> the "all sizes" button at the top-left-hand corner of the image.
> Return to the photos page by clicking on the "Back to Flickr photo page"
> link at top-left of page.
> (Note: The Flickr website is not the easiest of sites to negotiate and
> don't
> be too hard on yourself if you lose your way while trying to view these
> images. I consider myself to be fairly computer literate and experienced
> but
> I still find sites like Flickr extremely frustrating.)
> Please be respectful of my ownership of these images and, if you download
> them, use them only for personal education and not for commercial
> purposes.
> Mike's comment on the lack of a white blaze is interesting. During my
> observation of this bird and my subsequent inspection of the images I had
> perceived what I considered to be the white blaze which I understand to
> be a
> key identification feature separating Arctic Jaeger from Pomarine Jaeger.
> I also understand that the extent of this white blaze is open to
> conjecture.
> All I can say is that my photographic references* on seabirds mostly show
> very little white on the frons for the Arctic Jaeger.
> It is interesting to me that this feature is not mentioned (as far as I
> can
> tell) or illustrated in any of the field guides.
> Good examples of photos showing the white blaze can be found in the
> "Shorebirds" (!) volume of the National Photographic Index of Australian
> Wildlife.
> * My references:
> - The "Shorebirds" volume of the National Photographic Index of
> Australian
> Wildlife;
> - Seabirds of the World , Enticott and Tipling;
> - HANZAB Vol 3;
> - Seabirds, Harrison;
> - Seabirds of the World, A Photographic Guide, Harrison;
> - The Australian field Guides;
> - other lesser value books.
> Why did I show "that" image and that image only?
> The simple answer is 'I liked it and it was one of the better quality
> images
> I obtained during that little episode'.
> I feel it is appropriate at this point in time to explain to the some of
> the
> less erudite and less worldly members of this forum some of the facts of
> life as I see them.
> For me, birdwatching is not the be-all and end-all of things worth doing.
> In
> fact 'watching grass grow' often appears to me to be a far more
> fulfilling
> pursuit.
> As for associating with birdwatchers............I better not go into
> that!
> Birdwatching simply helps me to fill in that boring and totally
> unnecessary
> period of time between the only two significant events that I will be
> involve with in this life.
> The birding activity which does interest me is photography.
> When I go to where the birds are I go there in the hope that I can get
> some
> high quality photos, especially of something I haven't photographed
> before.
> I take these photos for my own enjoyment. I don't care if other people
> take
> better or more photos of the same or different birds. I am not in a
> competition and I don't care if no one else is interested in my photos.
> I live near Godwin Beach and went there the other day to see if there
> might
> be some birds to photograph.
> The weather was somewhat 'wild' and the prospects of something having
> been
> blown in were good.
> As it turned out the prospects were better than I had imagined.
> Having taken some photos of the Jaeger and also having determined to a
> high
> degree of accuracy that all of the yellow legs I was seeing amongst the
> groups of waders belonged to either Terek Sandpipers or Grey-tailed
> Tattlers
> I decided to stop playing in the rain and go home to view my efforts.
> As is always the case, some of my photos were good to very good
> (considering
> the conditions) and some resembled that which is emitted from a certain
> fundamental orifice.
> The flight shot in the Jaeger Set in my Flickr account belongs in the
> latter
> classification.
> If I do show my photos publically I prefer to only show those of high
> quality.
> However, in the interest of better birding I have relented and complied
> with
> Mike Carter's very reasonable request for more photos showing more
> diagnostic features even if it does reveal my sadly lacking photographic
> skills.
> I contemplated the worth of reporting my sighting of the Arctic Jaeger as
> this bird was probably only in this location because of the particular
> weather conditions and would quickly leave when fine conditions returned.
> I
> did not want to be responsible for hordes of jaeger-disadvantaged
> twitchers
> descending on Godwin Beach long after the bird had 'gone home' and thus
> being responsible for the totally irresponsible consumption of at least
> half
> of the remaining natural resources of this planet on a totally
> meaningless
> exercise which would have absolutely no benefit to mankind or any other
> species.
> Then I thought "What the heck; that other person who has not yet seen an
> Arctic Jaeger (I have been assured that almost everyone else has already
> seen plenty of examples of this species) might find it interesting".
> A note to those BARC-ophobes: This is not a rare bird and does not
> require
> the submission of a Rarities Report.
> Now it is time to go back to watching Australia playing India in the
> second
> cricket test.
> That should show everyone where I place birdwatching in my list of
> priorities.
> Then again, I might watch the Hopman's Cup tennis.
> Sweaty that is interesting!!
> Cheers
> Bob Inglis
> near Godwin Beach
> SE Qld
> Australia
> Note: I reserve the right to respond or not to any correspondence I
> receive
> on this topic.
> My non-response does not necessarily indicate I do not approve of,
> disagree
> with or have even read the correspondence, but it probably does.
> Please do not copy or forward this email in whole or part to any other
> destination in any form without my permission.
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  Colin Reid
So many birds, so little time...... 

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