Help with Shearwater ID

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Subject: Help with Shearwater ID
From: "Charles Nixon" <>
Date: Mon, 08 Feb 2010 14:05:58 +1100
Yesterday [Sunday Feb 7] I came across a fresh Shearwater carcase on the beach 
at Boat Harbour, near Kurnell. I did not have a bird book with me, and did not 
retrieve the carcase as I was in the middle of a longish walk with the Sydney 
Bush Walkers.
 But I took details, confident of identifying it when I got home. But, not to 
For starters, in general appearance it was blackish [above] and gleaming white 
[below]. White below, that is, except for an extremely thin black line on the 
trailing edge of the wing, and smudges [only] at wing shoulder and wing tip. 
AXILLARIES PURE WHITE: definitely not a Flutterer, let alone a Hutton's. White 
cheeks, up to the eye line, but not beyond. Bluish feet.
Length, stretched out, bill to tail tip, c.38 cm; wingspan, c. 90 cm. Curses! 
Up until this point I was sure, looking at the illustration in my Pizzey, that 
it was going to be a Little Shearwater. But it's too big.
[unless I was stretching its corpse out too aggressively!!!],
and Pizzey shows the Little as having white above the eye line.
Any suggestions?
Ted Nixon
C.E.V. Nixon
Birding NSW
NSW Bird Atlassers
22/4 Landenburg Place
Greenwich 2065
02 9460 8224

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