Arabian ... new seabird for Australia?

To: "'robert morris'" <>, "'simon mustoe'" <>, "'birding aus'" <>
Subject: Arabian ... new seabird for Australia?
From: "Jeff Davies" <>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2010 22:17:28 +1100
G'day Rob,

All of the birds photographed by Simon are in some degree of wing moult
which might explain the lack of dark markings in the underwing, but some
higher resolution images would be good to see in relation to this matter.
Lack of breast band with a fair amount of white in the face and long tail
points away from Hutton's which shares a similar under-wing pattern and
would otherwise be more expected in this location at this time of year. As
you have mentioned the fresh coverts are paler more brownish in tone
dorsally, combined with the pink legs points away from Tropical Shearwater.
These are low res images showing a high degree of white in the face
especially in front of the eye above the lores, the amount may be an
artifact of the low res but being more white in the face is not really a
problem for Arabian Shearwater according to some of the photos I have come
across and this would probably also work against Tropical Shearwater in
favour of Arabian.  

Cheers Jeff.


-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of robert morris
Sent: Friday, 22 October 2010 9:55 PM
To: simon mustoe; birding aus
Subject: Arabian ... new seabird for Australia?

Hi Simon
An interesting discovery whatever they are. Well done!
I have seen large nos. of Arabian (we used to call them Persian) Shearwaters
in Oman (Mirbat) and small nos in the UAE when I lived there. There do look
good for Arabian (which I think have also been recorded off Sri Lanka and
India?)  but I remember a much darker underwing than this (more like a
Hutton's underwing). Have a look at some of Jans Erikens shots from Mirbat):
This could be moult / wear or the light / photos from you trip? Also I don't
remember the eye looking so prominent (almost Little like) although Arabian
can almost look like it has a poorly defined pale supercilium.
I've seen Audubon's on the Seychelles (I think this is now 'Tropical') and
their upper parts are a sooty black colour - but the white sides of the rump
are not always an obvious feature. In essence Arabian and Tropical (the
forms I have seen in the Indian Ocean) are like comparing a Balearic and
Manx Shearwater - colouration wise (this will mean more to Poms who grew up
sea watching off Cornwall!). These birds don't look like Tropicals I've seen
in the Indian Ocean. 
This probably doesn't help much............!
cheersRob Morris 


Brisbane, Australia 

> From: 
> To: 
> Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2010 13:09:10 +1000
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Ashmore Update and ... new seabird for Australia?
> Hi,
> We've just got back from the most awesome Ashmore Reef trip. The details
are on the Bird-O front page. There's also a brief article on what we think
is a wintering ground for Arabian Shearwater in Australian waters - which
would be a new bird for the continent. 
> More to come
> Simon.
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Simon Mustoe 
> Tel: +61 (0) 405220830 | Skype simonmustoe | Email

> Visit BIRD-O at
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