strange petrel on today's Sydney pelagic

To: "" <>
Subject: strange petrel on today's Sydney pelagic
From: Nikolas Haass <>
Date: Sat, 9 Apr 2011 04:42:49 -0700 (PDT)
Hi all,

Raja and I had a look at Raja's photos. 

The White-tailed Tropicbird was an immature bird.

The South Polar Skua looks actually quite good for an intermediate morph South 
Polar Skua - even at the pale end of the intermediate morph.

The petrel, however, is not an easy one. If the first two pictures, indeed show 
the same bird, then we can clearly rule out White-headed Petrel, although all 
the remaining pictures make this bird look like a White-headed Petrel. I think 
that I was the second person who got on the bird after Tom called it, and my 
immediate impression was "mid-sized Pterodroma shape" and "Hutton's Shearwater 
plumage". I.e. Dark upperparts including head (or at least cap), white 
underparts, and mostly dark-looking underwings, which in certain angles 
showed some white flash. This white flash did not appear like the white 
primary bases in a Providence petrel and was definitely not as extensive as in 
a White-necked Petrel or most Cookilarias (neither White-necked Petrel nor 
Cookilarias fit 
the overall impression anyway). Therefore, I was thinking "pale or 
intermediate morph Soft-plumaged Petrel". Unfortunately, this ID is not really 
supported by the pictures. Comments?

Nikolas Haass

Sydney, NSW

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