Flesh-footed Shearwater?

To: Birding-Aus <>
Subject: Flesh-footed Shearwater?
From: Jason Polak <>
Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2018 21:43:30 -0400
Hi, Philip. That is a very interesting remark. Certainly I think the
reason for my mistake can be broken down into the following parts:

1) We were primarily aiming for seabirds when we went to Point Addis, so
seabirds were on our mind when we were looking

2) On paper, some of the shearwaters don't look too different from the

3) Unfortunately - and this is probably a major point - we have never
seen a shearwater in real life.

4) We use the Pizzey & Knight book, and while we love this book, I don't
think there is sufficient detail in this book for us beginners (less
than 2 years of total birding) to make a good distinction between the two

Interestingly, there was another occasion a few months ago where we
observed a few immature Pacific Gulls and originally could not identify
them and wondered if it was something new. However, at that time we had
more time to look at them fly and observe them with binoculars that
eventually we discovered their true identity.

Happy birding!

On 2018-07-15 09:23 PM, Philip Veerman wrote:
> Chris is surely right but it highlights an interesting perception. I am
> always interested in items like why would someone think of a Shearwater for
> an observation like this and is there therefore evidence of something wrong
> with the basic information in the field guides. Surely shearwaters and big
> gulls are quite different in shape and manner. However I can say I would be
> more pleased to see a Flesh-footed Shearwater. So I understand Jason's
> approach. I have been on only a fraction of the number of pelagic trips
> (probably a dozen), that I expect Chris has done. But I have never knowingly
> seen a Flesh-footed Shearwater. Yes to vast numbers of Short-tailed
> Shearwaters and a sprinkling of other sea birds. As for the Pacific Gull, in
> my young years I spent many holidays at Phillip Island, so I regard the
> Pacific Gull as a common garden bird (there), that is to say, they would
> regularly fly over the holiday house whilst patrolling the coast (on recent
> visits the Kelp Gulls are the more common). 
> Philip Veerman
> Canberra

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