Thursday, 28 March 2013

white-faced storm petrel

With breaking news of the black-throated thrush in Aberdeenshire I was in a fairly miserable mood this morning as another target bird for my British life list is sure to flit before I get home and have a chance to twitch it. I consoled myself with arctic skuas and sandwich terns and then enjoyed a few common dolphins as they did a fairly close pass. After lunch the sun came out and it quickly became unbearably hot. Squinting into the sun I saw a small distant splash, a hint of a light grey shape, another splash and I thought I was watching a flying fish. Seconds later what looked like a tiny kangaroo bounced down the side of the ship and I realised I was watching a white-faced storm petrel! They really are the most delightful birds- probably one of my favourite seabirds and I never tire of watching them as they use their incredibly long legs and feet to spring off the sea surface as they search for tiny food items. Unfortunately, as is so often the case with such encounters, the bird stayed out at 100+ metres from my ship so my photos. are very heavily cropped although they just show enough detail to confirm the ID. A very nice consolation bird!!

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