Thursday, 27 February 2014

Corys' on the move?

We have moved North to within 20 nautical miles of the coast of Ghana and inside the 200 metre depth contour. The change in the numbers of seabirds is very noticeable with a steady, albeit light passage of pomarine and arctic skuas, a handful of grey phalaropes, single 'comic' tern and hundreds of Corys' shearwaters. The shearwaters are becoming increasingly restless, forming into rafts of several hundred birds- this possibly being the precursor to their north-western migration back to higher latitudes- I have seen similar behaviour with regard to great shearwaters before they head south from Greenland for their autumnal migration. Both Cory's (C.borealis) and Scopoli's (C. diomedea) are found here and as Paul Stancliff of the BTO pointed out the bird immediately below shows the white primary 'fingers' extending into the black 'hand' - a good feature for Scopoli's. 

part of a 'raft' of several hundred Cory's/Scopoli's shearwaters

pom skua

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