[Tweeters] Can't be completely shear
tsbrennan at hotmail.com
Fri Nov 2 13:58:41 PDT 2018
I have been on exactly zero pelagic trips, so it was a little stressful when a shearwater showed up at Alki (right off of Luna Park) an hour ago. I had my binoculars with me and was able to watch it in flight and on the water for about 15-20 minutes. Here's the field marks I had:
On the water: Brown, with the cap and tail slightly darker than the rest of the body. Distinctly light bill. Side by side with GWGU, it was about 2/3 the size, which fits a few species. In flight, I was looking for white markings/patches/anything, but the bird was pretty uniformly brown. I had read a report for a Leach's Storm Petrel where they noted "Nighthawk-like flight", and that seemed good enough to describe the I'm-Not-a-gull-like flight that, together with the bill color, first caught my eye.
I suppose this will go down as Shearwater sp? for me, although it was likely a Sooty or a Short-tailed. The bill color stood out so much for me - I'm curious if that points more towards one species or the other.
I stopped observations once a pair of gulls chased it - it actually disappeared over the point - headed off in the direction of Jack Block.
Hope someone finds it! I may head back out and try to relocate it.
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