For the better part of 17 years Michael Brooke has studied Manx Shearwaters at their Atlantic colonies. A number of expeditions have also enabled him to investigate at first hand other shearwater and petrel species in many isolated parts of the world.
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In this book he describes the fruits of his own and other research, synthesizing a wealth of data for the scientist and amateur alike. The breeding biology, vocal behaviour, transequatorial migrations and population dynamics of the bird are described in detail and comparisons are drawn with other shearwaters and petrels, to show how the various species have adapted to local conditions worldwide.
Delightful vignettes by Dafila Scott complete this enthralling book. Jacket painting by Peter Harrison. You can unsubscribe from newsletters at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in any newsletter.
Azores whale watching Futurismo: Cory’s shearwater fact sheet
For instance, Great Shearwaters passing on 15 September numbered 5,, and 4, were recorded on 3 September More recently, 5, flew past on 11 September The sight of 10, Cory's Shearwaters there on 16 August is difficult to comprehend and Cape Clear has enjoyed several four-figure Cory's days. The most recent mass movement of Cory's there was back in , with 16 August again being the date that brought the goods.
Cory's Shearwater Photo: Gary Thoburn.
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It wasn't just the large shearwaters that made a landmark year for seabirds; September again delivered in Cornwall on the weekend of 17th and 18th. Long periods of westerlies led up to a brisk northwest wind and a substantial flow of passing seabirds over the two days.
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Expectation was high and indeed met on the second day. It also produced the best of the weekend's strong counts of Great Skua and Arctic Skua , with and birds respectively. Grey Phalarope Photo: Kit Day. These may be impressive totals, but it is Irish seawatches that can truly amaze, and 26 August holds fond memories for County Kerry stalwart Ed Carty:.
Fea's Petrel Photo: Peter Stronach. But, for many, the Bridges of Ross in County Clare represents the ultimate in seawatching locations. One of the Bridges' finest days came the day before Ed Carty's brilliant session in County Kerry on 25 August , producing a memorable hat-trick of Barolo Shearwater , Fea's-type Petrel and Wilson's Storm-petrel among a wide selection of the more expected species. Wilson's Storm-petrel Photo: Joe Pender.
Procellariidae – Petrels, Diving Petrels & Shearwaters
Cheshire is not usually associated with red-letter seawatching days, but westerly gales in September routinely spark a Leach's Storm-petrel extravaganza. As Steve Williams of Hilbre Bird Observatory explains, "The first sighting of the year of a Leach's Storm-petrel flitting over the now massive waves is an incredibly heart-stopping moment, no matter how often you see it, and that feeling returns each year. Counts of over passing the north end of the island in a day, some right over the slipway below the seawatching hide, are not exceptional.
However, occasionally remarkable passages occur such as the that occurred on 27 September On those special days you seawatch until the dark strains your eyes as you try to count the very last one you can see. Leach's Storm-petrel Photo: Richard Steel. Seawatching events where the numbers of good seabirds just keep climbing are rare, and often a matter of ideal conditions meeting good luck.
They are what keen seawatchers live for and make for lasting memories.
Such days do come around on a regular basis; it's just a matter of making sure you are there when it happens. Have you seen something interesting?
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Sabine's Gull Photo: Nick Davies The excellent season of produced a series of historically significant movements of large shearwaters, with some huge numbers notched up in Cornwall and Ireland. Cory's Shearwater Photo: Gary Thoburn It wasn't just the large shearwaters that made a landmark year for seabirds; September again delivered in Cornwall on the weekend of 17th and 18th. Grey Phalarope Photo: Kit Day These may be impressive totals, but it is Irish seawatches that can truly amaze, and 26 August holds fond memories for County Kerry stalwart Ed Carty: "Due to work I was unable to go to Brandon Point where good numbers of both Sooty and Cory's Shearwaters moved through the previous day, along with three species of skua and a few Sabine's Gulls.
I instead visited Kerry Head early morning, a relatively under-watched headland just north of Ballyheigue. Within a few minutes of the seawatch starting I could already see a steady passage of Sooties; skuas were also evident with their almost continuous harassment of Kittiwakes. At I noticed something very different in the Manx Shearwater stream; though similar in size to a Manx this bird was moving in a totally different manner, much faster with high arcs and the plumage features were unlike anything I had ever seen but I knew immediately what it was The bird had me enthralled for an eternity 45 seconds and when I finally lost it to view I was ecstatic and assumed I would never see the species again.get link
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This represented the first county record. With the weather conditions similar that evening I revisited Brandon Point I've always held the opinion that Brandon is better in the evening. Having earlier alerted others about my efforts on Kerry Head I was now joined by two birders including Mike O'Keeffe but before we had time to set up we could see that large numbers of Cory's Shearwater were moving. We were organised by and began counting the birds immediately.
Although Cory's were undoubtedly eye-catching and numerous, several other species were also on the move. Sooty Shearwaters careered along in typical manner showing their unmistakable silvery underwing and passing skuas included the occasional Pomarine. At the shout "what's that!?