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Old Friday 22nd November 2013, 19:58   #1
Samuel Perfect
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desmarestii race Shag? Cornwall

Would I be pushing my luck to say this Shag shows features of the race desmarestii? Photographed 21/11/13 at Pennance Point, Cornwall.
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Old Friday 22nd November 2013, 19:59   #2
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...and a rubbish flight shot as it left the scope
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Old Friday 22nd November 2013, 20:17   #3
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I read somewhere that aristotelis can look just as bleeched as desmarestii, but only in extreme cases. Be interesting to know if you can separate them for sure and what the status of this race in Britain is.

Look forward to hearing what people think.

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Old Friday 22nd November 2013, 20:25   #4
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This may help too - http://www.britishbirds.co.uk/search?model=pdf&id=7472
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Old Friday 22nd November 2013, 23:23   #5
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Personally I'd put this down as partially leucistic
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Old Saturday 23rd November 2013, 06:22   #6
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Another for leucistic nominate. The dark belly rules out desmarestii and no taxa has a whitish nape. I'm not sure if a genuine desmarestii has been recorded in the UK.

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Old Saturday 23rd November 2013, 08:19   #7
Andy Hurley
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The whole series appears somewhat bleached, which could be causing it to appear lighter than it is.
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Old Saturday 23rd November 2013, 17:09   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris butterworth View Post
Another for leucistic nominate. The dark belly rules out desmarestii and no taxa has a whitish nape. I'm not sure if a genuine desmarestii has been recorded in the UK.

Chris
It hasn't I'm pretty sure, though better examples have been described. I agree with you and Ads that this looks like a leucistic aristotelis
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Old Saturday 23rd November 2013, 18:10   #9
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Thanks all for the feedback.

According to the link Locostella provided "all [desmarestii] had dark thighs which contrasted
with the pale underparts. While this may be a constant feature on
desmarestii, juveniles of the nominate race can also be very pale below". The same dark/pale contrast does not exist in my second pic so I understand why leucism appears a good option.

The extent of yellow on the bill and bright tarsus (strongly tinged pink) were additional features that stood out (the pic in post 2 seems to just about show the latter feature).

Apparently, bill size is longer in desmarestii although I wasn't able to compare it to nominate Shags as this was the only bird in the area (maybe it's possible to determine bill length relative to head size?)

My concern with it being leucistic or bleached is that the pale areas seem to fit the same areas of the body that would also appear pale in the med race (almost too conventionally to be possible through pure chance).
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