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3 Gulf Stream Pelagic birds between Bermuda and USA

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Old Friday 26th June 2009, 01:56   #1
stephennj
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3 Gulf Stream Pelagic birds between Bermuda and USA

Here's three distant photos of birds photographed yesterday in the Atlantic Ocean Gulf Stream between Bermuda and New York , USA. They appear to be different birds, all behaving like Shearwaters from what I understand. They were flying just above the ocean's surface , all birds are flying left to right. One of my books says Cory, Sooty, Manx and Greater Shearwaters are highly likely birds at this time of year in the Gulf Stream. I have absolutely no experience with Pelagics so any help would be appreciated !!

I have touched up the photos with cropping and lighting only
Thanks !!
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Old Friday 26th June 2009, 08:07   #2
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Your first looks to be a Cory's. Compare the underwing and shape with this fairly distant one:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jjbirder/3545090697/

The others I can not tell.
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Old Friday 26th June 2009, 10:52   #3
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Difficult with these shots but 2 looks to be a Puffinus sp. so maybe a Manx, odd rear end? The 3 looks like a Northern Fulmar. Could be wrong..
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Old Friday 26th June 2009, 11:02   #4
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Thanks JDJ and Rockfowl , my first thoughts were 1 and 3 are Cory's and #2 Greater Shearwater but there are all inexperienced guesses.
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Old Friday 26th June 2009, 11:09   #5
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I couldn't rule out Great for 2, can't see enough detail on the underwing. No 3 shows a pale tail which rules out Cory's, which is black.
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Last edited by rockfowl : Saturday 27th June 2009 at 09:20. Reason: clarity
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Old Friday 26th June 2009, 11:47   #6
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Not Fulmar at this time of year. Cory's was my first impression for #1 also. But tough to be sure on any of these.

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Old Friday 26th June 2009, 11:56   #7
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No 2 does have a look of a Puffinus about it. I couldn't ID it from the photo alone, but if it looked like a Great at the time and was getting on for the size of the Cory's it may well be a Great. It seems to have a long rear end (Manx is quite short at the back compared to Great). Great is probably more likely on range (?).

Fulmar is a good call for No3 (written before I noticed your comment about range).

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Old Friday 26th June 2009, 14:54   #8
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What about Brown Noddy for No 3?
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Old Friday 26th June 2009, 16:20   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fricka View Post
What about Brown Noddy for No 3?
The photo does give the impression of a white cap on brown bird, but I think the tail is too short and the wings too straight and broad for a tern. Compare: http://www1.nhl.nl/~ribot/english/anst_ng.htm

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Old Friday 26th June 2009, 21:04   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fricka View Post
What about Brown Noddy for No 3?
They also have very dark tails..
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Old Friday 26th June 2009, 21:11   #11
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They also have very dark tails..
I do not see a clearly white tail; to my eyes, it could be a dark tail with some light reflecting off of it.

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Old Friday 26th June 2009, 21:15   #12
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Originally Posted by J. Moore View Post
I do not see a clearly white tail; to my eyes, it could be a dark tail with some light reflecting off of it.

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Jim
I would beg to differ Jim, though agree not white, pale with no hint of any black, even on the near edge
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Last edited by rockfowl : Saturday 27th June 2009 at 09:27. Reason: clarity
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Old Friday 26th June 2009, 21:55   #13
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#3 was not a Tern , definitely more like a shearwater ,(I think that was a lighting problem with the photo ) in fact I am quite sure about it being a Cory's myself now.
an interesting discussion and I am looking forward for more thanks guys !
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Old Saturday 27th June 2009, 01:30   #14
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another view of #2

another view of #2 , same photo but no sharpening on the photo at all.
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Old Saturday 27th June 2009, 01:34   #15
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Quote:
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What about Brown Noddy for No 3?
I see brown noddy not infrequently, and I always get an impression of a longer tail from that species than from this image. In fact, first time I saw one, I thought "like a tern with a tail from a kestrel", which may be exaggerated, but not too bad.

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Old Saturday 27th June 2009, 01:39   #16
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another view of #2 , same photo but no sharpening on the photo at all.
I guess in that area you have the possibility for both Bermuda and Black-capped Petrels? I might be off base, but I dont feel I can exclude any of those.

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Old Saturday 27th June 2009, 02:20   #17
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Black-capped Petrel is good for the range. I wonder if the head is black enough , I will dig thru some online photos of that species .
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Old Saturday 27th June 2009, 06:24   #18
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Cory's, Great and Fulmar for me

100% 85% and 95% certainties
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Old Saturday 27th June 2009, 08:36   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane Turner View Post
Cory's, Great and Fulmar for me

100% 85% and 95% certainties
Not sure if you saw my note Jane, but thought I should iterate that Fulmar would be quite unusual in this area at this time of year. So I think not a bird that could be confirmed based on a photo such as this.

A recent trip from Baltimore to Bermuda, with some experienced pelagic birders on board, recorded the following species:

Black-capped Petrel
Bermuda Petrel
Cory's Shearwater
Greater Shearwater
Manx Shearwater
Audubon's Shearwater
Wilson's Storm-Petrel
Leach's Storm-Petrel
White-tailed Tropicbird
Long-tailed Jaeger

By the way Steve, do you know the approximate locations where these were taken? Closer to New York or Bermuda?

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Old Saturday 27th June 2009, 09:12   #20
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I did consider a Gadfly Petrel for No 2. There is an initial 'jizz' feel of a Pterodroma about the bird when you first look at it, but if you enlarge it slightly the proportions suggest a Puffinus sp more likely and I'm edging toward Great. The underwing pattern of a Black-capped is also quite striking and I can't see any suggestion of the 'broken-W' pattern I would have expected despite the quality of image. I would also expect the cap to appear even with shadow, capped contrasting with a white neck collar.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1290/...ebf63f.jpg?v=0
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Old Saturday 27th June 2009, 10:26   #21
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Jim the photos were all taken about 16 hrs into the 32 hr trip , approx half way between Bermuda and Port Liberty, New Jersey...
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Old Saturday 27th June 2009, 12:45   #22
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Not sure if you saw my note Jane, but thought I should iterate that Fulmar would be quite unusual in this area at this time of year. So I think not a bird that could be confirmed based on a photo such as this.

I did read your note. It still looks compatible with Fulmar
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Old Sunday 28th June 2009, 01:11   #23
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I would like to thank everyone for their valuable opinions , I know these photos are difficult . Since these are life birds I want to be very sure of a positive I.D. I think the final results look something like this for me:

1 Cory's Shearwater
2 Greater Shearwater
3 unknown due to difficult photo ,probably a Cory's with a sunlight glare on it's nape and tail . I just cant see Northern Fulmar being this far south in late June and Brown Noddy doesn't sit right either.

Thanks again to you Pelagic Pros !
steve
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Old Sunday 28th June 2009, 14:35   #24
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Structure of 3 is wrong for Cory's.

Non-breeding prospecting Fulmars go to all sort of strange places in June.
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Old Sunday 28th June 2009, 14:42   #25
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Structure of 3 is wrong for Cory's.

Non-breeding prospecting Fulmars go to all sort of strange places in June.
Agreed
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