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Petrel, Morocco, feb 2011

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Old Saturday 19th February 2011, 23:45   #1
MSA
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Petrel, Morocco, feb 2011

I know what I think this is, but I'd be very interested in opinions.....
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Old Saturday 19th February 2011, 23:52   #2
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PS the pale line is the edge of the left-hand wing in my opinion, not a pale bar on the underwing....
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Old Saturday 19th February 2011, 23:59   #3
Simon Wates
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSA View Post
PS the pale line is the edge of the left-hand wing in my opinion, not a pale bar on the underwing....
That's what I thought - but still I am finding it hard to see why it isn't European Storm Petrel. Looks a little long winged perhaps, At the angle wouldn't the underwing be obscured?
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Old Sunday 20th February 2011, 01:36   #4
Jan-Paul Charteris
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Madeiran? Decent looking bill too

Jan

Edit, mind you what was the size impression?! I'm going on the fact that it does actually look quite long winged and sturdy billed, but obviously if it's a very small stormy with an apparent upperwing bar and a wrap around rump, it'd be Wilson's in mind?

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Old Sunday 20th February 2011, 06:43   #5
Jane Turner
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My gut reaction is Madeiran too - be a bugger to prove though. How was it flying?
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Old Sunday 20th February 2011, 07:41   #6
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IMO the pale field on upperwing would´ve been paler/clearer on a Madeiran and tail would shown deeper cut (fork). IMO i´d say European based on what can be seen on the photo.
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Old Sunday 20th February 2011, 08:06   #7
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I operate two petrel system, assuming its either Storm or Leach's. On the thumbnail there was something about the length of the rump/tail and wing shape that pushed me away from Storm...

Mark - what were the wind conditions and how was it flying?
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Old Sunday 20th February 2011, 09:07   #8
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Can't see any white on the underwing...(should preclude Storm?), however the pale W on the upperwing seems more complete (as in storm), tail looks perhaps longer, rather than shorter, if I had to jump one way! it would be towards Madeiran....I think?
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Old Sunday 20th February 2011, 19:49   #9
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There were 4 birds off Dhakla peninsula, seemingly of two species, one of which I called as Madeiran at the time - fired off a few photos of general sea area, and the above is the only one that came out. Seemed larger than Storm Petrel, longer-winged, and flight action more direct, not fluttery.
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Old Sunday 20th February 2011, 20:31   #10
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Mark, any petrel is a good record in Feb off Morocco! Leach's is by far the most likely but, at least in southern Portugal invariably associated with serious storms - either just before, during or just after. E. Storm hangs around a few days sometimes inshore and I have had a fair few in mid-winter (even though they are supposed to be miles away). Madeiran would be an exceptional record, but if you definitely eliminated Leach's - then it must be. As for the photo I still have problems eliminating E.Storm, however it does look rather good.
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Old Sunday 20th February 2011, 21:57   #11
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Hello MSA,

'Petrel, Morocco' is a pretty irresistible thread title!

You asked for opinions, so here is another one: I believe that even this poor record shot provides sufficient information to identify the petrel in question, with reasonable confidence, as a European Storm Petrel. The attached photo-montage, in which I have added a couple of images of similarly positioned European Storm Petrels for comparison, and attempted to clarify what can be seen in your photograph, illustrates my analysis.

As a matter of fact, even though there is a significant size difference between European Storm Petrel and Madeiran Storm Petrel, they are actually quite similar in shape and proportions. The crucial feature in your photograph is the light underwing bar, the position of which is precisely where it should be on a Storm Petrel and too far forward for it to be "the [trailing] edge of the wing". In addition, there seems to be slightly too 'long' a white rump for Madeiran, which typically shows a rather narrow band of white crossing the rump (though not all are so narrow).

As for Leach's and Wilson's Storm Petrel, I think possibility of either can be eliminated on wing shape and upperwing/underwing pattern.

Regards,

Killian Mullarney
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Old Tuesday 22nd February 2011, 12:57   #12
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Thanks for the detailed reply Killian!

It would be interesting to see what other "crews" come up with on seawatches from this area; I can't really find anything comparable for time of year/location in other trip reports. I certainly had the impression there were two species involved, and wish that a few more photos had come out.
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Old Tuesday 22nd February 2011, 18:05   #13
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Looking at the underwing again with more scrutiny!...I can now see, that what I originally thought was highlight/reflection off the trailing edge...is in fact an underwing bar!

It would be impossible for it to be anything other than...otherwise it would be a new species 'Deformed-wing Petrel'.

cheers...to KM1
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