Sunday, 6 June 2010

Tubenoses the easy way

Having now passed for press the July issue of Birdwatch, which has a strong seabird theme (potential Western Palearctic splits, top sites, pelagics, storm-petrel ID and the Falklands), I'm starting to get itchy feet. It's not like it's easy to sate a desire for tubenoses close to home; the best chance for a seawatch in London is an autumn vigil during easterlies and rain at Rainham or Grays, and believe me if you hit two species of tern and nothing else you can count yourself fairly lucky.

So instead, my seabirding is for now vicarious and online, starting with Peter Alfrey's evocative photos of Monteiro's Storm-petrels and Macaronesian (or if you prefer Barolo's) Shearwater from his recent Azores pelagic, and also the following video clip from the latest Madeira Wind Birds pelagic (it's a bit juddery at first, but if the word Swinhoe's means anything to you then stick with it).

And finally, here are some images from the last (and most hair-raising) pelagic I went on, at sea in the Cape Verde Islands in March last year (from top: Brown Booby, Cape Verde Shearwater and Boyd's Shearwater); you can view a few more shots from that trip on my Flickr site at www.flickr.com/photos/dominicmitchell/sets/72157616187306073/.

Roll on autumn!

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