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Possible Manx Shearwater - Cook Straight

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  • Roger McNeill
    Yesterday, while crossing the Cook Straight, I had a probable Manx Shearwater, close to the Picton side of the channel. I was out on deck the entire crossing
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 28, 2004
      Yesterday, while crossing the Cook Straight, I had a probable Manx Shearwater, close to the Picton side of the channel. I was out on deck the entire crossing and was pleasantly surprised with the large number of tubenoses. All in all, I probably had close to 200 Fairy Prion, 3 White-capped and 1 Gibson's Mollymawk, 8 Sooty Shearwaters and a single Short-tailed. Right up to the shore were Hutton's Shearwaters.



      The 'Manx' was about 2/3 of the way across and was with two Sooty Shearwaters. I have seen Manx 100's of times while living in the Eastern US and feel comfortable in telling them apart from other Atlantic seabirds (note I stress Atlantic). The bird had very clean lines, a distinctive long-wings and black / white coloration, and I was able to watch it cross the bow of the ship seeing both the upper side and underside of the wings on three separate banks. To me, Manx's are best told by their under wing and I was able to see this well. I was able to make some notes on the spot and had the added benefit of having the jizz comparison with Sooty. I will write this up when I get back home.



      I also was able to make it out of Kaikoura today, despite some pretty breezy conditions. Being relatively new to South Pacific albatross, I won't wander into the 'Wandering' debate...but the trip list was as follows. The breakdown on Wandering was what was called out by the captain and although I understand the field marks on which he was making the call, I don't know enough to say if they are diagnostic or not....



      Northern Royal Albatross - 2; Southern Royal-Albatross - 2; Snowy Albatross (wandering) - 1; Gibson's Albatross (wandering) - 7, Antipodean Albatross (wandering) - 2; Black-browed Mollymawk (sub-Antarctic) - 1; White-capped Mollymawk - 2; Salvin's Mollymawk - 35+; Northern Giant-Petrel -15+; Westland Black Petrel -12; White-chinned Petrel - 8; Grey-faced Petrel - 2; Cape Petrel - 50+; Fairy Prion - 25; Hutton's Shearwater 1500; Buller's Shearwater - 6; Short-tailed Shearwater - 1; Pied Shag - 4; Spotted Shat - 2; White-fronted Tern - 12; Kelp Gull - 50; Red-billed Gull - 400; Australasian Gannet - 1 Location (The Lump) 42' 30's / 173' 38' E - Cool NE breeze with moderate sea - partly cloudy.

      ________________________________

      Roger McNeill
      Auckland

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