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Manx Shearwater sightings

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  • Russell Scalf
    I am curious why, in the exchanges about Manx Shearwater sightings, no one mentions the possibility of Townsend s, Audubon s or Newell s. The first two seem to
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 6, 2002
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      I am curious why, in the exchanges about Manx Shearwater sightings, no one mentions the possibility of Townsend's, Audubon's or Newell's. The first two seem to occur off Baja, according to Harrison.

      It's hard to imagine that one can eliminate these easily in a long distance sightings.

      -Rusty Scalf
      Berkeley, CA





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    • Russell Scalf
      I am curious why, in the exchanges about Manx Shearwater, no one has mentioned the possibility of Townsend s, Audubon s or Newell s. According to Harrison, the
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 6, 2002
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        I am curious why, in the exchanges about Manx Shearwater, no one has mentioned the
        possibility of Townsend's, Audubon's or Newell's. According to Harrison, the first
        two seem to occur off Baja.

        Wouldn't it be difficult to eliminate these species at a great distance?

        Is this an issue?

        -Rusty Scalf




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      • Guy McCaskie
        Rusty, The oceanic range of Townsend s Shearwater off Baja California is limited to the open ocean off the southern end of the peninsula (A. R. Wilbur. Birds
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 6, 2002
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          Rusty,

          The oceanic range of Townsend's Shearwater off Baja California is limited to
          "the open ocean off the southern end of the peninsula" (A. R. Wilbur. Birds
          of Baja California. 1986). There are no documented records of Newell's
          Shearwater off Baja California (R. A. Erickson and S. N. G. Howell. Birds of
          the Baja California Peninsula. A.B.A. Monographs in Field Ornithology No. 3.
          2001). Manx Shearwater is proving to be a regular visitor to the Pacific
          Coast of North America (c. 60 records for California), where as there are no
          records for Townsend's or Newel's Shearwaters from these same waters.
          Posted photos of the Manx Shearwater off the Palos Verdes Peninsula show
          that the bird had entirely white undertail coverts and the diagnostic facial
          pattern of a Manx Shearwater. The white at the vent on both the Townsend's
          and Newell's Shearwaters extends up to include the sides of the rump
          (Violet-green Swallow pattern), and Townsend's Shearwater has dark undertail
          coverts. From the documentation presented for the Palos Verdes Peninsula
          bird, there appears to be no reason to consider the far less likely
          Townsend's and Newell's Shearwaters, and the same can be said for the two
          seen from San Clemente Island.

          Guy McCaskie
          954 Grove Avenue
          Imperial Beach, CA 91932
          TEL 619-423-7524

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Russell Scalf" <rfs_berkeley@...>
          To: <calbirds@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Wednesday, March 06, 2002 3:40 PM
          Subject: [CALBIRDS] Manx Shearwater sightings


          >
          > I am curious why, in the exchanges about Manx Shearwater, no one has
          mentioned the
          > possibility of Townsend's, Audubon's or Newell's. According to Harrison,
          the first
          > two seem to occur off Baja.
          >
          > Wouldn't it be difficult to eliminate these species at a great distance?
          >
          > Is this an issue?
          >
          > -Rusty Scalf
          >
          >
          >
          >
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        • Mitch H
          Hi calbirdos, Whilst reports are a far cry from records, there have been a few Townsend s Shearwater reports in CA waters haven t there? I seem to recall a
          Message 4 of 4 , Mar 6, 2002
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            Hi calbirdos,

            Whilst reports are a far cry from records,
            there have been a few Townsend's Shearwater
            reports in CA waters haven't there? I seem
            to recall a couple maybe from north of socal?

            Once David Moody, Charlie (once a species, always a species) Mayhood, and I (two grown men and me) saw at least one Townsend's over Redondo Canyon in August a decade ago.
            I sent all three of our descriptions in, but
            once I checked hoping for another rejection, it seemed it was never reviewed.

            Townsend's looks like it has headlights on, when flying away. The white ovals are so bold, and so distinct and crisp. Guy's Violet- green Swallow analogy is excellent.

            Manx sometimes shows some white undertail coverts blowing up onto the very edges of the uppertail coverts, but nothing I would classify as ovals or distinct patches above the mid-line.

            I also know Dr. Stu Warter told me twice in his many years of marine orni classes he believed he saw Townsend's. I sometimes helped him with his students on these trips, and would say I never saw him make a bad call.

            So, I would bet they've occurred, and it is only a matter of time until one is documented sufficiently to make the gargantuan leap from report to record....like Solander's Petrel.

            This week, I saw two Manx in Monterey Bay, one Mon ca. 4 mi. S. of Sta.Cruz, and another Tues. (yesterday) just off Pt. Pinos. Also a Flesh-footed Shear was near the Mon. Manx. A total of 200 plus Black-vents were there as well, besides the usual tons of birds.

            But watch for that Manx fever... I have a photo up on my website of a Black-vent with an auricular crescent, (besides the occasional pale vented birds). Go to pelagic photos, then to shearwaters and look at the bird on the left. And in early or late (low-angle)light,
            Black-vents can appear very dark and white, as opposed to the usual mustard brown and muddy white in high sun...

            best all,
            Mitch in Torrance
            Mitch Heindel
            birdfish@...
            (please use this e-dress)
            http://www.angelfire.com/ca5/pelagics




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