Checklist S65407358

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Owner Vincent Weber

Traveling
  • 1
  • 1.1 mi

Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.9.18

Observations

  1. Number observed: 20
  2. Number observed: 700
  3. Number observed: 8
  4. Number observed: 8
  5. Number observed: 1
  6. Number observed: 1
  7. Number observed: 8
  8. Number observed: 6
  9. Number observed: 1
  10. Number observed: 1
  11. Number observed: 3
  12. Number observed: 2
  13. Number observed: 6
  14. Number observed: 1
  15. Number observed: 1

    Details: Original field note: Dark above light below. Slow, gliding wingbeats just above surface. Slightly smaller than gulls.

    On March 3rd, 2020, I observed a Pink-footed Shearwater in good lighting and at relatively close distance through my 11-33x Vortex spotting scope. I have seen them on many occasions in Southern California, most often from San Clemente Island. This observation from Mendocino County is significant because it is an abnormally early sighting. The weather that day was sunny, but fairly windy and the surf was speckled with whitecaps. The air was clear though, lacking fog or other conditions that reduced visibility.

    While I was scanning during my seawatch, I spotted a clear example of a shearwater—long narrow wings, a slender body, and with a narrow bill—gliding with slow wingbeats along the surface of the waves and troughs. The coloration of the bird was a mottled darkish brown above, and a dingy whitish on the underside. The lighter underside extended through the breast and stopped at a face washed brownish to grayish.

    I eliminated other species by a number of factors. It was too large for a storm-petrel, and lacked the erratic flight found in that group. I wasn’t an alcid because the shape wasn’t rotund when wing length to body ratio was considered. Northern Fulmar was eliminated because the ends of the wings were too narrow, the wingbeats themselves were to graceful compared with the stiffer, flatter flight pattern typical of NOFU, and it didn’t have the general appearance of a gull. Immature gulls were eliminated because the body proportions were wrong, as well as flight pattern. Sooty Shearwater was not considered because the individual I observed was bicolored.

    Common Murre is the closest comparable species by color pattern that frequents the Mendocino coast. The coloration of the bird I observed was lighter toned and less crisp when compared to COMU. The body was also narrow and lacked the rounder belly of COMU. The bill of a COMU is also noticeably more triangular and thick when compared to the bird I observed. The flight pattern did not match COMU either.

    Based on these conclusions, I determined the bird to be a Pink-footed Shearwater. It was headed from south to north, I managed to observe it for about half of the observable horizon line for 15-30 seconds or so before it flew out of range.

  16. Number observed: 1
  17. Number observed: 8
  18. Number observed: 4
  19. Number observed: 1
  20. Number observed: 6
  21. Number observed: 2
  22. Number observed: 5
  23. Number observed: 21
  24. Number observed: 2
  25. Number observed: 6
  26. Number observed: 1
  27. Number observed: 1
  28. Number observed: 2
  29. Number observed: 1