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Checklist S47550174

 
Location
Offshore sighting--Townsend's Storm-Petrel, San Diego County, California, US ( Map )
Date and Effort
Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:45 AM
Protocol:
Stationary
Party Size:
3
Duration:
5 minute(s)
Observers:
David Povey List , Gary Nunn , Thomas Blackman List
Comments:
Spot checklist for the first of three Townsend's Storm-Petrel seen today. These may be the best photos I have so far of this species!
Species
1 species total
1

Exact checklist location of bird. GPS coordinates 32°49'9" N 117°38'52" W. Approximately 18.7NM west of La Jolla. About half way across the San Diego Trough heading to the Thirty Mile Bank.

A small snappy looking and strikingly black and white storm petrel at first glance perhaps could be confused with Wilson's Storm-Petrel due to size and stand out bright white rump. Short visible leg length, not projecting beyond the tail, white rump shape, and the molt condition, separating this bird from Wilson's Stom-Petrel.

Typical forward movement quite dashing with fluttery stops and vertical dives to water surface. Very dark blackish color overall without warmer brown tones usually noticeable on Leach's Storm-Petrel (form chapmani seen hereabouts). Tail length short, about equal to rump length, with a shallow fork or just a notch in the tail when at a good parallel flight angle to observer. The "apparent" fork depth varies based on travel direction of bird towards or away from observer and also depends importantly on the degree which the tail sides are raised up in relation to center of tail. With tail sides up, a sort of tall V shape cross section, the outer tail feathers highest, the tail looks quite forked traveling towards the observer obliquely. Best photographs to determine the fork depth is perpendicular to observer and this shows the fork is quite shallow and matches examples I have examined in the collection of the SDNHM.

White "thumbprint" apparent on sides of undertail coverts, extending from the white uppertail coverts. This appears as a white dot on many photographs of the underparts as the bird tilts away.

Wings quite rounded looking.

Pale upperwing panel appearing warmer toned and contrasting the colder blackish of the back and upper wing coloration.

White uppertail coverts quite fluffy looking with a darker median line, looks like a shadow between bright white feathers to me but could perhaps be dark.

Noticeably short legs match many other example photographs I have of this species.

ML109174621

© Gary Nunn

Age:
Adult
ML109174741

© Gary Nunn

Age:
Adult
ML109174761

© Gary Nunn

Age:
Adult
ML109174801

© Gary Nunn

Age:
Adult
ML109174871

© Gary Nunn

ML109174981

© Gary Nunn

Age:
Adult
ML109175031

© Gary Nunn

Age:
Adult
ML109175071

© Gary Nunn

Age:
Adult
ML109175201

© Gary Nunn

Age:
Adult
ML109175251

© Gary Nunn

Age:
Adult
 

Are you submitting a complete checklist of the birds you were able to identify?

No