Mini Pelagic from Paracas. April 17, 1998
Kolibri Expeditions (this was posted originally on Neoorn.
) the comments that followed did not shed much light other than without photographs
nothing can be said for certain. Records in parentesis must be regarded as hypothetic.
"Last Friday 17 th of April, I went on a semipelagic trip
off the coast off Paracas, together with four British birders. According to
our boatman the water temperatures have suddenly dropped from ca 27 degrees
a few days/weeks ago to around 20. This means there has been a sudden influx
of cold water. The birds and sealions are just returning to the area. There
is an interesting mixture of vagrant northern and southern seabirds in our records
below. Another thing that supports that life are coming back to the Peruvian
coast was the abundance of cetaceans. We saw large schools of Common Dolphin
and Bottle-nosed Dolphins as well as a c. 10 whales - possibly Bryde´s Whale
small large ones. Unfortunately no literature handy for id
Here are the goodies. Since there are a few very odd records
I would like comments. Also, maybe someone on the list could diffuse this message
to Seabirds-L, for comments by expertise.
N=northern migrant. S=Southern Migrant. R=Usually resident or
breeding in the area.
Humboldt Penguin Spheniscus humboldti R 5
Peruvian Diving Petrel Pelecanoides garnotti R 5
Cape Petrel Daption capense S 1
Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus R 200
Pink-footed Shearwater Puffinus creatopus N 10
Waved Albatross Diomedea irrorata N 6
(Grey-headed Albatross Diomedea chrysostoma)? S 6. Lately I have
had more experience with Albatrosses off the Peruvian coast. We can not exclude
Salvin´s Alabtross, as none of us made any noting of the underside. As a matter
of fact one month later I made another mini pelagic from Paracas and the shots
I took of seabirds then show that the albatross then seen was Salvin´s and
not Grey-headed Albatross
(Northern Giant Fulmar Macronectes halli) S 1 - new for Peru. 1 juv bird
seen very well with dark bill tip and all chocolate brown plumage. No whitish
feathers at all in face area. Any chance of misidentification? Some photographs
were taken though I have not seen them to date Nov 2001. The record should
be regarded as hypothetical untill photographic proofs can be obtained.
Swallow-tailed Gull Creagrus furcatus N 10
Chilean Skua Catharacta chilensis S 8
(Brown Skua Catharacta lonnbergi) ? S 2 - We are a bit reserved
of this record since it is basically identified on negative features. We particularly
saw one bird very well, which did not have the tawny color of the species above.
Is it possible to identify to Antarctic Skua on the following field marks? Very
dark chocolate color all over and no cap. Definitely not tawny/ginger on belly.
Apart from the obvious white crescent in the wing it had a smaller less conspicuous
one, but clearly seen. Virtually identical to Great Skua. Antarctic Skua has
never been positively identified off the Peruvian coast as far as I know. It
is not mentioned in Parker´s checklist. - We had a more certain record
at close range in July 2001 identified on large size. Klaus Malling Olsen conclude
pers comm that South Polar Skua C. maccormicki can also be dark chocolate brown,
but that jizz should be quite useful for its identification. Size of lonnbergi
is much larger .
Pomarine Jaeger Stercorarius pomarinus N 4
(Antarctic Petrel Thalassoica antarctica) S 1 ?!!!!?
We saw a bird that was gliding over the waves about 20 nautical miles from shore
in a shearwater fashion. Observation distance ca 200 m It was clearly smaller
than Sooty shearwater and larger than Audubon´s Shearwater. I saw it gliding
sideways with its underside towards us. White below including wing undersides
and a black head. All of a sudden it turned and much to our surprise it had
a large white streak along the black wings. Its back appeared all black as its
head. It did not have the mottled effect of a Cape Petrel and gave a very pied
impression. Looking through our book Harrison´s Seabirds as only reference there
was only Antarctic Petrel possible. Way out of range and first for Peru we are
of coarse a bit doubtful of this rather short observation. Some people of the
party have considerably experience of Cape Petrel, including our boatman Julian
who has 20 years of experience including trips with Ted Parker. All saying it
was not a Cape Petrel. I am not a very avid seabirder I am afraid and have limited
experience southern seabirds. None of our party had any experience of Antarctic
Petrel. It would be nice to have more support to our observation in terms of
other unusual records from Chile or elsewhere of the Antarctic seabirds coming
this far north. I have limited access to newer literature than Harrison´s "Seabirds"
so comments would be appreciated."