Sunday, August 4, 2013

Bulwer's past Galley

Unfortunately I can't really write a post on this spectacular event, as I was at home sheltering from the rain, whilst still glowing in the er after-glow of multiple fea's action. Still, I reckon I can kind of claim some sort of part in the proceedings as if me & CC hadn't struck fea's gold repeatedly the day before, I doubt the Bulwer's Three would have sat it out so long! Anyway, over to Mr Paul Moore to give a brief rendition of what it feels like to find a Bulwer's Petrel on a seawatch....

"Well, that probably won't happen again any time soon. I'm sure people are wondering how was Swinhoe's eliminated so without going into too many details . . . I was a bit cheesed off at missing Galley yesterday as I thought it might be good, but decided to go down today anyway. Things were quiet (compared to yesterday) and two Dublin lads left about 11 leaving just 3 of us from Cork. Just after 12 while scanning the closest Manxies I glimpsed a large petrel disappearing behind a wave. I alerted the others, (shouting "Oh F***" does that very efficiently), and was rather pleased to see the bird reappear to reveal an all dark rump. I indicated where and what they should look at (though they might say I screamed 'dark rumped Petrel, 'what the f*** is it?') but even after just a few seconds it was clear to me that this was no Leach's type bird.  If I was to compare it to anything it would be a demented melanistic Feas.

It continued on it's merry way just c.300m offshore in view for a little over a minute. Thankfully the views were so good as we might have struggled if it were further out. As it was, we noted the size as a little smaller than a Manx (almost direct comparison), a long tapered tail throughout the time it was on show and faint pale upperwing covert bar. The rest of the plumage was entirely dark including underwings with a brown tinge. It was incredibly rakish and actually did very little flapping. The head protruded a bit and the wings were
angled forward. Flight style is a bit hard to describe due to different interpretations of words, but swinging, angling, veering were all used, Alec summed it up as 'it covered more ground laterally than a Manx. I'll leave the rest for another time as it's been a long day but God knows what else is out there with three Fea's the day before."
Paul Moore

1 comment:

Paul Moore said...

Can we just forget the 'demented fea's' reference as some people seem to think it means the bird looked and flew like a Fea's. A much better representation of the flight path can be seen on this video at c 4 seconds in.