Another highlight of the BBC Extreme pelagic on July 19th was the 'storm-petrel' show, with three species of black-and-white storm-petrels identified. Unfortunately, I couldn't come up with any presentable shots of the two Band-rumped Storm-petrels that I saw that day but did grab a few digibin images of one of about five Leach's Storm-petrels identified.
On personal level I found picking out and identifying the scarcer storm-petrels from the numerous Wilson's especially difficult making me realize that I need a lot more experience at sea. On the other hand, it became pretty clear that a thorough 'grilling' of a resting flock of Wilson's could well yield something scarce or rare. Hopefully, I'll be better prepared for the next extreme pelagic!
Just a reminder that all of the images on the blog can be enlarged with a single click on the image.
Leach's Storm-petrel - Extreme right bird, amongst resting flock of Wilson's. At rest appeared larger, more uniform brown with a different head/bill shape, the bill being proportionately longer, more slender and drooping.
Leach's Storm-petrel - Upper center; Obviously larger than Wilson's, and in this shot, shows quite deeply forked tail.
Leach's Storm-petrel - Left; gliding on long, bowed wings with diagnostic rump pattern (white rump split by gray-brown central stripe). The storm-petrel on the right appears to show a bizarre white blaze on the underwing (suggestive of European Storm-petrel) which I'm assuming to be some sort of photographic artifact.
Leach's Storm-petrel - Left; poor shot but different wing shape and divided rump pattern of Leach's still evident.
Leach's Storm-petrel - Looks much longer winged than Wilson's in this shot lacking the stiff-winged appearance of that species. The divided rump pattern is also just visible.