[Tweeters] Shearwater & Ancient Murrelets @ Discovery Park, Seattle, 11/5/07

mattxyz at earthlink.net mattxyz at earthlink.net
Mon Nov 5 10:57:53 PST 2007

Hi all -
This morning I spent a couple hours at West Point, in Discovery Park [Seattle].
The best birds came by in the first 20 minutes of my visit , before 8:00am.

First, a Shearwater flew by, working its way north into the
headwinds. Though I wish I had a longer look at it, I believe this
was a SOOTY SHEARWATER rather than a Short-tailed. What leads me to
that conclusion is the extensive white on the underwing -- the white
on the underwing stretched for well over 1/2 of the width of the
underwing, seeming to me to be greater than what might be seen on a
Short-tailed. I only had about a minute to observe the shearwater,
unfortunately, so I never did get a clear look at the head shape and
bill. Though I would have expected a Short-tailed to be more likely
in the winter in the Puget Sound, I see in Birds of WA that both seem
to show up, especially in these earlier days of winter/late days of
fall. I'd love for someone to relocate this bird for a better look.
Comments welcomed too on the reliability of that wing-lining field
mark and the timing too.

After the Shearwater headed north, I next came across 3 ANCIENT
MURRELETS, not far off the point. 2 were sitting on the water, and
one flew by over their heads allowing for good looks at both
in-flight and floating ANMUs.

Otherwise, numbers were a bit low seeming, but I believe all the
winter visitors except Brant seem to be back in the Sound --


Matt Bartels
Seattle, WA

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