Friday, July 06, 2007

ID storm petrels

This BB paper is a wonder to behold, I'm especially taken with the separation of white-bellied and black-bellied (black-bellied can have a white belly but white-bellied can't have a black belly). Effectively this means that you can know when you've got a black-bellied but not when you've got the other one because it might be the first one. This paper seems mighty learned and full of "Appendices" and is the product of enviable hours watching the little beggars in exotic climes but has it advanced my knowledge - well er other than to know those two species are identifiable sometimes and other times even with lab tests, measurements and every other concievable weapon in the scientists armoury the end result is Er dunno - not a lot. Wilson's, Stormy, Leach's and Madeiran are represented by "typical" flight photos and one plate. Look guys there is no "typical" because the sea is always different and these birds look very, very different depending whether they are on a mission, in a storm, having a snack or loafing about, is it to Hendrix or the Undertones? (Undertones - ah must be Leach's never get Swinhoes to Teenage Kicks, they're not so cool.) There is a wonderful photo of a Wilson's tail sticking above the waves showing the vital feature of the wrap-around-rump. I can't do seabirds like this except when they are in my hot and grubby - badseawatchers know em for what they are by a rapid accumulation of features and jizz and experience and ..... they're 500m off in any case. I think this paper was off on the wrong target myself, I'm a lot more interested in dark rumped petrels and problems with Leach's - the id problems are divi'd up different from this - The above mentioned four could do with a revision I suppose, they're not that tricky given a good view and very tricky given a rubbish one. Leach's and dark rumped exotics are of interest, tricky methinks. Black and white bellied are different looking beasts from the others anyway (never seen one), clearly it is useful to say what has been said but don't confuse the issue suggesting they are tricky from our other 4 guys. Rant, rant, rantitty, rant ... Forgive me posted late, feeling seawatch starved and ******ed off with these people cos they got to watch all these nice stormies and I didn't.

No comments: