aba events
Nikon Monarch 7

#ABArare – Great-winged Petrel – California

facebooktwitter

On Dec 18, Gary Nunn had one of those moments of which seawatchers dream, one which surely ranks among the Top Five greatest moments in North American seawatching history (though that’s purely conjecture — I’m not aware of anyone actually keeping such a list). Nunn went to San Diego’s La Jolla Cove on that day to see what some stormy weather might blow close to shore. He writes on his blog, “I was just thinking it was all so ho-hum when along came this beautiful sooty-brown tubenosed seabird making agile sweeping arcs in flight over the kelp beds of La Jolla Cove. I took one look at this bird and new immediately it had to be photographed!!” Luckily, his photographs were detailed enough to show that this seabird was a Great-winged Petrel (Code 5).

ABArare Great-winged Petrel 01

ABArare Great-winged Petrel 02

A pale area around the base of the bill and completely dark underwings are some of the features that identify this as a Great-winged Petrel. Photos by Gary Nunn

Considering how far from shore many birds are seen from a seawatch, this bird was quite close, probably only a few hundred yards. Nunn was also lucky to get identifiable photos given the light conditions at the time.

The ABA Area’s — and Northern Hemisphere’s — first Great-winged Petrel was found at the Cordell Bank off of Bodega Bay, California in 1996. There are now five accepted records from the ABA Area with another under review, all from California. This sighting would be the sixth or seventh record upon acceptance. It is also the first time this species has been seen from land in North America and the first from southern California.

The following two tabs change content below.
John Puschock

John Puschock

John Puschock reports ABA rare bird alerts and manages #ABArare for the American Birding Association. John is a frequent participant in rare bird forums around the web and has knack for gathering details necessary to relocate birds. He has been a birder since 1984 and now leads tours for Bird Treks, as well as for his own company Zugunruhe Birding Tours. He has led tours to locations across North America, from Newfoundland to New Mexico and from Costa Rica to Alaska. He specializes in leading tours to Adak in the Aleutian Islands.
John Puschock

Latest posts by John Puschock (see all)

Birders know well that the healthiest, most dynamic choruses contain many different voices. The birding community encompasses a wide variety of interests, talents, and convictions. All are welcome.
If you like birding, we want to hear from you.
Read More »

Recent Comments

  • Dick Latuchie, in Considering Killdeers and Collared Doves... { Hi Lynn, Really enjoyed this piece, which perfectly captures this basic building-block of birding. You might get a kick out of this. Half an hour... }
  • Matt F., in The How and Why of Urban Cooper's Hawks... { Unfortunately it's not just White-winged Doves they're going after. In recent years, Purple Martin landlords have been seeing alarming increases in the amount of successful... }
  • Nate Swick, in Rare Bird Alert: July 31, 2015... { My mistake. I see now that Machias is where it was *originally* sighted, not where it is seen now. Sent from my phone }
  • mtbattie, in Rare Bird Alert: July 31, 2015... { The Red-billed Tropicbird in Maine is actually not being seen on Machias Seal Island, an island way up on the border of Maine and Canada... }
  • Steve Arena, in The ABA Needs Your NWR Birding Photos!... { Female Least Bittern wing flicking while hunting; https://www.flickr.com/photos/pokedaddy/19421400216/in/photostream/ Photographed 05 July 2015, GMNWR, Concord Impoundments, Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Male Least Bittern in flight https://www.flickr.com/photos/pokedaddy/18801591562/in/album-72157629831020551/... }
  • Older »

Categories

Authors

Archives

via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • What exactly is a field notebook? Part 5 of 5. July 30, 2015 5:14
    Recognizing that there are no such things as right and wrong, here are some thoughts for what you might include in your field journal (and field notebook!). But remember, it’s your field journal so you can do what you want. […]
  • What exactly is a field notebook? Part 4 of 5. July 29, 2015 3:51
    Fact: Careful observations and sketches help you really learn birds. […]
  • What exactly is a field notebook? Part 3 of 5. July 28, 2015 3:44
    It’s all very well showing some of my notes from recent years (Part 2), when I’m an experienced birder, but what did my notes look like when I was a teenager? It’s pretty clear, however, that I wouldn’t have come close to winning any Young Birder of the Year field notebook competition! […]

Follow ABA on Twitter