Tag Archives: Gelbschnabel-Sturmtaucher

Azores: birding in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean

KappensturmtaucherThe Azores are well-known among ornithologists mainly for the fact that many American bird species occur, mainly in fall. Although this group of islands is part of the Western Palearctic (even Europe) on some islands, more Nearctic than Palearctic species have been found. In addition, several endemic taxa breed on the archipelago. The island group is particularly important for seabirds, which breed partially in large numbers. Migration of Seabirds in fall is another highlight. A sighting of a Cory’s Shearwater (Calonectris borealis) is guaranteed.

Before an offshore (pelagic) tour, however, you might save some time to visit the famous coastal areas of the different islands. An example is the wetland area in Cabo da Praia on the island of Terceira. From the beginning of September till end of October, the Nearctic waders are piling up: Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus), Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca),  Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularia), Willet (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus) and Dowitchers (Limnodromus sp.) you might see searching for food in the shallow waters of the bay. In addition, preferentially in the ports of the island, Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii) can be found. The species has its most important breeding ground in the world in the Azores. However, a Continue reading Azores: birding in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean

Pelagic birding on the Azores

The isle group of the Azores is particularly important for seabirds, which sometimes breed in large numbers or are found here during off-shore migration. Best in summer, but also in September and October, boat trips can give an impression of the importance of the sea area around the Azores with its unique marine ecosystem.

From the island of Graciosa boat trips start, each lasting a half to a whole day. The most dominant bird species in the waters around the Azores is the Cory’s Shearwater (Calonectris borealis), which is by far the largest of its breed species. But to expect more bird species that follow the ship. They are attracted by the smell-intensive mixture of sardines, fish oil and other delicious ingredients, the so-called chum. This is to lure some of the pelagic bird species. In September, for example, Great Shearwater (Puffinus gravis), a Cape Verde Petrel (Pterodroma feae), and a few Monteiro’s Storm Petrel (Oceanodroma monteiroi) near the boat could be observed in the waters around Graciosa. Particularly great is the pleasure when the sighting of Sooty Tern (Sterna fuscata), a Band-rumped Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma castro), a Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) or of Continue reading Pelagic birding on the Azores

Cape pelagic Highlights: 3 Arten von Albatrosse

WeißkappenalbatrosEin Albatros (Thalassarche sp.) als Fotobeute. Das ist der Traum. Ein früher Morgen. Frische Seeluft, blauer Himmel und keine Wolke am Himmel. Auch der Wind der Vortage hat sich gelegt. Ideale Bedingungen für eine Fahrt vor die Südspitze der Kaphalbinsel, die ansonsten für ihre stürmische See bekannt ist. Alle Teilnehmer dieser extra übers Internet gebuchten Reise waren erwartungsfroh, einen schönen, aufregenden Tag auf See zu genießen. Nach dem Ausfahren aus dem Stadthafen von Simon’s Town an diesem frühen Sonntagmorgen nahmen wir sofort Kurs auf die Südspitze der Kaphalbinsel und passierten die letzten Häuser von Simon’s Town und Boulders Beach mit seiner Pinguinkolonie. Wenig später dann auch die in der Nähe von Smitswinkel Bay gelegenen Felsen mit den Kormoranen, von denen wir aber nur Kapscharben (Phalacrocorax capensis) und Weißbrustkormorane (Phalacrocorax lucidus) sahen. Auffallend waren die vielen Sportfischerboote, die morgens früh schon unterwegs waren. Offensichtlich optimale Fanggründe.

Der erste, richtige Seevogel, den wir sahen, war ein Kaptölpel (Morus capensis), der schon auf der Höhe der ersten Kormoranfelsen über uns hinweg flog. Kaptölpel sind wie ihre europäischen Verwandten kräftige Flieger. Später können wir diese fischfressenden Vögel, bei ihren sturzflugartigen Continue reading Cape pelagic Highlights: 3 Arten von Albatrosse

Black-capped Petrel in the western Palearctic

TeufelssturmvogelA report of a Black-capped Petrel (Pterodroma hasitata) from the Northern Sea, maybe Heligoland, would be the Mega of the year. Even better, than the Black-browed Albatross (Thalassarche melanophris) which spend several weeks around the sea bird colony along the red cliffs on this sole off-shore island of Germany. In general observations of pelagic or oceanic birds are rare from the Northern Sea. Too shallow and too much secluded from the open big oceans, reports of seabirds of the Northern Sea normally refer only to some sightings of Cory’s Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea) or Manx Shearwater (Puffinus puffinus). Reports of Continue reading Black-capped Petrel in the western Palearctic

Pelagic specialities on Bird-Lens

Great ShearwaterOn the western edge of the western palearctic pelagic birds are living and migrating. To see them, Bird-lens.com managed several trips already to Portugal and the Canary Islands. Now migrating seabirds with a more northern circle of migration could be observed on several pelagic trips with Joe Pender on his boat “Sapphire” off-shore the Isles of Scilly. A great experience. Thus for the keen birdwatcher of western palearctic birds these pelagic species do not need to stay on status “highly though-after mega birds”, but you can see them, too.

To see birds like Northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), Cory’s Shearwater (Calonectris borealis), Great Shearwater (Puffinus gravis), Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus), Manx Shearwater (Puffinus puffinus), Balearic Shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus), Wilson’s Storm-Petrel (Oceanites oceanicus), European Storm-Petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus), Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus ), Great Skua (Catharacta skua), Pomarine Jaeger (Stercorarius pomarinus), Parasitic Jaeger (Stercorarius parasiticus), Long-tailed Jaeger (Stercorarius longicaudus ) and maybe even a Fea´s or Cape Verde Petrel or a Little Shearwater (Puffinus assimilis) in their element, a pelagic trip is a must!. A nice selection of the Images shot during the recent season you will find here or here!

It is advisable to go for locations on the western edge of the United Kingdom and book one of the pelagic trips – preferable with a reliable skipper like Joe is.
To cope with the growing demand for top shots of the rarer birds of the western palearctic from science & public customers Bird-Lens is proud to present a wide range of pictures shot in the UK. Are you interested? A first impression you will find in the gallery here. Just give me a message, if Bird-lens could serve you with additional requests.
Other successful shootings you can see under: http://www.bird-lens.com/2012/09/09/pelagic-birds-in-the-western-palearctic/

Pelagic Birds in the Western Palearctic

Pelagic or oceanic birds, seabirds or marine birds all describe bird which spend a significant portion of its life on the open ocean, rarely venturing to land except to breed. Their flight is often described as elegant and beautiful. This is particulary true for the Black-browed Albatross (Thalassarche melanophris), as you can see on the image on the right. Pelagic Birds are powerful fliers that can remain for hours while gliding or soaring over the waves. When the birds rest, they do so by swimming quite high (floating) on the water. Pelagic birds may be found hundreds or thousands of miles offshore. Pelagic birds typically feed on fish, squid and crustaceans as well as offal from fishing ships or trash dumped into the ocean. Although “Pelagic Birds” does not have a scientific meaning in it´s strict sense, normally you mean albatrosses, shearwaters and petrels are described as being pelagic. The right taxonomic description for these birds are “Procellariformes”. There are lots of pelagic bird species with a great range of sizes and ranges. In the Gallery you will find different types Continue reading Pelagic Birds in the Western Palearctic