Sunday, May 13, 2012

Manx Shearwater at Revere Beach

1. Manx Shearwater-kab Manx Shearwaters flying low over ocean at Revere Beach, MA 5-12-12

Late yesterday afternoon Gus and I too a drive down to Revere Beach. Gus likes to walk the sidewalk while I wander the shore looking for birds. I didn’t think I would find much other than gulls, but when this strange bird flew low over the water it caught my attention.

2. Manx shearwater revere beach-kab 

Though I knew it wasn’t a gull, I wasn’t sure WHAT it was. It didn’t fit any category of birds that I was familiar with. So, I started taking pictures and mental notes so I could consult my bird guide when I got back to the car. While I have the iBird Pro app on my smart phone, I had no idea where to even look for this species! Once back in my car I consulted the Kaufman Field Guide I had with me. I knew I would find my mystery bird at the front of the guide since field guides are arranged in taxonomic order and all the shorebirds/waterbirds are at the front of the field guide. I eagerly started turning pages trying to find something that looked similar. When I came on the shearwaters they seemed to fit what I had observed and photographed but it only had 1 picture of the bird. I had mostly observed this bird in flight, so I needed to see an image of it flying. I needed to sit down at my computer and compare my photo with more info.

3. flying penquin-kab The Flying Penguin/Manx Shearwater

Not a great shot but you can see how it looked like a flying penguin to me! Please note, this is NOT a flying penguin! It is a Manx Shearwater! On our way home while Gus was driving I put out a plea on Facebook describing what I saw and hoping someone could help me. A birding friend from Massachusetts answered my plea telling me that Manx Shearwaters are regular on Revere Beach! Armed with that info and by consulting my photos and other field guides at home I was convinced! Thanks Diana!

4. bird plane-kab It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a Manx Shearwater!

Not a bad way to spend International Migratory Bird Day!

5. shearwater Revere beach-kab Manx Shearwater, Life Bird Number 425!

19 comments:

  1. Very nice shooting Kathie.

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    1. Roy, thanks! I keep on learning new stuff!

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  2. Wow, great bird to see from the beach!

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    1. Jeremy, I agree! I NEVER expected this!

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  3. Wow Kathie! Have to admit, I'm very excited for you. Great shooting & great bird!

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    1. Donna, I was just thrilled! I knew I had a Lifer if I could just identify it!

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  4. That is exciting. Congrats on the Lifer!

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  5. What an exciting find! And it really does look like a flying Penguin!!

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  6. They really do look like flying penguins. Nice shots.

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  7. Wow! Congratulations, Kathie! I have seen several other shearwaters but never a Manx.

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    1. Hikle, really? This is my first EVER and I didn't even know what category it was in! I was quite surprised!

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  8. An exciting find. Loved all the photos but enjoyed the catch of the bird with the plane. I'm also intrigued by the smart phone app you downloaded. Sounds like something I would be interested in and will be checking that out as soon as I send this message.

    Thanks for stopping by. I enjoyed the info on the Chimney Swifts. Fascinating little birds.

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    1. Denise, there are several birding apps, including a Sibleys's which is rather good. I do find it useful and much lighter to carry in the field! I now leave my bird guides in the car and at home. Let me know if you ever find any chimney swifts near you!

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  9. Beautiful shots, I particularly like the one with the plane.

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    1. Gillian, I like the one with the plane also and it was just a lucky shot!

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  10. Hi Kathie

    A great post and I loved hearing about your process for getting the id. The photos are great.

    Guy

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  11. Congrats on the Life Bird! You're 4 up on me. ;-)

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Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.