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.
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.
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!
Not a bad way to spend International Migratory Bird Day!