Sunday, 5 June 2011

The dangers of chumming

Monteiro's Storm-petrel
For sure, we all want to see birds well. And on Graciosa, Azores, I was treated to the best views you could imagine of both Monteiro's Storm-petrels and Wilson's Storm-petrels. Note the freshness of the primaries and secondaries on this bird (the warm season breeder) - although it's not got the best of forked tails for a Monteiro's Storm-petrel, you can rule out adult Grant's Storm-petrel (the cold season breeder) as they will be in heavy wing moult. Can you safely rule out a juvenile Grant's Storm-petrel though?

However, to get these views of petrels was not without sacrifice... as I write this, the clothes that I'm wearing are currently on their second (long) wash at 50 degrees. We had to prepare all the chum (including 45kg of rotten fish) ourselves, and my role for the week became the chum-master general while out at sea.

Note my binoculars precariously placed
Yep, they ended up in the chum after a few bouncy waves. A world first?
Temporary home for my binoculars

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