ID Challenge #8 - closes 14 February 2011

Monthly challenge to test and improve your bird identification skills.
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Neil Fitzgerald
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ID Challenge #8 - closes 14 February 2011

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:45 pm

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Answers for this challenge are due by replying to this topic by midnight (NZDT) on Monday 14 February 2011.

Click here for the rules.

Answers will not be visible to anyone else until after the closing date.

The winner of the 2010-2011 ID Quiz will get one free place on a scheduled Wrybill Birding Tours, NZ pelagic trip, AND each person who enters this challenge goes into the draw to win a pair of Nikon Travelite V 8x25CF binoculars just for having a go, thanks to Photo & Video International!

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Re: ID Challenge #8 - closes 14 February 2011

Postby tim » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:29 pm

Young Buller's Shearwater
Tim Rumble
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Re: ID Challenge #8 - closes 14 February 2011

Postby ledzep » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:14 pm

I'm going to go with a Buller's Shearwater, though the head looks too pale. Not sure what else it could be. A Puffinus type of Shearwater with a long slender bill. Appears to have a M on the wings. Too pale for Wedge Tailed on the back, and bill is wrong for Wedge-Tailed and Pink-footed. Wondered about Streaked Shearwater based on pale streaked head but streaking is wrong and bill also wrong. So I'll go with a pale Buller's Shearwater.
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David Riddell
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Re: ID Challenge #8 - closes 14 February 2011

Postby David Riddell » Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:25 pm

Well, that's one weird bird alright. Fairly sure it's some sort of shearwater, but the plumage doesn't really match anything. It's a bit like a streaked shearwater (one NZ record, so it's fair game for this challenge - doesn't have to be photographed in NZ I notice), but the beak's the wrong colour and the nape looks too pale. So I'm picking it's a weird colour variant of something that normally looks quite different. Thinking largeish, dark-billed, pale-bellied NZ shearwater, I'll take a stab and say Buller's Shearwater.
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Re: ID Challenge #8 - closes 14 February 2011

Postby Ross Silcock » Sun Feb 06, 2011 12:51 pm

Leucistic Sooty Shearwater. Considered Streaked and Cory's but neither fits.
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mark ayre
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Re: ID Challenge #8 - closes 14 February 2011

Postby mark ayre » Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:06 pm

well this is hard one, may be a light phase kermadec petrel

cheers mark :roll:
Richard Schofield
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Re: ID Challenge #8 - closes 14 February 2011

Postby Richard Schofield » Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:42 pm

I would have to go for partial albino Buller's Shearwater
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Shane McPherson
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Re: ID Challenge #8 - closes 14 February 2011

Postby Shane McPherson » Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:01 pm

Tricky but having though about it for several days, the M pattern on the upper wing is relatively distinct ruling out e.g. streaked shearwater, the long shearwater bill rules out similar looking petrels.

Bullers Shearwater
albeit an unusually pale one.
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Re: ID Challenge #8 - closes 14 February 2011

Postby Byrd » Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:15 pm

I think this one is going to have to just be a "best guess" from me. Initial first-glance thought was "well, obviously a white phase southern giant petrel", which at second-glance it obviously isn't given the colour and size of the bill and the lack of nostril tube. So I'm guessing it must be a partially-leucistic petrel of some other species which does make things tricky.

The appearance of the bill points to Puffinus with its length and small nostril tube at the top. The long tail (assuming that isn't in fact the feet extending out past a short tail!) mean it must be either a Buller's or a wedge-tailed shearwater. The bill looks more like Buller's to me, and the pure underparts also points to Buller's.

So my answer, with not too much confidence in being right, is a partially-leucistic Buller's shearwater Puffinus bulleri.

I'm going to be interested in finding out what it really is!!
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Re: ID Challenge #8 - closes 14 February 2011

Postby simon.fordham » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:34 am

Buller's Shearwater (juvenile?)

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