White-faced Storm Petrel


by Martin

Words are inadequate. Overused superlatives fall short. Perhaps it’s even on some ‘Bucket Lists’- birds to see before you die. The White-face Storm Petrel. I joined Dani and Juan; founders of the newly formed Lanzarote Pelagics, and perhaps his species above all others is rightly their icon. In celebration then, a few photos with some brief captions from our excursion on 30th June, this year.

Juan, MG and Dani. Pointing to THE iconic bird emblazoned on our T-shirts.

Usually first in to the ‘chum’ and never leaving


no shortage of birds to look at

Wing shapes:

traditionally illustrated as a peculiar paddle shape, in fact the wings were more often Wilson’s Petrel shaped, but could even be slim and rakish. The following 3 photos show some variation:


Feeding and Dancing

They look weird I mean really. Flying along low, approaching the water’s surface, the yellow webbed feet are spread wide and slightly submerged in the water then they bounce/ping/ leap/ jump. Whatever the word is, maybe ‘boing’ like Zebedee  (don’t ask) off the surface propelling themselves high in the air and leaving an obvious splash behind. Amazing sight!

The White-faced Storm Petrels have to dodge surfacing Dolphins and Wales and swim around turtles too

White-faced Storm Petrel avoiding pod of Bottle -nosed Dolphins

Looking forward to the next time…


About Martin Garner

I am a Free Spirit
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7 Responses to White-faced Storm Petrel

  1. phil Woollen says:

    Awesome Martin. I know a couple of Wirral lads who’ll be tempted by the pelagic. We went a couple of years back lokking for W F S Petrel and took the ferry from Lanzarote to Gran Canaria and logged 22! No where near as good photo’s as those though. Any Tropic Birds?

    • Martin Garner says:

      hi Phil

      5 Red-billed Tropicbirds reported by fishermen 2 weeks earlier- so next time for those maybe

      • phil Woollen says:

        Just sent an email to one of my Wirral seawatching compatriots – might have to get out there again next year. We hoped for R B Tropicbird and one had been seen in the harbour just prior to our visit.

  2. Anne Cotton says:

    Stunning photos there – I love the “boing” by Zebeddee one – and yes, I’m old enough to remember;-)

  3. Gijsbert van der Bent says:

    Wow Martin, what a bird! Do you by chance know if there are opportunities for seabirdwatchting/pelagics at neibouring Fuerteventura (november-december)

  4. Pingback: Barolo Shearwater | Birding Frontiers

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