Fea’s or Desertas Petrel?

by Martin G.

2nd or 3rd photographed record for Spain

One off the early highlights  on our 2 day Lanzarote Pelagic in late August 2013: a Pterodroma. I think it might also be one of the first ever seen in Canarian waters. Around mid morning after an overnight sail on our 2 ocean- going yachts we were 50 miles north around the Banco de La Concepción. I picked up a ‘different seabird’. Skinny winged and rather small but rolling/ shearing high. Already at a little distance and flying away from us I called a nervous ‘Look at This’. Dani Lopez-Velasco who knows these much better than me quickly locked on and confidently verbalised my suspicions: PTERODROMA!

Thanks to radios the guys on the other boat also got on it, and more remarkably Tony Blunden actually got some photos.

our boatsView from ‘my boat’ across to the other guys. Two 12 berth boats at sea for 44 hours. Party on!

Initial views of the Pterodroma, it looked  skinny winged and rather small and seemed to show some white in the underwing. We surmised perhaps it was a Zino’s. However Toni’s photos do capture the jizz well but amazingly show rather large bill, so a Fea’s/ Desertas seems better call. Of course these things are not easy!

Wind in our sails feels great but makes for bad sound recordings. Marc Hughes’ narrative at lunchtime of the first day gets better as you listen 🙂


Below- the bird in question. All photos by Tony Blunden (with thanks!)





About Martin Garner

I am a Free Spirit
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