Showing posts from October, 2013

Sept 29 - Hatteras Pelagic

Last Sunday's pelagic out of Hatteras, NC was most notable for its Black-capped Petrel show, plus one intriguing unidentified bird. First, the Black-caps were spectacular. Dominated heavily by "dark-faced" birds (only a couple classic "white-faced" were seen all day), this species was in nearly constant attendance in the deep blue water of the Gulf Stream, making far more close passes than usual. I don't care how many of these anyone has seen before - a show like the one we enjoyed is always awe-inspiring. Black-capped Petrel (dark-faced) Black-capped Petrel (dark-faced) Black-capped Petrel (dark-faced) Black-capped Petrel (white-faced) Cory's Shearwaters, represented by both borealis and diomedea subspecies, were rather abundant. Cory's Shearwater ( borealis ) Cory's Shearwater ( diomedea AKA Scopoli's Shearwater) One particular Calonectris shearwater stood out from the rest. I spotted this bird from a m

Review: The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors

As we have now entered the peak of the hawk migration season along the east coast, there may be no better time to review the latest entry into Richard Crossley’s “ID Guide” series. This one is entitled “The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors” and is authored by Crossley, Jerry Liguori, and Brian Sullivan. Just like his other recent works, this is a photographic guide that places as much an emphasis on GISS (General Impression, Size, and Shape) as it does on plumage features. For more detail on this style, you can check out my review of his “Eastern Birds” effort. After a very brief Introduction (5 pages), this book is divided into two segments: Plates and Species Accounts. Plates: The Plates, just like in Crossley’s “Eastern Birds”, consist of several photos set against a natural landscape background (that particular species’ preferred habitat). The authors generally do a nice job of depicting all angles of each age, sex, or color morph of every species. The more variable a s