Working for birds in Africa

First record of Bulwer's Petrel for Mozambique

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Première mention du Pétrel de Bulwer Bulweria bulwerii pour le Mozambique.

Un Pétrel de Bulwer Bulweria bulwerii en forte mue a été photographié dans la baie de Maputo le 23 janvier 2014. Il s’agit de la première donnée pour le Mozambique et la troisième pour l’Afrique australe. Vu les quelques observations récentes dans le canal du Mozambique et les eaux malgaches, il semble que le Pétrel de Bulwer pourrait être plus fréquent dans le sud-ouest de l’Océan indien qu’on ne le pensait.

On 23 January 2014 I took a boat trip with some fishermen to the northern part of Maputo Bay and western Delagoa Bay, Mozambique, to photograph seabirds. At 15.10 hrs we stopped 7.5 nautical miles from shore at 25°32’41”S 33°05’82”E and I put out a slick of anchovy oil. At 15.20 hrs a brown bird headed towards us from the east, moving south-west on the fresh north-easterly breeze, in good light. Although the small vessel was rolling constantly, the bird was seen towering and ‘pirouetting’, and was immediately identifiable with the naked eye as a Pterodroma-type petrel. I was able to watch it through 8×42 binoculars for c.2 minutes as it passed within c.50 m of the boat. The bird flew roughly parallel with the shore and paused to feed c.400 m away before continuing southwest. The fishermen agreed to lift their lines and chase it. After five minutes we caught up with the bird and over the next 20 minutes I took a series of photographs (http://www.flickr.com/ photos/[email protected]/).

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