Azores Natural History Trip 2015 Days One to Three

 Graciosa, international biosphere reserve- home to the entire world population of Monteiro’s Petrel and also host to other important seabird colonies.
 Kentish Plover young at Cabo da Praia, Terciera
 Red-veined Darter
 Cory’s Shearwater- 85% of the world’s population breed on the Azores
 Monteiro’s Petrel- Adult birds this time of year should be in fresh plumage. This bird shows an interrupted trailing edge to the left wing. The pointed secondaries and other wise fresh plumage suggests that this is a displaced feather rather than moult? The possibility of a lingering cool season breeding individual and first-summer birds showing interesting moult patterns should be considered. We had 60+ ‘Band-rumped Petrels’ yesterday in and around the Bank of Fortune
 Monteiro’s Petrel- a more typical fresh plumaged individual
 Barolo’s Shearwater- an almost flightless individual in heavy moult. The bases to the coverts can be seen and the white auxillaries are exposed due to the missing secondaries.
 Barolo’s Shearwater- showing the extensive/heavy moult. Birds breed in the late winter so presumably this is  a post/non- breeding individual. This species is generally very skittish and unapproachable but with similarly approachable birds seen off Sao Miguel last week it’s possible that this time of year the birds have a moult strategy that reduces their ability to fly?
 Striped Dolphins- also Common and Bottlenose Dolphin yesterday
 Ocean Sunfish- the heaviest bony fish in the world. Can weigh up to 2,300 kg.
 Common Tern- in mid-ocean on a bit of drift material
Portuguese Man of War- lots of these drifting on the Bank of Fortune today. Not actually one organism but a collection of four. The stinging tenticles can reach up to 10m.
A few images from the first half of the 2015 Azores Natural History Tour.
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