The first week of the Peniche Seabird Count was very slow. The weather was dominated by a high-pressure system that produced weak Northern winds and morning fogs every day. Visibility was an issue in some periods. Excluding Yellow-legged gulls and Lesser black-backed gulls, only 10 species of seabirds were recorded.
The most abundant was Cory´s shearwater and Gannet. A quick analysis at the south and northbound numbers of this species reveals that most of the records are of birds moving and foraging around Peniche, so a lot of local birds. The highlight was the sighting of 2 Great shearwaters on the 3rd of August. and a Sooty on the 5th. With a drop-by-drop flow of birds, I took my time to study and appreciate the Balearic shearwaters (75 recorded), a good portion of the birds was in heavy moult of external primaries (P7-P6), also moulting body feathers and coverts. Giving some of the birds a weird pale front looking and spotted pale around the neck. The Cory´s were also a delight to see, and I did carefully check every wingtip looking for pale infusions in the primaries, that could possibly reveal a Scopoli´s amongst them - no luck!
Below there is a short film of Cory´s flying in light head winds.
Birding Portugal & Spain - Blog
2020 Count Totals:
I was born in west Portugal and began birding at the age of 11. I have particular interest in bird ringing (banding), moult, seabirds and rarities. Currently I work as a guide for Birds & Nature Tours.
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