Birding Trips and other Cool Pictures - A Photo Gallery by Geoff Malosh
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American Oystercatcher and Leach's Storm-Petrel, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Birds at Shawnee State Park, Bedford County, PA
 
The passage of Hurricane Sandy 30 October brought reports of costal and pelagic birds across Pennsylvania. The ornithological story of the storm is very long and the subject of a more detailed treatment in a future issue of Pennsylvania Birds. Suffice to say here that the remnant eye of the storm passed very close to Shawnee State Park in Bedford County during the day on 30 October, and it dumped several notable species on the lake in its wake. I was able to see a number of these and photographed to of the most significant: American Oystercatcher and Leach's Storm-Petrel.
 
The identification of American Oystercatcher is trivial, but the storm-petrel at Shawnee that day caused a great deal of confusion. On several occasions, the legs apparently could be seen extending beyond the tail, which is characteristic of Wilson's Storm-Petrel, not Leach's. I personally saw this once, on one occasion when the bird was in flight and the legs appeared to extend beyond the end of the tail. Regardless, too many other features of this bird were simply incorrect for Wilson's and more indicative of Leach's, to the point that those of us who saw the bird that day agreed in the end that the bird was indeed a Leach's. Certainly most of the photos I obtained that day (the single best of which is below) seem to show a good more Leach's characters than Wilson's. This record will be the subject of a P.O.R.C. review. Several more photos are available, contact me if you would like to see them.

oystercatcher_american_shawneesppa_20121030_1d4_3_e9h8215w.jpg
Canon 1DMkIV, 500mm f/4L + 1.4x TC III, 1/1600 sec. at f/13 (manual), ISO 1250, tripod

stormpetrel_leachs_shawneesppa_20121030_1d4_3_e9h8254w.jpg
Canon 1DMkIV, 500mm f/4L + 1.4x TC III, 1/1250 sec. at f/5.6 (manual), ISO 1250, tripod

Unless explicitly indicated otherwise in the photo caption, all photos on this website were taken by and are 2003-2012 by Geoff Malosh. Unauthorized usage of these photographs for any purpose is strictly forbidden. If you are interested in using any photo for publication or if you are interested in purchasing a print, contact me at pomarine -AT- earthlink -DOT- net.