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European Storm-petrel, Hydrobates pelagicus

Status: Two records.

This species seems much less affected by autumn storms than Leach's Petrel and therefore is much rarer inland. It is possible that the smaller size and lower flight path may also cause the birds to go undetected during stormy weather, when water surfaces are disturbed.

The 2008 bird was an unexpected June find by Colin Addington, mid-afternoon on a warm day with light westerly winds. The previous day had seen heavy persistent rain and south-easterly winds. The bird was seen distantly off Mander CP in the vicinity of the water tower. It then showed closer from Hill Farm and was last reported at 7.35pm 100 metres east of Mander Car Park. The following night was clear and there was no sign the next day. The bird was successfully twitched by local birders and was photographed by Chris Orders who had fortunately hired a fishing boat that day (see below)!

The 2000 bird was found by Colin Addington and Mark Hawkes after a southwesterly storm. It is a very rare species inland, with only 9 having been recorded in Cambridgeshire to date. 30th October seems very popular for rare tubenoses at Grafham Water, with both Sooty Shearwater and Storm Petrel appearing on this date.


Highest count

1 as above


All material copyright Jono Leadley 2008