Seen in the last few days at Porthgwarra near Penzance, Cornwall is the magnificent Cory’s shearwater.
Taxonomic name is: Calonectris Borealis .
Normally a bird of the North African and Mediterranean coastal regions it travels long distances as a passage migrant outside the breeding season including over coastal areas of south-west England and it has been seen further north this year. It is spotted most years wandering around the coast of Cornwall, although it only travels around Britain in the months of July to September.
This is a large shearwater of 45 – 56cm and a wingspan of approximately 1 to 1.25m. It has a grey rather dull head with a pale yellow beak. The body is dark brown on top and pure white on its lower areas including its wings. It flies in flocks normally and is strangely quiet compared to many birds. It feeds on fish, invertebrates and anything it can pick up from the by-catch of fishing boats.
According to the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) its status is set as vulnerable in Europe although not assessed in Britain.
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