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Mottled Petrel

Mottled Petrel
Aurora Pelagic off Stewart Island, New Zealand, 22 April 2012, 4 December 2012
EOS 7D & 400mmf4DO. 1/4000 sec f4.0 ISO 400

Stewart Island is off the south coast of New Zealand's South Island and a quite remote destination in itself. This pelagic took us further south looking for Albatrosses, Shearwaters and Petrels. On this relatively calm day in early summer, variety and numbers of species were not particularly good. However at the far point of the trip (at more than 47 south) we were lucky enough to see a few Cook's Petrel and then this solitary Mottled Petrel appeared briefly.

I was quite surprised to get what turned out to be a quite sharp (but highly cropped) photo of this sought-after Petrel as it sped past the boat, giving us only a single pass. It was probably the rarest bird of our visit to New Zealand, and very much a 'birders bird'!

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