Marcel Gil-Velasco and colleagues have published in this month in the journal British Birds on identifying the three small shearwaters that breed within Europe.
The paper’s abstract follows:
“Three medium-sized Puffinus shearwaters breed in Europe: Manx P. puffinus, Yelkouan P. yelkouan and Balearic Shearwaters P. mauretanicus. These three, considered a single, polytypic species until relatively recently, can be difficult to identify in some situations, notably in a vagrant context. This paper presents a detailed review of the plumage variability of the three taxa; combined with an understanding of structural differences and flight characteristics, this should provide a sound basis for the identification of problematic individuals.”
Gil-Velasco, M., Rodríguez, G., Menzie, S., Arcos, J.M. 2015. Plumage variability and field identification of Manx, Yelkouan and Balearic Shearwaters. British Birds Vol. 108.
John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 15 September 2015