Thanks to Neill Hunt who sent me the following and loadsa pix of Yellow Nosed Albatross which he had very close encounters with a pelagics off southern Oz last year.
You may think it's unlikely, but you might as well gen up now, just in case the thing that was released in Somerset takes a tour of duty around the Irish Sea....and comes drifting past you at long range during a seawatch this summer.
More of Neill's great shots of albatrosses and everything else at his new website - the link is on the right hand side of the page, under "Neill Hunt".
Neill writes: "I suppose now that we have a Yellow Nosed Albatross in the Irish Sea (fingers crossed) and a Black Browed up north on Sula Sgeir, we should brush up on our albatross identification, after all you wouldn't want to get your Diomedea, Thalassarche and Pheobetria mixed up would you?
So to help everyone I've sent a selection of Yellow Nosed Albatross shots taken in Australia in August 06, they show both adult and juv birds.
There is also a shot showing a Sub Ad Black Browed with an Ad. Yellow Nosed.
Note the dark tipped bill of sub ad B.Browed (diagnostic), Juv B.Brows show darker 'horn' coloured bill but still has black tip.
Yellow Nosed juv has all dark bill and is also 'clean' breasted. Young BBs show greyish breast band of varying degrees as well, Adult BBs will always show a wholly pinky/yellow bill while Adult YNs have the diagnostic bill pattern.
I suppose you could also mention the difference in underwing pattern. ie, Y N shows much more white with a smaller black border compared to BB which shows the opposite, much less white and thick black borders.
Thanks again Neill.
So, everyone got it? Better to be safe than sorry...
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies....