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Unfortunately, no picture.  I hope my description is useful enough to get at least a class of bird (ie petrel or shearwater).  At the end of august in Corpus Christi beach while hurricane Ida was still in the Gulf there was a large school of little fish that have been driven up against the shore (some were even getting themselves beached).  There was lots of hunter activity in the water and in the air and I saw birds over the water I haven't seen from shore before.  At first, I assumed they could be petrels but looking at a bird book I'm not so sure.  Perhaps they were shearwaters? Jaegers?

I believe they were both black and white, smaller than a gull, no frilly plumage or long appendages, shaped like a fat sausage, a flock was attacking the fish, and definately not a tern.  there doesn't seem to be many off shore bird options in the gulf of mexico, but I could be wrong.  I doubt I can identify it from memory using a photo, sorry.  I'd be better at remembering what it wasn't.

Any thoughts? Any of you happen to witness the same event?

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I'm afraid I don't think this is identifiable based on the description given. "Black and white...fat sausage" doesn't immediately bring anything to mind in the Gulf of Mexico. Truly pelagic offshore species are rarely observed from land (storm-petrels, petrels, albatross, certain species of shearwater, etc.) and the fact of the matter is that anything can show up (notoriously so) as a result of a hurricane weather pattern. An attempt at an ID here would be simply conjecture.

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Just now, DLecy said:

I'm afraid I don't think this is identifiable based on the description given. "Black and white...fat sausage" doesn't immediately bring anything to mind in the Gulf of Mexico. Truly pelagic offshore species are rarely observed from land (storm-petrels, petrels, albatross, certain species of shearwater, etc.) and the fact of the matter is that anything can show up (notoriously so) as a result of a hurricane weather pattern. An attempt at an ID here would be simply conjecture.

Most pelagic species are some kind of black and white anyway.

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16 hours ago, Connor Cochrane said:

Could you give a rough estimate of the size of the birds? Storm-petrel and Shearwaters are very different in size and shape. 

I'm sorr but my memory just isn't clear enough.  They didn't look like any tern, shorebird, or gull I've seen. Which is why I was assuming they normally fly further out but only came close to shore because the school of fish was there.  But they did look like marine birds I've looked at in the books.  Maybe the length/width of a smaller tern, but fatter.  

 

15 hours ago, DLecy said:

I'm afraid I don't think this is identifiable based on the description given. "Black and white...fat sausage" doesn't immediately bring anything to mind in the Gulf of Mexico. Truly pelagic offshore species are rarely observed from land (storm-petrels, petrels, albatross, certain species of shearwater, etc.) and the fact of the matter is that anything can show up (notoriously so) as a result of a hurricane weather pattern. An attempt at an ID here would be simply conjecture.

Yeah, which is why I was aiming at a 'most-likely' candidate, which seems to be either a petrel or shearwater

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