I am committed to getting better pictures of this wonderful species, but I could not wait to post at least something. In fact this is normally a species that is considered pretty difficult to find and some folks will take many pelagic trips out of Hatteras and never see one. I have been lucky enough to see 6-7 of them over the many pelagic trips I have gone on. Every sighting was fleeting and left me hungering for more. You need to be ready when a Trindade decides to show itself. All Gadfly Petrels are exceptional fliers that do not require any flapping of the wings to get around in an amazingly graceful and quick manner. They seem to like a stiff breeze and when they do come past the boat they use the wind to rocket past at very high speed and they don't typically hang out. The ones I have seen arced much higher in the sky than the other petrels and perhaps that is what gives them the bursts of speed. This is a species that nests on an island off the coast of Brazil!
Chocolatey goodness! I am always embarrassed when I botch the ID of a Sooty Shearwater as they have a similar color scheme which can confuse a newbie when the bird is flying by at mach 10 and you are trying to keep your footing on the forever shifting boat deck. This is why I love photography, you can quickly study your picture and confirm the ID. The Trindade's light patches under the wing are more distal in the primaries and of course the bill is smaller as in all Gadfly Petrels. I am slowly getting better at calling the birds and one day I hope to be able to shout one out in confidence that I have the ID correct.