Manx-Shearwater Bird is a medium-small shearwater, and the most numerous and frequently seen one on the Atlantic coasts of our region. It is essentially monochrome, with blackish upperparts and white below, identified from similarly plumaged congeners by the black extending below the eye onto the face, contrasting with the underparts which are white, extending to the undertail, with white underwings bordered with black on the trailing edge. In calmer weather it flaps rapidly with shallow wingbeats on stiff straight wings, interspersed with glides on rigid, slightly downturned wings. In a strong breeze it will glide continuously, banking left and right and shearing from the wavetops up to several metres high in the air. At range, birds can seen shearing in arcs above the breakers, alternately flashing black and white.
Manx-Shearwater Bird is exclusively oceanic, coming ashore only to breed on inshore rocky islands, where it nests colonially in burrows, visiting in the hours of darkness. It nests in large numbers around the Atlantic coasts of Britain and Ireland, and winters south to the eastern coasts of South America. In strong onshore winds it can be seen from headlands around the coast, and near breeding colonies can be observed sitting on the surface whilst waiting for night to fall.
Manx Shearwater Bird is rarely heard calling away from breeding colonies, they produce a variety of growls, cackles, screeches and howls which can be heard at night when the birds come ashore to their nesting burrows. These calls are given both in flight and from the ground, as well as from within the nesting burrow itself. Typical phrases are a cackle followed by a cawing sound, sounding like a strangled cockerel or even a Red-legged Partridge, such as "chak-ee-ghar-kha", "uh'eh'i'i'-awwrrr", "aa-oawrr-uh" and "aa-aar'a!", with individuals varying this sound somewhat.