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Sabine’s Gull Xema sabini L 30-35cm. Distinctive seabird. Can only be confused with juvenile Kittiwake but upperwing patterns are separable with care. Sexes are similar. Adult in summer has blue-grey back and upperwings, dark hood, dark wingtips with white spots and dark bill with yellow tip. In flight, upperwing pattern is diagnostic: triangular patches of black, white and grey. Tail is forked. In winter, similar but dark smudges on nape replace dark hood. Juvenile has a upperwing pattern to adult but triangle of grey replaced by scaly grey-brown. Forked tail is dark-tipped. Voice Silent. Status Nests in high Arctic and winters at sea in southern oceans. Seen here mainly as offshore passage migrant in autumn. Does not willingly come close to land.
- © PAUL STERRY/Nature Photographers
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- Contained in galleries