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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.
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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.

Filename: 136790.jpg
Size: 3543x2411 / 3.3MB
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Date: 27 Jun 2013
Location:
Credit: PAUL STERRY/NPL
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Model Release: No
Property Release: No
Restrictions: Nature Photographers Ltd., West Wit, New Road, Little London, Tadley, Hampshire, RG26 5EU. Tel: +44(0)1256 850661 web: www.naturephotographers.co.uk
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