fulmar

Fulmars

Almost gull-like, this grey and white seabird is related to the albatrosses. It flies low over the sea on stiff wings, with shallow wingbeats, gliding and banking to show its white underparts then grey upperparts. At its breeding sites it will fly high up the cliff face, riding the updraughts. They will feed in flocks out at sea. They defend their nests from intruders by spitting out a foul-smelling oil.

Always offshore, except when breeding. Found near all suitable cliffs. Best looked for at seabird colonies - most abundant along Scottish coastline, especially on the Northern Isles. Least common along the east, south and north-west coasts of England.

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