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Seabirds are the living links between land, air and sea. They enjoy a freedom that even humans, with all our technological assistance, can barely imagine. Many species travel mind-boggling distances across the length and breadth of our planet before returning to land to breed in large, deafening and confusingly crowded colonies. Yet within this commotion each mated pair forms a bond of extreme closeness and tenderness that survives separation each winter and may persist for decades.
The long and geologically varied coastline of the British Isles provides homes for internationally important numbers of breeding seabirds. Visiting their colonies is always unforgettable, whether they are cliff-faces packed with Guillemots, islands white-capped by clustered Gannets on their nests, flat beaches crowded with screaming Arctic Terns or seaside rooftops overlaid with a second townscape of nesting gulls. The changing fortunes of these seabird cities reveal to us the health of the vast, unseen but incredibly rich marine world that surrounds us.
RSPB Seabirds showcases some of our most exciting and enigmatic bird species as vital and living components of one of our greatest natural assets: our coastline. The author presents detailed biographies of all the seabird species that breed in and around the British Isles, and also looks at the many species that breed elsewhere but which, regularly or occasionally, visit British waters. Every page of this sumptuous book features beautiful photographs of wild seabirds engaged in their daily work of hunting, travelling, protecting themselves and their territories, courting and raising a family.
Than the Manx Shearwater, and is considerably browner, with a dusky breast and belly with no clear-cut division between that and the darker upperside. The undersides of the wings are whitish. The species is perhaps more likely to be confused with the Sooty Shearwater than with the Manx Shearwater. British seas are important for the endangered Balearic Shearwater outside of the breeding season. For land-based seawatchers, headlands in south-west England and Ireland offer the best chance of.
And survive better than their more rural cousins. Should conditions improve for Herring Gulls in the wider countryside, town colonies could become a source of new recruits for recovering sea-cliff colonies. Away from towns, the Herring Gull is declining rapidly as a British breeding bird. Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis The darker upperside and yellow legs help distinguish this species from the very similar Herring Gull. This gull is very similar to the Herring Gull, and is still.
As very rare vagrants in the British Isles. The American Herring Gull Larus smithsonianus is often regarded as a subspecies of the Herring Gull, and is so very similar to it that identification is always challenging and some birds are probably never noticed. A Glaucous-winged Gull Larus glaucescens was found in Gloucestershire in 2006, but there have been no further confirmed records. In adult plumage this bird resembles a pale Herring Gull with grey rather than black primary tips – it could be.
Leaving it in a precarious position as a British breeding bird. Protecting those colonies that remain is a conservation conundrum that must be solved to safeguard its future. INTRODUCTION The Little Tern is our smallest tern species. It looks long-billed with a fairly long, forked tail, but lacks extended tail streamers. Adults in breeding plumage have a black eye-stripe and white forehead-patch, rather than a solid black cap like the other sea terns, and the yellow, black-tipped bill is also.
Tern Onychoprion aleuticus, a smallish, dark grey-and-white tern that breeds in southwest Alaska, Kamchatka and the Aleutian Islands. The sole individual recorded in Britain, a bird seen among other terns on the Farne Islands in May 1979, was thousands of kilometres away from home and constitutes one of the most mystifying of British rarity records. Another oddity found on the Farnes, but one that made a lengthy stay and became something of a local celebrity, was ‘Elsie’ the Lesser Crested Tern.