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Fulmar, Isle of Staffa.

From the top of the steep sea cliffs on the small Isle of Staffa, we enjoyed an impressive flying display from these elegant seabirds, who passed by sometimes almost within touching distance as they rode the thermals along the cliff edge.
Despite initial impressions, the fulmar isn't a seagull, in fact it's a close relative of the albatross. Like the albatross, it flies effortlessly on rigid wings, only flapping occasionly when additional lift is required. Together with it's thick-necked more powerful appearance, another difference with seagulls are the tubed nostrils atop the stubby beak, clearly visible in this photograph.
They weren't the easiest of birds to photograph, and I tried a lot of panning shots to try and capture them as they glided past. This was one of the few sharp ones.

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Additional Photos by Ben WX (ben4321) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1801 W: 133 N: 2077] (9875)
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