Recently, I mentioned the presence of an intriguing seabird spotted flying over our very land-locked Cambridgeshire village – the Northern Fulmar, Fulmarus glacialis. The nearest flock of nesting Fulmar is on the layered cliffs that back the North beach at Sunny Hunny, Hunstanton on the North Norfolk coast looking out across The Wash and beyond to St Botolph’s in in the Lincolnshire town of Boston.
Fulmars sit in the Petrels and Shearwaters group of birds, the Procellariiformes meaning the tubenoses. So-called because along the crest of their bill they have a tubular structure that encloses one or two nostrils. They might be confused with gulls but a closer view reveals them to be rather different and even at a distance their stiff-winged flight is a giveaway.