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Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla

Juvenile, August 2019, WMids


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Kittiwake, juv, West Midlands, August 2019

A. R. Dean

Kittiwake, juv, West Midlands, August 2019

A. R. Dean

Kittiwake in juvenile plumage has a strikingly grey, black and white livery, with no brown hues at all. At rest the black 'shawl' and the black band running across the coverts into the base of the tertials are distinctive. In flight, the black leading edge to the primaries combines with the covert bar to generate a dark 'W' across the spread wings. Note also the black ear-spot, tail band and all-black bill. Being in the shadow of the undertail and body, the legs also appear dark but in fact they were greyish-flesh, a variant exhibited by a minority of juv/1W Kittiwakes (see Olsen & Larsson's 'Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America', 2003, 2004). Photos showing the true leg-colour of this individual can be seen <here>.

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