You don't see this very often! In fact when I started searching images of Northern Fulmar, I couldn't find a single one with this plumage. There are very few photos of a Northern Fulmar at close range posted on the web.
This reinforces just how uncommon it is to be able to have such a close-up look at this great bird.
I am guessing this is an immature bird, but cannot find whether it is a first-year.
The find happened like this: Margie M. and I headed to Spaniard's Bay to look at the reported shorebirds. On the way, we pulled in to Clarke's Beach.
I had just mentioned to look at every gull closely. You never know what might show up. Shortly thereafter, I spotted this bird floating at the mouth of the North River. Even from a distance, it looked very different.
Enough different for me to head straight to it to see it more closely. The shape of the head and beak were to features that really caught my eye.
I was shocked and amazed when I saw it was a Northern Fulmar. I had long-since given up on seeing one this year. Then, voila, the best opportunity ever to look closely at this beautiful bird! What an amazing start to the day!