We call them guillemots . . .

Joined
Jan 24, 2006
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1,259
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Greater Manchester, England
. . . but they are murres in the USA.

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Photographed on Staple Island, one of the bird reserves in the Farne Islands off Northumberland. Guillemots are the commonest auks on the islands and most flat areas of clifftop and decent sized ledges are covered in them. At this time of year, the first chicks have hatched, but most birds were incubating on the bare rock - they make no nest.
On this visit I took my 300 f/4 and my D70 18-70 kit lens with the D200, so that I could take some wide angle shots. There are kittiwakes nesting on smallest ledges around this sea stack and shags in the foreground.

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Guillemots are very sociable, they take a keen interest in their neighbours above them . . .

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. . . and in their neighbours below them.

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I was disappointed that the weather was very cloudy for my visit: but it was an advantage for shooting such contrasty birds.
Finally on Inner Farne, two birds posed very near the public area beside the lighthouse. Viewed close-up their feather texture makes them look even more like miniature penguins.

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Alan
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2006
Messages
1,259
Location
Greater Manchester, England
Thank you, Gale.
I have to make one correction to what I wrote before: puffins are actually the commonest auks on the Farnes, but as they nest underground they aren't as conspicuous as the guillemots.
I'm still processing my photos from the trip: shags tomorrow I hope, then I'll work on the puffins.

Alan
 

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