BLACK GUILLE­MOT

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your Birding Month -

Ar­guably our most beau­ti­ful seabird (though Puffins would also have a case, and Ra­zor­bills and Gan­nets are not ex­actly ugly!). It is just that a com­bi­na­tion of jet black plumage, strik­ing white wing ovals and red feet and in­ner mouth is hard to beat! Black Guille­mots don’t nest on cliffs like Guille­mots, but among boul­ders, lower down. They are largely birds of the north and west coasts, with high­est num­bers on Shet­land and Orkney. RED-THROATED DIVER

In July, Scot­land, in­clud­ing the western and north­ern is­lands, is the place to look for this most ex­quis­ite of wa­ter­birds. The Black-throated Diver may have the more ex­otic pat­tern, but the sub­tle dark red throat con­trast­ing with the soft, smooth matt grey of the head neck, and the fil­i­gree of the back of the head and that red eye, give the Red-throated a unique beauty. They breed be­side lochs and, even sur­pris­ingly small fresh­wa­ter lochans, and can be seen ei­ther there or fly­ing back and forth from the sea to bring fish back for young­sters.

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