2010 News

An Annual Spring Highlight

Courting Black Guillemots
My first visit of 2010 to a Black Guillemot colony
Each year I always look forward to visiting a colony of Black Guillemots on Antrims east coast. These have to be one of the most charismatic breeding birds in Ireland.

Having moulted into their breeding finery they return to their colonial breeding sites. Their bright red gapes and feet coupled with the whistling call make them one of my favourites.

Naturally nesting amongst boulders on rocky shores and under overhanging rocks on cliffs they have adapted to use holes in harbour walls. Here they have become used to humans.

Each year I try to pick a couple of nice days and just sit amongst them as them as swim around me only a few metres away. Courtship displays and disputes amongst neighbours all add to the amusement.