Razorbill

Another smart seabird this time, the Razorbill.  A masterpiece of black and white that shows you don’t need colour to look impressive, their stout beaks with flashes of white do that for them.

Razorbills are cliff nesting auks that lay their speckled eggs in small crags and fissure on sea cliffs.  They don’t form particularly dense groupings like the Guillemots but can still be present in large numbers around the coasts of Skomer.  Right now they are laying their eggs but give it a few weeks and their small fluffy chicks will start appearing on the cliffs.  These chicks hang around for just 20 or so days before taking the plunge.  This is almost literal as they leave the cliffs before they are fully grown, and well before they can fly, so take a leap of faith and hopefully land in the sea (some take a bounce or two on the rocks before making it but seem to emerge unscathed).  This complete lack of elegance seems to stick with them throughout life as even adults coming in to land are an ungainly sight.  Losing speed quickly by deploying all available flaps, the Razorbill seems to just stop flying rather than land…

a Razorbill coming in to land.

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  1. Guillemot « Lewis Yates

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