Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Black Guillemot

 The Black Guillemot is a member of the alcid family of birds and is a frequent sight just off the beaches of Newfoundland. I photographed this one in its summer plumage in Flatrock early summer. 

 There are two interesting and frustrating observations that I have made when seeing several of these birds off shore. First, they are typically alone so they are quick to observe anyone watching them and second, they have all been too far from shore to get a great look.  They do feed inshore in the more shallow water but waste no time moving to safer, distant waters when they see people.

 I included this blurry image of the BG riding a wave because it offers a glimpse of the red feet. I have never seen this bird out of the water
 It is hard to say but this may be the same brid in winter plumage. I found this lone Black Guillemot in its winter plumage, once again, at Flatrock. It is disappointing that I couldn't get a better image because this winter bird shows very nicely. I find it very interesting to see how different many birds look as they transform with the seasons.
As far as Black Guillemots go, this one was closer to shore than any other that I have seen. I was able to remain in my car while taking these pictures. As soon as I got out to try to get better shots, it dived under water and came up much farther out to sea. It is the same behaviour I have frequently observed with the Common Loon.

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