Tuesday, 21 September 2021

York Guillemot

As mentioned in an earlier post, there has been a large wreck of auks on the northeast coast, largely Guillemots and Razorbills. Corpses have been tested by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, but at the time of writing no cause has been identified. It seems the birds are emaciated, so possibly a lack of food could be the issue, although fish do appear to be abundant right now. Disease could be a cause, although avian flu has not yet been detected. Many of the auks are loafing close inshore or even entering rivers which is clearly out of character. Recently (11th September), this poorly Guillemot was discovered on the River Wharfe upstream of Cawood. It was only viewable from private land and the farmer only allowed access for a small number of local birders. Unfortunately, the bird was not present the next day so presumably died. 

Guillemot, River Wharfe. The first live record in the York area since October 1997. One was found dead in 1999. 

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