Welcome to Wild In Britain, an occasional and irregular photo journal of my encounters with all types of wildlife in the British Isles. All species featured on the site are wild, and all photographs are the copyright of Ben Locke. For prints and licensing click here. Please also take a look at my main site BenLocke.co.uk
This is another shot from the archives, taken at the very end of 2013. Named after a Danish zoologist, the Brünnich's guillemot is a very rare sight in Britain, and most sightings are unfortunately of dead birds, washed up on our most northern shores. There have been just over 40 records of this bird in Britain, and well over 50% of them were found dead. This bird was seemingly very healthy and well, and couldn't have got much further south if it had tried, found at Portland, Dorset. Whilst it's a rarity to Britain, there are thought to be between 15 and 20 million individuals worldwide. They have the smallest territory of any bird, requiring less than one square foot per individual! In pursuit of a meal, thick-billed guillemots perform short shallow dives, but they are more than capable of reaching depths of 100m or more to reach favoured fish and squid.