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Photo Information
Copyright: Pekka Valo (pekkavalo1) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 423 W: 54 N: 2120] (6789)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-07-10
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark III, Canon EF 400mm f4.0 DO IS USM, RAW ISO 800, Canon EF 1.4x Extender II
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/125 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-02-10 6:27
Viewed: 4728
Points: 34
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
An adult Guillemot at Bempton Cliffs nature reserve. This individual is of the 'brindled' variation and appears to be wearing spectacles.

From Birdguides:

Guillemot (Uria aalge)

In: Common Murre Ca: Somorgollaire Da: Lomvie De: Trottellumme Es: Arao común Fi: etelänkiisla Fr: Guillemot de Troïl It: Uria Nl: Zeekoet No: Lomvi Pt: Airo Sv: Sillgrissla US: Common Murre Ru: Тонкоклювая кайра

The Guillemot is best identified by its bill: long, wholly dark and gently tapering to a point. In flight they are slimmer and browner than Razorbills although they become increasingly darker plumaged further north. In winter Guillemots have a pale throat and cheeks, marked by a characteristic dark line behind the eye like the arm of a pair of spectacles. Some birds called 'bridled Guillemots' show the opposite colour-pattern in summer - they seem to be wearing white-rimmed spectacles. Guillemots have distinctively streaked flanks which aid identification.

Breeds on cliffs and rocky coasts. Winters at sea and around the coast.

Guillemots nest at extremely high densities in extraordinarily cramped conditions. In order to stop them from rolling off the narrow ledges, the eggs are distinctively pear-shaped so they roll around in circles. The young Guillemots leave the nest long before they can fly which doesn't seem a good idea for a bird which hatches on a ledge sometimes hundreds of feet up a cliff. At some sites the sea doesn't come close enough to guarantee a soft wet landing so the chicks have to bounce onto the rocks then scramble towards the sea before the marauding gulls grab hold of them. This leaping from the breeding ledges is timed to occur at the same time throughout the colony so the gulls are faced with such a glut of food that they can eat only a small proportion of the chicks.

Dispersive throughout the North Sea and North Atlantic.

CeltickRanger, siggi, Argus, uleko, Luis52, jaycee, eng55, bikefifty, nglen, jusninasirun, iris has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To joey: Elmleypekkavalo1 1 02-15 15:10
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Critiques [Translate]

hello Pekka

today we are neighbors

excellent close-up photography of this Guillemot, shot with fine POV
and appropriate vertical framing, with excellent sharpness
and details of the bird, TFS


  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-02-10 7:57]

Hello Pekka,
Fantastic capture! Light and colors are beautiful. Composition is great. Everything is perfect. Thanks for sharing!
Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-02-10 7:59]

Hello Pekka,
Great capture of a 'Bridled' Common Guillemot taken from a fine POV with great sharpness in this frame-filling composition. You must have been pretty close to get such a fine portrait of the species.
Thanks and best wishes,

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-02-10 8:11]

Hello Pekka,
I'd love to see one of these fantastic birds! Excellent capture showing it very sharply in a fine pose on the shelf of a cliff. Very well done!
TFS and cheers, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2009-02-10 9:41]

Hola Pekka.
Excellent photo. Never seen this bird before, Your note is very interesting My friend.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2009-02-10 9:50]

Hi Pekka,

This Guillemot is quite a handsome bird. The face is so sharp with that wonderful eye that does look like a half spectacle. The feathers are beautiful and the feet are amazing. I always wonder where you were when you take these shots on the cliffs.


  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2009-02-10 10:24]

Hi Pekka,
Beautiful capture.POV,pose of bird and details are excellent.
Thanks for posting.

Hi Pekka,
wow - this bird is amazing - look at that eye, the white parts are like stripes made with an eye-liner ;-)
Very good shot, I like it, thanks
Sabine - wishnugaruda

  • Great 
  • eliz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 167 W: 20 N: 271] (1537)
  • [2009-02-10 10:42]

incredible beautiful details on this bird feathers


I love the look of this bird. The detail you captured at such a slow speed if fantastic. I assume you were using a tripod.

I like the way you caught it looking up so as to emphasize the white line around and down from the eye.

Thanks for showing me this interesting bird we don't see in my part of the world.


  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2009-02-10 11:35]

merhaba Pekka
good capture of this cute bird
i like composition, its pose, DOF and sharpness

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-02-10 11:45]

Hi Pekka. This is about as close as you could get . It lets us see the fine detail of the feathers with natural colours. With the white ring and line from the eye. All with interesting notes . well done TFS.

Hi Pekka,

This is truly gorgeous. Amazing perspective with the plumage is well exposed in pristine details. Beautiful perch and very well framed shot. I like it and well done.


  • Great 
  • iris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 479 W: 60 N: 970] (3088)
  • [2009-02-11 9:33]

Hi Pekka,
I remember seeig one of your Guillimot in-flight shots and almost mistaking it to be a Penguin!!!!
This is a fine close up shot with good details standing out.I like the expression caught as also the close details of its head especially the eye.Shooting the bird in its original habitat makes it even more interesting to look at.
Very well done.

TFS & Cheers

hello pekka,
this is a beautiful species, the colours, the composition and the pov is lovely, the border of the eye looks great,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • efsus Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 415 W: 11 N: 843] (3947)
  • [2009-02-12 1:20]

Merhaba Pekka,
Detayları kusursuz sergilenmiş ilginç bir kuş sunumu olmuş. Tebrikler.


  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2009-02-12 8:26]
  • [+]

Excellent shot of this Guillemot, Pekka!
Very fine detail and clarity.
Well composed.
Nice, soft light.

Well done,


P.s. Next month, me and my Mum are coming down to Kent for a weekend. On one of the days, we'll hopefully be going to Elmley Marsh and I was wondering if you wanted to meet up there again? I'll get back to you with a date as I'm not at home at the moment and can't check the calendar :-)

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