Manx shearwater

A small shearwater, it has long straight slim wings, and is black above and white below. It flies with a series of rapid stiff-winged flaps followed by long glides on stiff straight wings over the surface of the sea, occasionally banking or ‘shearing’. It breeds in colonies in the UK, on offshore islands where it is safe from rats and other ground predators. Birds leave their nest sites in July, to migrate to the coast of South America, where they spend the winter, returning in late February and March.

Guillemot

Guillemot

Uria aalge

The UK's coasts have many stretches of sheer cliffs where seabirds breed and the guillemot is one of the most numerous birds in the great 'seabird cities'. It comes to land only to nest, spending the rest of its life at sea, where it is vulnerable to o...

Razorbill

Razorbill

Alca torda

The razorbill is a medium-sized seabird. It is black above and white below. It has a thick black beak which is deep and blunt, unlike the thinner bill of the similar guillemot. It breeds around the coast of the UK, with the largest colonies in northern...

Storm petrel

Hydrobates pelagicus

A little bigger than a sparrow it appears all black with a white rump. Its tail is not forked, unlike Leach's petrel. In flight it flutters over the water, feeding with its wings held up in a 'V' with feet pattering across the waves. At sea it often fe...