Gannet, black guillemot and shag

Purple sandpiper on rock, IJmuiden, 20 October 2013

20 October 2013. After the brent goose, porpoises, herring gulls and pipit, we are nearly at the end of the IJmuiden jetty. Purple sandpipers: maybe they came here all the way from Spitsbergen.

A female eider duck swimming.

Young gannet, IJmuiden, 20 October 2013

Then, a young gannet flies past. First, along the north side of the jetty towards the sea; then, along the south side to the coast. Was it born at Bempton Cliffs in England? In Scotland?

Shag, IJmuiden, 20 October 2013

On one of the jetty’s rocks sits a shag. This is a rare species in the Netherlands; contrary to its great cormorant relatives, they don’t nest here (though they tried for the first time recently). This rare shag, and other unusual birds, attracts birders and bird photographers to IJmuiden today. See also here.

Shag on seaweed, IJmuiden, 20 October 2013

Young black guillemot, IJmuiden, 20 October 2013

As we walk back to the coast in the east, we see the young black guillemot in winter plumage better now than when we went to the west. Then, the black guillemot was diving nearly all the time.

Young black guillemot with prey, IJmuiden, 20 October 2013

Now, it swims. Because it caught a prey, difficult to swallow. People on the pier discuss what the bird caught: a crab? a fish? Maybe it is a spiny fish, a sculpin or something. The spines, as well as the size, quite big for this smallish bird, may explain why it takes the black guillemot so long to swallow this.

Young black guillemot still with prey, IJmuiden, 20 October 2013

Stay tuned, as on 20 October there were birds not only along the pier, but also elsewhere in IJmuiden.

19 thoughts on “Gannet, black guillemot and shag

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