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Old Friday 30th April 2010, 19:04   #1
Long_Tailed_Tit
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UK - Bass Rock - Slightly weird Guillemots?

Hi All,

Long time lurker, but I think this is my first post.

I was fortunate enough to be on a landing trip to the Bass Rock at the weekend organised by the Scottish Seabird Centre (great trip - definitely recommend it).

As well as the numerous (aka thousands of) gannets, there were plenty of other seabirds, including a colony of guillemots. A couple of which slightly threw me though.

Firstly, there's one with yellow beak and feet - which I thought would be a juvenile - but not according to my bird books. Also, there's a character with white patches round his / her very beady eyes.

Presumably these are just variations on the usual guillemot - but if someone could confirm I'd appreciate it!

Cheers,

John
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Old Friday 30th April 2010, 19:21   #2
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that white-eyed one might be a bridled on which you can't actually see the bridle, but it still looks pretty weird. And don't even get me started on that yellow-beaked one.

I can make a fiar stab at mister bright eyes but I am afraid the best I can say about yellowy is that he is a freak of nature, or has run into some hgihly improbable circumstances involving chemicals, dyes, paints etc.!!
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Old Friday 30th April 2010, 19:24   #3
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Very, very weird!
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Old Friday 30th April 2010, 19:26   #4
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Aye.. it's a weird guillemot!

A genetic abnormality affecting the colouration!.. Darwinism in action!... If it works, it's evolution.. if it doesn't.. its a blip!
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Old Friday 30th April 2010, 19:29   #5
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The bird with the white eyes looks like a Bridled form, which get commoner the further north you go. The yellow beaked bird could be a aberrant form, like we get leuistic of albino birds.
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Old Friday 30th April 2010, 21:34   #6
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There was an article in Birding World a while back about a Guillemot with a yellow bill. Not BW's finest hour I have to say, but interesting to see for yourself in the field obviously.

Stephen.
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Old Friday 30th April 2010, 22:01   #7
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Bridled Guillemot for the bird with the eye ring. The other bird with the yellow beak/legs looks to be a leucistic bridled Guillemot.

CB
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Old Friday 30th April 2010, 22:03   #8
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That's one smart bird. If it's for real, which for once I am not really doubting

Yellow feet and an interesting upper plumage too.
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Old Saturday 1st May 2010, 01:07   #9
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Amazing bird! Leucism seems to be the cause. Affecting bare part pigments also.

Bridled face on also for me!

Welcome to BF LTT!

And what a fantastic way to start!!!!
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Old Saturday 1st May 2010, 11:59   #10
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Thanks to all for the replies (and for the nice welcome!) - I've had another look through the 1000+ pictures from that trip (how many close up pictures of a gannet do you really need?) and dug out another one of this pair.

Bit of a worse view of the yellow one (obviously feeling self conscious in this shot from the other guillemots staring at him) - but it gives a better view of the bridle on the other one.

Have googled that after it was suggested - interesting how it is a reflection of how northerly a bird is. Wonder why that started appearing.

Cheers again! Very interesting.
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Old Saturday 1st May 2010, 13:21   #11
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It doesn't appear to have affected it's 'pulling' power!
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Old Saturday 1st May 2010, 18:05   #12
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Top dollar - i'd have strung a Penguin on that yellow one!!

Incidentally,won't it be Xanthistic rather than Leucistic if showing yellow?
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Old Saturday 1st May 2010, 19:18   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Long_Tailed_Tit View Post
.... but it gives a better view of the bridle on the other one.
In your second shot, there is another bridled bird in the bottom left.
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Old Sunday 2nd May 2010, 21:17   #14
dantheman
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Quote:
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Top dollar - i'd have strung a Penguin on that yellow one!!

Incidentally,won't it be Xanthistic rather than Leucistic if showing yellow?
I was thinking leucistic was wrong too, but wouldn't xanthistic have yellow plumage tones too?

Just some kind of genetic throwback/mutation, or does this have a name??
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