Seabirds in the UK; which ones can you see?

One of the things that characterizes the United Kingdom is the variety and number of seabirds. They can mostly be seen in places with cliffs in all three countries (England, Wales and Scotland). For example, the Northumberland coast in the north of England is rich in birds, but North Devon and Cornwall are no joke either.

Many of these birds are not seen in the Mediterranean region and therefore are all to be discovered by us Italians. A short list of birds you can see and photograph in the British Isles.

The fratercula is undoubtedly the best known seabird that you can see in the British Isles. However, the numbers of this beautiful bird are in sharp decline. The fratercula is monogamous and chooses a mate for life. You can see it in Scotland, Northern England, Shetlands, Welsh cliffs and Lundy Island which takes its name from this bird (from the old Norse lundey which meant little brother).

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The guillemot or guillemot

The guillemot or guillemot is found in many places with reefs in large colonies. There are several types of guillemot, the all black guillemot is sometimes seen in the Mediterranean regions as well but the black and white guillemot is found almost exclusively in the North Atlantic areas.

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The kittiwake or brawler lives almost exclusively on the cliffs, you will rarely see them far from the sea although some colonies can be found in the center of Newcastle. It is a type of seagull as you can understand from the photo above.

The fulmar or fulmarus instead looks like a gull but is actually the only albatross you can see in the British Isles. It can ‘spit’ an oily substance from its beak if attacked. It lives in colonies on the cliffs.

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The razorbill or razorbill

The razorbill or razorbill in English is similar to the guillemot but prefers northern and very hidden areas, generally nesting in the lower parts of cliffs. It is capable of diving very deep.

In Italian it is called marangone dal ciuffo, in English shag which however refers to the tuft, shag was an ancient term for crest. They are a small version of the green eyed cormorant, they are seen on cliffs and banks and even in London along the Thames.

The common tern is a rather agile bird with an orange beak. It is seen along many coasts in the summer. It is seen throughout Europe from spring to autumn and not just in the British Isles

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