Rathlin Islands eider duck and black guillemot

Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland is well known as a wonderful place for seabirds. So, earlier this spring, I jumped at the chance to go and photograph the eider ducks. It is a beautiful seaduck. A contrast of black and white, complemented by a flush of pink and pale green – a wonderful sight close-up.

Most of our time was taken up photographing their courtship display. It was a little frustrating that we couldn’t get right down to water level, my preferred shooting perspective, nonetheless, it was worthwhile I’m always happy if I secure at least one good image. This time, it has to be the running eider duck.

The black guillemots were quite confiding, but again it wasn’t possible to shoot from a very low point of view. On the positive side, we were able to photograph them calling and showing that blood-red mouth.

 

During courtship, males and females gather in to quieter waters and several pairs will congregate to show-off, squabble and display. This male bird was startled by the sudden appearance of a grey seal and fled by running across the water to a safe distance.
Male eider running on water

During courtship, males and females gather into quieter waters and several pairs will congregate to show-off, squabble and display. This male bird was startled by the sudden appearance of a grey seal and fled by running across the water to a safe distance.

Male displaying and puffing up its chest.
Male displaying and puffing up its chest.
Displaying male duck
Displaying male duck
black guillemot
Guillemot wing-flapping
Black Guillemot calling
Black Guillemot calling.
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