Bridled guillemot

Guillemot is the common name for various auk-type seabirds (Charadriiformes). In the UK there are two genera: Uria and Cepphus. This photos shows a guillemot at RSPB Bempton Cliffs on the coast of the East Riding of Yorkshire. If I told you that there is a species of guillemot known as the spectacled guillemot, you might imagine that this is she. However, this is actually a bridled guillemot. It’s not a distinct species but a genetic polymorphism of Uria aalge, the common guillemot (aka the common murre). This strain has thin white circles around its eyes that stretch back as a thin white line. By contrast the spectacled guillemot is rather distinct looking and has thick white circling around its eyes and no “bridle” and is Cepphus carbo.

This one was recorded at Bempton cliffs

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