If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

About Me

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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

27 May, 2010

Razorbill (Alca torda)

There are a fair number of Guillemots that nest along the Dorset cliffs and' amongst them, are a lesser number of Razorbills.

They are not easy to get close to from the heights of the cliffs as they nest on the lower edges and this is about as good a view as I have ever been able to get. It does show the two features, however, that enable you to pick them out from amongst the many Guillemots.

Firstly, and usually the most obvious feature, is the Razorbills razor bill! The Guillemot has a much more pointed bill whereas the Razor bill has a much bigger, chunkier beak.

The other feature, when the light is good, is that the Razorbill is very much darker, almost black, on its back whereas the Guillemot is chocolate brown.

The two species are both members of the Auk family (along with Puffins of course) and they are often seen together and so obviously get on well together