We had a few bits of wind over the last few weeks and when loads of the birders were doing sea watches along the coast a good few reports were coming in about Little Auks. I just love these tiny little seabirds and I was praying we would see some when we eventually got back out on the water.
A few days had past and no luck even though we were seeing other seabirds around I was still hoping to see this lovely auk.
The Little Auk is part of the auk family and breeds on islands in the high arctic in places like Little Diomede Island in the Bering Strait but only in small numbers. It also breeds on small islands in the Bering Sea.
This is the only Atlantic auk of its size and its about half the size of the Puffin at 19-21cm in length, with a 34-38cm wingspan. Its not until you see them close up then you realise how small they are. I do love these auks with their very stubby bill and little white mark beside their eyes. When they fly past the boat they go like a bullet. Not that I have seen a bullet in real life before but that’s what it feels like to me.
Like the Puffin they lay only one egg and instead of a burrow its on a cliff edge but with an overhang so they get a little bit of shelter. They move south in the winter and this is when they tend to come to our area and forgive me if I’m wrong but I think the Farnes has the British record of passage in one day of 25,000. Now that would have been a wonderful site to see, as I’m happy with one but could you imagine that many. Amazing really.