I was birding the Otter Estuary last night with nothing of real note. I then checked the beach during the last 20 minutes of light when I came across this oiled Guillemot. I must admit it gave me a bit of a fright as it looked quite dark for a Guillemot and showed a fairly obvious Tomium Stripe or white gape line - a feature more known for Brunnich's Guillemot! However, some Common Guillemots can show this and it was interesting to see it - a feature I have not consciously seen before on Common Guillemot.
The bill is too long and the tomium stripe not as distinct as on Brunnich's. In fact, it is very unobvious on the right hand side of the bird. The underwings showed quite a lot of dark blotching too (another Common Guillemot feature)
But no denying, it is an odd looking bird from some angles!
Clearly oiled and shivering on the beach, I managed to catch it with the help of the Mrs. We then took it to a local wildlife hospital (recommended by RSPCA) where it was to be fed and then transferred for a clean up. It was pretty alert and quite feisty, so hopefully will pull through.
Sadly, I found another more badly oiled Guillemot on the beach today and it sounds as if the RSPCA have been inundated with oiled birds following the recent storms, particularly from the Weymouth area......