Guillemots on the east coast

I have just returned from a weeks holiday in Filey, whilst there we visited Bempton but the strangest thing happened along Filey bay.

i was out with my 20 month old daughter on Wednesday morning, to my surprise we came across what looked like a stricken Guillemot, as we approached it, it started to to move a little but I was shocked as it didn’t try to get away, I was concerned for the bird, spent some time admiring it up close (first time I had seen one) and then it started to get active, it eventually swam off after having a couple of dives under waves .

i really didn’t think much of this other than a chance up close and personal encounter, until I read the article in the times about the number of guillemots and razorbills that having issues.

long winded post (first time) I just wanted to put it out there to ensure people knew that this wasn’t just happening up in Scotland and in the NE, it seems to be tracking down the country which is a real worry.



  • First, welcome to the forum James from a currently sunny West Midlands, but that is set to change and back to the cloud again anytime soon, and second, definitely not a long winded post, the detail I'd say is about right.

    Sadly, I'm not able to offer any explanations, though I'm sure someone will.


    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • Hi James, been a fair amount of coverage about this awful event,  another Article Here for those who haven't read about it

  • In reply to Mike B:

    Thank you Mike, I am only an amateur but really do enjoy birds and learning about them, just a shame that I have stumbled across this sad story.

  • In reply to PimperneBloke:

    Thanks PB, I have read the article and off of the back of that I have contacted the CEH, I have offered them the footage and photographs I captured if needed.

    Sad as both myself and daughter thought we had helped one, if I had know about this at the time I would of tried to do more, I cannot help but feel bad now so will do what I can to raise awareness.

    Thanks again

  • In reply to JMR271186:

    JMR271186 said:
    Thank you Mike, I am only an amateur but really do enjoy birds and learning about them, just a shame that I have stumbled across this sad story.


    James, you're very welcome. Don't let this sad story dishearten you, you will come across many more, and have probably encountered many in the past.

    I'm only a mere amateur (only been birding four years), and constantly learning with the fabulous help from the friendly and helpful people on the forum. Don't try and take everything in, in one go, it won't happen, but you will pick things up gradually and the important thing is to enjoy what your doing and you will learn.


    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • As the area is our nearest bit of coastline and I've been birding here for many years I've taken great interest in this event Having read as much as I can find no one has come up with definite reason for the problem which is quite worrying.


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • The problem appears to be widespread.

    Reports from both east and west coasts.

    Not just guillemot, but razorbill, puffin and kittiwake as well.
  • Hi Everyone,

    Thank you for the advice and encouragement, it is really sad what is going on, I have asked my dad who is in Filey this week to keep an out for more and let me know, it certainly won’t discourage me it actually makes me want to do more for our wildlife, I have this urge to make change!!

    People need to realise the damage we cause, (not saying this issue has manifested from anything humans have done) I was hopeful C-19 would have taught more people to appreciate the beauty of our country and what we have, it seems like it may have been a flash in the pan for some, I have always loved nature but over the last few years have found it as an escape, especially birds!

    I don’t do social media generally but I feel like this is a pace where like minded people can discuss what they actually care about and help each other improve and gain more knowledge.

    Thank you all again I do appreciate it.

  • Out walking on Dunwich beach last week and came across a guillemot which had died but looked in perfect condition apart from missing feet ! Assume it had its soft parts scavenged .So this problem is moving south as on Autumn watch it did mention guillemots found on Norfolk beaches this week .Such a shame that these birds are coming to grief.I hope that researchers find out what is going on quickly.