Arctic auks and other birds

While in Svalbard I became an auk-enthusiast and spent hours watching the Brunnich’s guillemots (or thick-billed murres). These birds are like penguins that fly – although they don’t really look like they should…! They nest in huge numbers, packed onto thin ledges on the sea cliffs, whereas the Little auks (or Dovekies) prefer a more gentle slope and nest tucked away under boulders.

Svalbard SvalbardSvalbard SvalbardSvalbard SvalbardSvalbard

Whilst not an auk, the arctic terns are beautiful and graceful… from a distance – and a hazard if you get find yourself near a nesting site, when their dive bomb tactics require you to carry a stick above your head for safe passage!

Svalbard Svalbard

You can see more from my arctic adventure here.

Photos © 2013 Hannah Larkin