Take the metro to Jaures (Line 2, 5, 7bis), and walk to the Bassin de la Villette. On one side there is the Quai de la Seine and on the other, the Quai de la Loire. This is the largest artificial lake in Paris, with modern movie theatres on each of the banks, as well as shops and restaurants. It’s an ideal place for a stroll, a picnic, and the starting point for a walk up to the Parc de la Villette (n°34).
Bassin de la Villette Paris Photo Gallery
Guillemots also breed on Farne, West and East Wideopens, Staple, Brownsman, North and South Wamses (600-800 breed here) and a few on Megstone. It is a true seabird, catching all of its food under the water and spending the winter months well out at sea, although it is sometimes driven inshore by easterly gales. This means that as well as having some very rewarding times, feeding on the huge shoals of prey such as sand eels, it can also have some desperately poor times, especially during the winter months. Months of gale-force easterly winds in 1990, for example, caused mountainous seas and destroyed the underwater visibility. This seriously affected the guillemot’s feeding habits, along with the razorbills, puffins and cormorants. My colleagues found thousands of these birds dead in the narrow underwater gullies at the Outer Farnes. Guillemots, like all the members of the auk family, fly more or less in a straight line and, unlike many other seabirds, do not have the ability to manoeuvre in flight. The rapid beating of their short, narrow wings make a bee-like whirring noise which gives the impression of power and speed, but they are very easily outpaced by the predatory gulls and skuas. Their only avenue of escape is often to plunge into the sea and swim underwater where the attackers cannot follow. All of the auks have great difficulty in taking off from a flat surface on land or sea, because their whole body structure is better adapted to swimming underwater.
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