I think this is a Pied Shag, close relative of the Spotted Shag. I snapped this picture on my way home today.
He was drying his wings at the time. The reason they do this is that, unlike most sea birds, their feathers are designed to absorb water, and so they must dry them after a dip. This adaptation gives them neutral buoyancy when underwater, which helps them hunt. You've got to admire a bird that can not only fly superbly, but can also out-swim a fish underwater. They will dive for 40 seconds or more and can recover ready for another dive in just 10 - 15 seconds.
And thats my little
ornothology oarnitholigy ornathology bird-watching lesson for today ; )