The last great auk on St Kilda "made a great noise shutting its mouth", the St Kildan Lachlan McKinnon remembered as an old man in the 1860s. It had been killed forty years before. [spoiler tags because of descriptions of how the great auk was killed](show spoiler)
That was probably the last British great auk.
Reading this chapter was not easy. I have a soft spot for auks, and the story of the great auk just breaks me every time I read about it.
Nicolson is passionate about seabirds and I love his comments on how destructive mankind has been to the natural world. But damn that chapter was difficult.