Wren - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey

Something’s moving

There’s something moving in the field next to Einar. I can see flower stalks trembling. It’s moving along behind the wall. All …

Sea Rocket - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey

Sea Rocket

There’s Sea Rocket, Cakile maritima, on the beach at the Bay of Swartmill. It’s a member of the mustard family. This is …

Telephone box - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey

When technology meets Westray

Westray; where technology goes to die. On Westray things that you don’t expect to rust, to rot and to weather, do. Just …

Starlings - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey

Neighbours

Not everyone can get on. Conflict is inevitable. When we are all packed in too close to one another then tempers are …

Spray - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey

Splash!

The seas are magical here. There are exhilarating waves at the Knowe o’ Skea. Out on the skerries, the wary Shags gather, …

Common Gull - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey

Uncommon Common Gulls

There’s a young Common Gull, Larus canus, flying past. They are very elegant fliers: Just as we have done for much of …

Rainbow - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey

View from the ferry

The higher the sun, the lower the rainbow. The lower the sun, the higher the rainbow. This photograph must have been taken …

Starlings - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Patterns

The Starlings at Einar make incredible abstract patterns on the wires.

Sanderling - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey

Sanderling #3

Westray has a certain palette of colours. It’s a world of muted blues, greens and purples; of greys and more greys. The …

Potboiler in the midden - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Pot boiler in the midden

Westray has more archaeology than archaeologists. That means we are losing the most incredible evidence of previous civilisations with every tide and …

Sanderling - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey

Sanderling #2

You know that feeling of panic when you realise your feet are going to be caught by a wave and you’re not …

Dock - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Dock

Stumbling across the thick grass behind the bay I see these tall flower spikes. I’m struck by their contrasting colours. And, as …

Sanderling - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey

Sanderling #1

There are Sanderling on Mae Sands. They are energetic beyond imagination. They work the tideline as if their lives depend upon it, …

Turnstone - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey

Ruddy Turnstone

There’s a Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres on the beach at Mae Sands. It’s just turned this stone over. They are very smart in …

Ringed Plover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey

Small, dumpy and short-legged

The RSPB says, “The ringed plover is a small, dumpy, short-legged wading bird.” Read more. That’s not very complimentary, is it? I …

Rope - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey

Coiled rope

It would be tempting to think that this coiled rope on Westray is a metaphor. It’s a call-back to the very first …

Swallow - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey

A life of contrasts

In late summer I checked the outbuildings at Einar for Swallows. Many of the nests were empty. This one wasn’t. It must …

Grey Seal - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey

Hook-nosed Seapigs

The scientific name of the Grey Seal is Halichoerus grypus. It means Hook-nosed Seapig. Everyone needs a rest after eating. I was …

Starling - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Starlings

There’s a young Starling, with a fluffy brown head, trying to negotiate the wind on Westray. It’s heading for my chimney pot. …

Turnstone at the Peedie Sea - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Turnstone at the Peedie Sea

Turnstones have a lovely mottled plumage. They always look as if they are in transition to me. Have they decided how their …

Kirkwall Harbour - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Signs

Changing a road system is always a problem. There’s the planning, the time it takes to do the work and then there’s …

Redshank at the Peedie Sea - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Redshanks at the Peedie Sea

It’s only a few minutes after dawn and there’s a Redshank on the Peedie Sea. I can’t quite believe it’s being quiet. …

Kirkwall Bay - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Dawn over Kirkwall Bay

Arriving off the Aberdeen ferry at nearly midnight gives me a quandary. Is it worth paying a small fortune for a few …

Puffin - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Peering Puffins

If Puffins can’t find an earth burrow, or if they live in a place with predators like rats and stoats, they will …

Calf - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Chin scratching

It’s a real talent to be able to scratch your chin with your foot. It’s fascinating to see this youngster’s dewclaw on …