Black Guillemot with Butterfish

I’m walking along the coast of Westray in Orkney when I spot a Black Guillemot come in to land from a fishing trip. It has a large, red, patterned Butterfish in its beak. It’s holding it, as usual, just behind the head.

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

I know that I’ve only got a few seconds. It’s delaying going to its chicks in their nest because it’s worried about me being here. It looks straight at me:

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

I’m not happy with the grey background of rocks and can see a beautiful line of grass and sky behind. I move sideways and drop to the ground close to the very edge of the cliff and get a shot with a colourful background.

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

I zoom in and marvel at the light shining through the fish:

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

Then I get the shot I’m looking for, with a glorious earth and sky rainbow behind:

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

And I leave it alone in the hope they’ll raise a successful brood for future walkers to enjoy.

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