A bit of singing and dancing

Black Guillemots are the connoisseur’s auk. If you find Puffins too gaudy, or Guillemots too dowdy, then Black Guillemots are for you. On Papa Westray they pepper the coast. Or should that be salt and pepper the coast.

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

I love their curious ways.

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

They are terribly smart, with their white wing flash and scarlet legs. We see a group at the start of our walk around Papay.

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

Do you like their dancing?

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

Later on in the day, we see Black Guillemots again, this time against the pincushions of Thrift. They have pure white underwings too.

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

Then we hear them call. It’s a strange high-pitched mewing unlike anything else. I’m not sure whether it sounds sweet or sad. It has a beautiful elegiac tone, so I suppose their plaintive call must be sad..

Black Guillemots love to accessorise in style and have a gape which matches their scarlet legs. It’s extraordinary. I want them to go fishing and bring back a Butterfish for us to see, but I can’t complain. Their otherworldly music is gift enough.

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

I want to thank them for their sad, sweet song.

More Black Guillemots

Black Guillemot - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey Black Guillemot I'm on a day trip to the Mainland. That's the mainland of Orkney. In the harbour at Scapa there's a… read more
Black Guillemot with Butterfish - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the) Black Guillemot with a Butterfish It's a sparkling day on Westray. As we look out we can see a Black Guillemot on the waves. It's… read more
Westray 2018 - The Hall of Einar - photographs (c) David Bailey (not the) 2018 highlights of a wilder Orkney life My trips to Orkney in 2018 were full of wildlife surprises. I spent some time in the summer with the… read more
Black Guillemot - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the) 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… read more
Black Guillemot - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the) An afternoon with the Black Guillemots Black Guillemots are stunning birds in their summer breeding plumage. Here on Westray they nest on the cliffs and crags,… read more
Golden Puffins - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the) 2017 highlights of a wilder Orkney life 2017 was a wonderful year for wildlife experiences in Orkney. In July the seabird city at Noup Head was a… read more
The Atlantic - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the) The Atlantic Westray has two sides: a North Sea side and an Atlantic Ocean side. They meet with dramatic consequences at the… read more
Black Guillemot - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the) A Tystie and a Topknot The coastline around Westray is wonderful on a glorious summer's day. We're on the trail of Black Guillemots, or Tysties… read more
Black Guillemot - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the) - The Hall of Einar A Tystie with something tasty Black Guillemots seem to be called Tysties on Orkney. This one has caught something tasty. It looks to me like… read more

Feel free to leave a Reply :)