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Nature Notebooks

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

The quiet hunt

There’s something in the air today in Devon. It’s the merest hint of a dampness and a chill in the air whispering …

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

Puffarazzi

The RSPB are running a great citizen science project at the moment. They are calling for Puffarazzi – an army of Puffin …

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

Flying Puffins

I’m currently without my telephoto lens. It’s being repaired. That means my prime chance of photographing Puffins is going to waste. I’m …

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

Puffins on Parade

Puffins are always a pleasure to see and to photograph: They are such elegant birds, with stunning details in their plumage: Sometimes, …

Great Yellow Bumblebee - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Blonde Bombshell

I’m buzzing with excitement. There are big blonde bees in the garden at Einar. I suspect they are Great Yellow Bumblebees. I …

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

Flagstones and Slaters

Looking into the cracks in the flagstones I see what looks to be a freakishly large Woodlouse. It’s a Sea Slater…

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 northernmost and …

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

Collecting and sorting

I’m on the beach when I see a few different Flat Periwinkles. I’m fascinated by their different colours and patterns.

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

The Seal of Approval

These Common Seals love hauling out in Pierowall Bay: They are often there. Together they look as if they ought to have …

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

Technical Puffins

I’ve taken many artistic Puffin portraits over the past few weeks. They are glorious models and it’s always a challenge to capture …

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

Fulmar Chicks

Westray is an environment of sea and stone and air. Fulmars have complete mastery of the air. Their flight is elegant and unflapping irrespective of the direction in which they fly. They can turn and wheel around, adjust their position and react with astonishing speed.

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

Prancing Puffins

Puffins mate for life. This pair are keeping each other company on a rock ledge outside their burrow near the Castle o’ …

Gannets at Noup Head - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Gannets at Noup

I’m hanging over the edge of a 75 metre high cliff looking down at the dizzying heights below. The smell of a …

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 as they …

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

Whaup Whaup overhead

A trip to the Bay of Skaill reveals the shallow turquoise waters which look Caribbean to someone as starved of heat as …

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

Sandbanks

Sandbanks is the most exclusive beach in the country and contains some of the hottest properties. No, I’m not talking about Sandbanks …

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

The Wren who hasn’t been told

It’s been an emotional journey over the last few days with the birds here at Einar. We always have Swallows and Blackbirds …

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

Puffin Portrait

Sometimes words are too many. Sometimes words are too few. Sometimes it is best that there are no words at all.

Risso's Dolphins - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Never a dull day

The weather on Westray may be dull, but there’s never a dull day on Westray.

A white blanket of cloud shrouds the island but life continues as normal for the incredible menagerie which inhabits the shores of Westray.

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

The hours before sunset

We’re on Westray and only have a few hours before sunset to see some wildlife at the Castle o’ Burrian. At least …

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

Skipping among Skippers

I’m lying in the grass in a chalk meadow surrounded by the sounds and smells of nature. It’s a sensory delight. There’s …