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Orkney Mainland

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

House Sparrows

The car park of the out of town shopping centre is empty apart from my car. I haven’t bought anything and the …

Groatie Buckies - The Hall of Einar

Groatie Buckies

On the table in the Groatie Buckies cafe on Westray, run by Stewart and Marian Groat, is a jar of Groatie Buckies. …

Mute Swan - Stover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Mute

I never get bored of Mute Swans, Cygnus olor: There’s something about their size, their poise and their steady pace that enthrals …

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

Russian Corks

It’s getting more and more unusual to find Russian corks on the beaches and sea caves on Westray. Here are some sheltering …

Seal on Westray - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Seal haul

In Pierowall on Westray in Orkney, the seals haul themselves up onto the rocks in the Bay. They lie scattered like the …

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

Edwin and the shipwreck cabin

Westray is a small island and has some really interesting characters; Edwin Rendall is one of them. My theory is that everyone …

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

Udal Law

The law on who owns what land isn’t as simple as you might think. Living in a country with a name like …

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

Windows

I love the windows of the old buildings on Westray in Orkney. The stonework is wonderful, the walls are so deep and …

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

Tentative

Arriving at Einar, the cattle are always keen to see what’s happening. They approach me with tentative noses:

Westray - The Bay of Skaill - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The Bay of Skaill

On a glorious day on Westray this boat on the Ouse on the Bay of Skaill makes a beautiful scene:

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

Curious wet nose

Westray is a farming and fishing island, with wildlife largely confined to the edges and margins. It is a very productive island …

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

Green-haired Limpet

I suspect this Limpet has been experimenting with a new hairstyle. That green hair must be quite high maintenance, because the waves …

Yellow Legged Gull - The Hall fo Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Colour co-ordinated Gulls

The brown waters of the River Tiber in Rome never seem to be able to reflect the intense blue of the sky …

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

Razorbills

Looking back at my photographs from 2017 I come across some which I haven’t posted. They are Razorbills. They nest along the …

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

Bridled Guillemot

Looking back at my photographs from Westray in 2017 I’m struck by this beautiful Bridled Guillemot. It’s a Guillemot, Uria aalge, but …

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

Cud

The sheep on Westray are hardy beasts. Here’s one with a white face doing what a sheep does best; chew:

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

Driftwood

There are precious few trees on Westray. Wood for buildings was a scarce material and driftwood was always salvaged by Islanders and …

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

Too much for dinner

The seals on Westray always look in such good condition when I see them: I’m hoping that’s because the seas are clean …

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

Plastic ocean

The coast of Westray is beautiful. Beautiful, but blighted. It’s the recipient of plastic rubbish from across the ocean. There are more …

Lichen on the rocks - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Trouble With Lichen

There’s lichen everywhere on Westray. It shows how clean the air is here, how salt-tolerant lichen is and also how difficult it …

Green Shore Crab - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Green Shore Crab

Have you ever noticed that crabs have their head inside their body? That can feel a little weird if you think about …

Raven's Nest - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The linguistic displacement of Ravens

There’s a Raven’s nest in this ruinous building on Westray: Ravens are special because, just like humans, they display linguistic displacement; they …