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Westray

Notes on a very small island

Common Seal - 1970s Nature Notebooks - (c) David Bailey (not the)

Common Seal in the 1970s

Leafing through my childhood scrapbooks I come across a drawing of a Common Seal. It has all the characteristics of a Common …

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

The Bird by Edwin Muir

Here’s another of my favourite poems by Orcadian poet Edwin Muir. The Bird Adventurous bird walking upon the air,Like a schoolboy running …

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

Swallow over the rainbow

I’ve seen some spectacular rainbows on Westray. Some have been fleeting. Some have been intense. Some have been full arcs which split …

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

Location of injury

Walking in the garden at the back of Einar I can see a mess of rotten wood painted green, tangled with chicken …

Westray Industrial Show - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The Battle of Bere Bannock

The Battle of Bannockburn is a famous Scottish victory in the first Scottish War of Independence. Equally as momentous is the Battle …

Swift - Westray - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Swift by name

I’m used to seeing Swifts in Devon, high in blue skies, screaming. I spotted some recently in Reading, flying to and from …

Helophilus pendulus - Hoverfly - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Hoverflies on the cliffs

There are over 200 species of Hoverfly in the UK. I don’t know any of them and have to rely on support …

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

Nursery

There’s a beautiful nursery down below on these precarious cliffs: Adult Gannets are tending to their chicks and grooming themselves and each …

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

Pickieternos v Bonxies

Orkney has its own names for its birds. Many of these are from the Old Norse language and came with the Vikings …

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

Puffin with Sandeels

I’ve only had fleeting glances of Puffins with Sandeels as they whizz past at 30 miles per hour. I’m delighted to see …

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

Air Traffic Control

The RSPB say that Gannets are: “…distinctively shaped with a long neck and long pointed beak, long pointed tail, and long pointed …

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

Skewered by a Skua

I normally only see Great Skuas from behind as they disappear along the cliffs. They have a wonderful habit of cruising up …

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

Declining Kittiwakes

The weather is dramatic and so are the Kittiwakes calling below: They are such refined and elegant birds: Their families are growing …

Hedgehog rescue - The Hall fo Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Rescuing a thirsty Hedgehog

Rescuing a thirsty Hedgehog from the road and having a heartmelting few minutes as we give it a much needed drink. Filmed …

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

Razorbills

Our first trip out to see the Razorbills, Alca torda, is a success: we can see them: There’s even a brief chance …

Curious Cattle - The Hall of Einar

Curious cattle

It’s ten years since I took this photograph of cattle on Westray in the field next to Einar: Curiosity Cow The cattle …

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

Good Gannets above!

Noup Head is an exciting place to be when the Gannets are flying: They are massive: When the weather conditions are just …

Razorbill meets Puffin - The Hall of Einar

Razorbill and Puffin meet

I’m sitting on the cliffs of Westray on a beautiful day. I’m wearing full camouflage. I’ve been taking photographs of birds as …