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Westray

Notes on a very small island

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

Jenny at home

There’s a commotion in the bushes. It’s Britain’s noisiest bird in noise per weight; the Wren. My 1935 Outline of Nature says: …

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

Linnet at West Kirbest

A trip to West Kirbest results in a beautiful view of this male Linnet in full breeding plumage: It’s a farmland bird. …

Ebony and Ivory - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Ebony and ivory

There are 33,000,000 sheep in the UK. Not all of them are in Wales; 15,000,000 are in England. That means 300,000 tonnes …

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

Bridled Guillemot

Visiting Noup Head on Westray is always exhilarating. It’s even more exhilarating the closer you get to the edge of the cliffs. …

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

Lichen on cobbles

I’ve been inspired by seeing how limpets have colonised a crack in a rock from year to year. I think I might …

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

Sunset Puffins

It’s a distinctive silhouette which has graced the shores of the UK for thousands of years. But now, due to marine pollution …

One Minute Puffin Cure #8

The One Minute Puffin Cure #8

Comical Puffins in golden sunlight on Westray: Recorded using a tiny remote control camera at the Castle o’ Burrian on Westray in …

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

Blackbird on Westray

The light is beautiful on this Blackbird. Aren’t they perky birds? I first drew them in 1977: My drawings may not have …

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

House Sparrow

This House Sparrow on Westray is part of a sizeable flock. It’s just as much a pleasure to see one now as …

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

Kittee-wa-aaake

The Kittiwakes at Noup Head are mesmerising. This one is a juvenile, flying freely, far above the sparkling sea below: I love …

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

Seals and Salmon

It’s siesta time for the Common Seals at Broughton on Westray. It’s a time to let their food go down, let their …

One Minute Puffin Cure #7

The One Minute Puffin Cure #7

Comical Puffins in golden sunlight on Westray: Recorded using a tiny remote control camera at the Castle o’ Burrian on Westray in …

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

Collapsed burrows

The headlands and inlets of Westray are covered in spongy tufts of damp grass. Beneath them lie normally invisible tunnels. They are …

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

Fulmars

The Fulmars look beautiful in this light. They look odd on land because they sit low down on their feet rather than …

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

The Fulmars of Backarass

We’re walking down past Backarass on Westray. It’s a special landscape of shattered rocks and still pools: The weather is fabulous and …

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

Pottering Puffins

I’m pottering and decide to have a look at this summer’s Puffin portraits. There are a few I haven’t developed yet. I …

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

The Orkney Ram

The three rams at Backarass are in a huddle. They are all fine, big boys but not quite yet of Derby Ram …

One Minute Puffin Cure #6

The One Minute Puffin Cure #6

It’s time for another One Minute Puffin Cure. Recorded using a tiny remote control camera at the Castle o’ Burrian on Westray …

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

Puffincoming!

Looking back at some of this summer’s Puffin photographs I find a sequence I really enjoy which I haven’t developed. How entertaining …

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

Grass of Parnassus

Scattered across the rough grass behind Rack Wick bay are delicate limpid flowers. They are Grass of Parnassus. It’s a plant of …

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

Parasiticus

Animal behaviour is happening all around us; curious acts, of ancient origin, repeated in ever-changing patterns. Living things are incredibly complex, but …

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

Scootie Allan

On our walk around Papa Westray we are excited to see Arctic Skuas. At least we are until they attack us. There’s …

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

“I’m shy!”

Not everyone wants their photograph taken. Especially when you’re just getting ready to go out.

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

In salutem omnium

Noup Head lighthouse is a major feature of the coast of Westray. Planned in 1895, it was announced in Parliament because, “Her …