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Noup Head

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 …

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

Leftovers

There’s very little left of this carcass at Noup Head.

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

The lost sock

There’s a lost sock impaled on the barbed wire at Noup Head. The other one is probably still inside your duvet cover …

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

Gannet

The name Gannet comes from the Old English ganot which means strong or masculine. It’s from the same Old Germanic root as …

The Grip of Cleaton - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The Grip of Cleaton

The history of Westray is told in two small volumes. One is its telephone directory, with its handful of names, many of …

Fulmar sunset flypast - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

Fulmar sunset flypast

A ragged-tailed Fulmar is alive to every variation in the breeze as the sun sets at Noup Head.

Rainbows at Noup Head - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

Rain Bows

I shout into the wind that I can see rain heading over the sea towards us. I’m wrong; it’s hailstones.

Raiders of the lost Aak - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

Raiders of the lost Aak

Guillemots are known as Aaks in Orkney. This Aak egg has been raided from the cliffs at Noup Head and eaten.

Fulmar at Noup - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

A sense of taste

Hardly any bird species have a sense of smell – and that probably means they have very little sense of taste either. …

Danger - Vertical Cliffs - photograph copyright David Bailey (not the) 2016

Danger

You have to watch out for those vertical cliffs on Westray. They’re far more dangerous than horizontal cliffs.

Fulmar

Casting a shadow upon yourself

Evolution is a wonderful thing. Being grey above and white below is a classic countershading strategy used by many seabirds and often …

Noup Head Lighthouse in the Mist

Misty Noup

It’s a grey afternoon as I set out to cycle to Noup Head. I can’t tell you how many miles it is …

Noup Head Panorama

Noup Head Panorama

Noup Head is my destination by bicycle today, as it was yesterday. The crushed stone path is so rough that my bicycle …

Noup

Noup Head Lighthouse

Noup Head Lighthouse stands magnificent and alone on the cliffs; a brilliant shining warning of the skerries below.

Seabird City

Seabird City

Noup Head, the RSPB reserve, is seabird city. Here is a Fulmar, crouching  ungainly on the cliffs, waiting to wheel into the air.

Mushroom Magic

Mushroom Magic

A long walk along the cliffs to Noup Head. Giant mushroom fairy rings lie like targets on the fertile hillsides.