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.
On land, however, they are different birds. They are awkward and ungainly on the cliffs and shallow banks along the coast. They are monogamous and form long-term pairs:
They only lay the one egg a year and are very protective of their one chick – often sitting on it:
Chicks are like amorphous bean-bags with a curiously old looking head emerging from their fluffy down:
I find them adorable:
It’s hard to believe what they will become.