There are Common Eider ducks on the growing waves here on Papa Westray.
Their colours are very understated.
As soon as they see us they paddle furiously away. It’s hardly surprising as we very nearly made them extinct. Eider were killed for their feathers. It was the fact that Eider were nearly extinct that caused people to kill Great Auks instead and then they really did become extinct.
In Orkney the Common Eider is known as a Dunter, from the Old Norse dunt; to bob up and down. They’re certainly doing a lot of that here today on these foaming waves.