The first flight of the Kittiwake

Kittiwakes are one of my favourite birds. I love their delicate bills, their dipped-in-ink wings and their streamlined bodies.

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

And their “Kittiwaaaak” call echoing around the sea caves is eery and magnificent.

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

We’re watching the juveniles on their first flights today. They’re a little less well put together in their sartorial elegance.

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

These are the lucky ones which have managed to evade the Great Skuas hunting along the cliffs.

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

We’re there for several hours, enjoying the sounds and smells of the colony. I take hundreds of photographs. The light is relatively low because there’s a gentle mist hanging over the cliffs and visibility is poor. It’s when this juvenile Kittiwake wheels and turns in the air in a balletic pirouette that I know I’ve got a photograph I love:

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

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