Mallimack life

Fulmars are my favourite birds to watch flying. They have an effortless confidence on the wind, and glide with stiff wings as if every moment is a thrill to their senses. On land it’s a different story.

Fulmar nests are often not much more than a scrape, with a platform of rock chippings or a depression in the grass. They’re careful to have a windbreak behind them, which also reduces the angles from which they can be attacked.

As I climb down the cliffs, I make sure I keep my distance to avoid stressing them. I’m moving slowly and they soon become used to me being there. Have you seen how cute the little chick looks?

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

It’s interesting how large its beak is. The rest of the bird has some growing to do to catch up with that.

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

One extraordinary feature of Fulmars in the sheer size of their single egg.

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

It’s painfully big. The pair have to sit on it and keep it warm for 53 days. It’s worth it when you see what hatches:

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

This moment, when the other parent came back to the nest to take over chick-sitting duties, is my favourite of my time with them.

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

I wish them luck.

More Fulmars

Fulmar - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the) Touching waves with wing-tips I love to walk along the Sands o' Maesan, climb the rocks at the end of the beach, and make… read more
Fulmar - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the) Mallimack surprise The Fulmars on Westray are littering the coast with their ungainly earthly forms, as well as flying effortlessly along the… read more
Fulmar and Arctic Skua - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the) A Scootie Allan attacking a Mallimack A Scootie Allan attacking a Mallimack. An Arctic Skua attacking a Fulmar. A Stercorarius parasiticus attacking a Fulmarus glacialis. Dramatic, isn't… read more
Fulmar - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the) One dramatic evening It's a dramatic evening, already quite dark, yet this Fulmar is still flying. The sun is lighting up the high… read more
Fulmar - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the) Mallimacks We're aboard the Ailsa Jane and I'm taking advantage of the creel boat having a very low side where the… read more
Fulmars - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the) Alternative nesting sites On the cliffs of Westray are two Fulmar resting places. They're both in the north-end of the island. One is… read more

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