As the weather in Orkney has been so idyllic, I’ve been out with my camera for many, many hours, including sitting on the rocks watching Northern Gannets diving.

They’re fast and tricky, especially when they’re diving so close to you. Here’s one of my favourite shots:

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

I love that the beak is just touching the water but also that its eyes are still open. I suspect they were closed by the time it hit the water at such a speed, but I’m not sure.

I won’t bother showing you all the hundreds of other shots where the Gannets were diving the other way, the light was poor or the head and shoulders were already in the water. Just know this: my memory card was full.

The Old Norse name for the Gannet was Sula. There are other Old Norse words in the English language, one of which is arrow. It’s very apt.

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