Mallimack surprise

The Fulmars on Westray are littering the coast with their ungainly earthly forms, as well as flying effortlessly along the cliffs with their aerial selves. They look so beautiful, and oddly wise, in this late evening sunshine.

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

It’s good to have long evenings after work to see them. I keep my distance, as the Orkney name for Fulmar is Mallimack, which means ‘bad-mouth, after their habit of spitting rancid fish-oil at intruders who get too close. They’re also very accurate with it.

This one looks surprised to find an egg underneath it. Turning their single egg is a regular performance so that one side doesn’t develop at a faster rate than the other with the heat of their body. You wouldn’t want one side to be bird and the other side to still be yolk, would you? Don’t worry, that wouldn’t really happen, but you get the picture.

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

I’m looking forward to the next generation already.

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