The dance

We’re on Mainland Orkney for a few days because my car needs an MOT. That’s a happy circumstance, because it gives us the opportunity to visit a few nature-rich places here.

First stop is Birsay, which is visible from the west coast of Westray. Here, there’s an Arctic Tern colony which appears to have been moderately successful in raising chicks this year. They’re noisy show-offs, flaunting their fish ostentatiously and feeding their chicks until they’re fit to burst. They’re also argumentative birds, with a robustness at odds with their delicacy.

Here are a couple having a serious tiff:

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

I’m glad I’m not on the end of their beaks.

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