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Westray, Page 3

Notes on a very small island

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

Scootie Allan

On our walk around Papa Westray we are excited to see Arctic Skuas. At least we are until they attack us. There’s …

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

“I’m shy!”

Not everyone wants their photograph taken. Especially when you’re just getting ready to go out.

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

In salutem omnium

Noup Head lighthouse is a major feature of the coast of Westray. Planned in 1895, it was announced in Parliament because, “Her …

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

A floating circus

I’ve heard of a travelling circus. I’ve heard of a flying circus. But a floating circus? That’s a new one on me. …

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

Biting Stonecrop

There’s a tiny patch of Biting Stonecrop on the stone wall outside my window. I wonder if it was planted there? It’s …

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

The Kray Twins

There’s a young Great Skua ahead. That spells danger. There must be an adult or two around somewhere and I feel my …

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

Skua Patrol

Great Skuas eat fish, carrion or other birds. I’ve seen them pluck another bird clean out of the air and head down …

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

Dull Dunlin day

It’s a dull day today. There’s a sea haar which is muting every colour to an Orkney pallet and reducing shadows to …

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

Island of contrasts

Walking to the north coast of Westray I’m struck by how diverse the views are. Here are Curlews on the bay with …

Great Black Backed Gull - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Great Black Backed Gull

Great Black Backed Gulls are properly massive. And I mean massive. And their beaks? Massive too. Seeing one call overhead on Westray …

Puffin - The Hall fo Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Goodbye Puffins

Here are some of my favourite Puffin outtakes of 2019: Westray has said goodbye to its Puffins for another year. Farewell our …

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

Mallimack

Along the Westray coast are hundreds of Fulmars’ nests. Their fluffy chicks are a constant surprise while scrambling among the rocks. They …

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

Watch the baby

There’s a Rock Pipit on the rocks. They occasionally go in the meadows here too, which is confusing, since the Meadow Pipits …

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

All fingers and thumbs

Did you know birds have an arm-wing and a hand-wing? You can see it well on Puffins when they fold their wings …

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

Respiratory choreography

Air pollution because of road traffic is something which affects us all. Some people suffer particularly badly. Air pollution kills 7 million …

The One Minute Puffin Cure

The One Minute Puffin Cure #5

Puffins are hunted by Great Skuas (known in Orkney as Bonxies). The Bonxies patrol the coast and appear, low and fast, unseen …

The One Minute Puffin Cure

The One Minute Puffin Cure #4

Alfred Schnabel, the incredible digging Puffin, almost throws himself off the cliffs in his Herculean efforts to dig grass roots out of …

The One Minute Puffin Cure

The One Minute Puffin Cure #3

Puffins are delightful to watch. The more you watch, the more you notice. The more you notice the less you understand. We …

The One Minute Puffin Cure

The One Minute Puffin Cure #2

It takes an extraordinary amount of time to keep in tip-top waterproof condition when you spend your time in the salty ocean. …

Sunday's Puffin - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Sunday’s Puffin

And the Puffin that hatches on the Sabbath dayIs bonny and blithe and good and gay.