I've just returned on the 7.45 ferry from Stromness (yes that's early for me!). It's another lovely calm day and I thought you might like to see some of the photos. Since about 8.30 however the mist has been rolling in and out and it's a little chilly. But it still feels like Spring!
First, this is a picture of the Fulmars nesting at the pier on Graemsay. Usually Fulmars nest on rock ledges on cliff faces. The birds lay an egg in a shallow part of the cliff - no cosy nest lined with down for a Fulmar chick! Pairs of birds will sit together on the nest, with many other pairs around and lots of chattering going on. Fulmars will defend their nests from intruders by vomitting a horrid oily smelly substance up to 2 metres! However our pier Fulmars seem a little more laid back and accepting of passing folk. And as you can see - the "cliff" is probably only about 15-20 foot high in places! Although fulmars look like regular gulls they are in fact related to the Albatross and have an average lifespan of about 32 years, though ringed birds have been known to live to over 50 years.
These photos were taken sailing from Stromness round to Hoy this morning (before the mist rolled in).