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Thursday 19 March 2009

"Early" morning

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).


  1. We definitely WILL get back to visit sometime! Wonderful pictures.

  2. Love the photos - want to be there!
    We once caught a fulmar with a hook through its beak just up beyond Skye - and yes, it covered us, the boys, the car and everything actually with its stinking oil!

  3. Funny that it wasn't until 1900 that the first fulmars bred in Orkney - now we can't move for the things.

    Hope the mist didn't last too long - it was like a wet blanket in Westray, finally burning off about 11am.

    But look at today!!!

  4. The mist drifted in and out all day really, but TODAY is BRILLIANT SUNSHINE AND IT IS WARM!!!! Can you see me happy dance?

  5. On days when I want to be inside, I love looking out at the mist.

    But, yes, now it is time to be outside, so mist begone!!

  6. third time lucky - I keep trying to leave this comment, and weird internet things kepp happening...
    Just wanted to say that I so enjoy reading your descriptions of wildlife and landscape. I had no idea that fulmars lived on average for 32 years!
    Your photos of shifting tides and skies are fabulous.

  7. Violet - I love all the seasons - though maybe not equally! LOL! Spring is my favourite - it holds the promise of warmer days to come and everything is fresh and green and new.

    Throughstones - sorry you had trouble posting. Technology is a pain when it doesn't work, fabulous when it does. I just love the landscape in Orkney and enjoy sharing with others around the world. I particularly love shifting sands and tide. I have a photo of the estuary in your part of the world on a wall in my house, called "Estuary Ebbs". Bought it in a shop in Appledore a couple of years ago.