Orkney - The Cliff Birds of Papa Westray

The first Picture Posting page Images of Chambur, Mumbai appeared on
Saturday 19th December 2015. On every Saturday since then a new
page has been added to this site; these 365 pages have alternated
between this, the Picture Posting section, and the Mosaic section.

Three tysties sitting on a rock. Three watchers, red feet on display (but red gapes discreetly hidden) Cliff above sea with lines of white gulls and nests. A large part of the cliffs are inhabited by gulls This page is rather indulgent as it is devoted to the birds of Papa Westray, and actually there are too few photographs of too low a quality, but I so like the tysties (black guillemots) that they just had to be featured. The other cliff birds which particularly catch the visitors eye are the razorbills and bridled guillemots. These live on the low cliffs at the north east corner of the island, where, within the tightly covered ledges, they have reasonably safe nesting spaces. Banks of thrift on cliff with razorbill at edge. A razorbill with a sea of thrift Black bird with blurrred fast moving wings and head. Rather like a whirring mechanical toy this razorbill flaps and nods Razorbill on ledge looking up. Whereas this razorbill is more placid in its contemplation of the skies above Razorbill square on to back with head turned. At this angle, the white outline given by the front feathers of the razorbill can be seen Line of guillemots under cliff overhand. Guillemots enjoying the full protection of this ledge, with little more than their white fronts showing Bridled guillempot standing on ledge. Bridled guillemots, like this one, can account for up to half of those occurring in northern parts of their range. The white bridle by the eye seems to be connected with the sea's temperature when the young are born, but the reason is not understood SIngle nest site with two shags. Another cliff nesting bird is the shag, here a pair are seen in a solitary nest. Saying they are shags is rather risky, at this resolution they might be cormorants, and from the back, like this one on the right, it is also hard to tell - ... Shag flapping its wings with gullemots standing around. ...whichever; it is happy to share a ledge with guillemots A line of guillemots above a shag. And yet another probable shag; however, in the photo to the right, a parent, with three beaks of young behind... Shag raising its head, three young beaks behind. ...is kindly raising its head to show a lack of lighter colour around the beak, and so should be a shag Clay model of great auk set in stone display. Here a bird no longer seen anywhere. This memorial is to the last great auk in Britain which was killed here, on Fowl Craig, in 1813. The last ones anywhere were brought to extinction on Aedey island, north of Iceland, in 1850. [Photography tip, see the flat unnatural look given to the monument - much better not to have used the fill in flash] Low vegetation with white heads showing. Scattered heads of fulmars, quite what... Nearer view of white heads showing in vegetation. ...these cliff nesting birds are doing down... Fulmar head by rock ...here is puzzling. But the way their... Fulmar posing on grass by rock ...snow-white heads reveal their location just goes to show how confident they are in the foul smelling gum that they spray from that gland over the beak Chick in cleft between rocks. A razorbill chick finds a hiding place in a crevice in the rocks Two white eggs with nested in down and seaweed. These two eggs are probably those of a fulmar. Eider's eggs are similarly protected, but are a touch sea-green Tystie sitting on rock. To finish two portraits: tystie... Puffin head above thrift. ...and of course a puffin must have a look in somewhere Three tysties, beaks open heads moving. Another three tysties, their restless activity defying the camera to catch them in the low light, but hopefully catching something of their constant sociability Trailers... The Red River at Ha Noi with house boats. The next Picture Posting page takes you from the cold waters of the North Atlantic to the warmth of the Red River beside
Hà Nội.
Formal display of costumed dance in Mai Chau, northern Vietnam. The next page of the Mosaic Section is headed 'Cooperation and Language'.
Or go to the contents Go to the contents of the Mosaic Section. of the Mosaic Section.
Saturday 17th December 2022 Murphy on duty ...guide to this site

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