Seabirds of Noss

The cliffs towered above the small boat as it rolled gently in the waves at their feet, its sandstone face honeycombed into multiple shelves and crags smoothed by the elements and painted in the white wash ubiquitous with seabird colonies. All available space on the ledges was taken up by nesting seabirds. The bulk of … More Seabirds of Noss

On the trail of whales

The boat cruised out into the stretch of water between the mainland of Shetland and the island of Bressay. Behind us was the built up, bustling, urban landscape of Lerwick and in front the rocky shoreline, moors, grassland and occasional buildings of Bressay. The boat stopped, gently bobbing up and down with the swell and … More On the trail of whales

One little petrel

It was July 2018 and I had just finished my first evening of catching storm-petrels on Sule Skerry. As dawn had broken, lightening the sky from dark velvet black to deep blue, rain had moved in and the dark rocks, capped white with the guano of seabirds, had become slippery and treacherous under foot. The … More One little petrel

Little Sea Dancers

Night has come to the island. Although the darkness is not absolute and will only last for a brief couple of hours at this time of year. The skies overhead are for once still. It is eerie not to see it filled with racing puffins, marauding gulls and pirating skuas. All are settled for the … More Little Sea Dancers

Guillies and Razors

On the sheer cliffs and geos of Sule Skerry there are hundreds of guillemots. The rocks are white with their guano as the birds perch on precarious ledges overlooking sheer drops into the churning water below. Sitting near a colony is an assault on the senses. Everywhere you look there are hundreds of these dark … More Guillies and Razors

The Island

Sule Skerry is a remote island 40 miles west of Orkney. Uninhabited by humans but home to a multitude of seabirds. The island is known in the folklore of both Orkney and Shetland, captured in the tale of the Great Selkie of Sule Skerry, which tells the story of a woman whose child was taken … More The Island

Birding Mull

Being back on the Isle of Mull was not just about going whale watching, although given even half a chance I would have spent my whole time out on the water! But there were times believe or not during my two seasons working there where I was not out on the boats; likewise on my … More Birding Mull