Monday, June 25, 2012

A whirling halo of gannets.

Once we paddled round to the NW side of Ailsa Craig we entered the sunshine of the spring afternoon. The West Craigs are home to thousands of pairs of birds. The air was full of the "kittiwake kittiwake" calls of the kittiwakes and the continuous croaking of the gannets. Fulmars swooped down from their ledges in graceful, stiff winged flight and...

...guilliemots and razorbills flopped onto the water, where they congregated in rafts. It was a delight to see puffins whirring through the air with their rapid wing beats.

I decided to paddle out for 500m to get a better view of the NW side of the Craig. I was followed by a crowd of inquisitive wheeling gannets.
I was rewarded by a stunning view of Ailsa Craig, complete with a whirling halo of gannets. To give a sense of scale...

...Phil can be seen (just) in the middle of this telephoto photograph.