Another weekend, another period of sunny (if chilly) weather, another potter along a stretch of Orkney coastline. This time we used the same car park as last weekend, but turned left instead of right. Our intention was to have a look at the seabird colony along the east-facing cliffs of Holm parish, as we walked north along the Bay of Semolie.
Despite some recent heavy rain, the clifftop path wasn't overly muddy, and the grass hadn't really got going on the growth front. In fact, it was how I imagined it would've looked in February, so perhaps this was a symptom of the harsh easterly weather since then?
There were few flowers in bloom, just the occasional clump of Lesser Celandine and the odd Common Dog Violet. It might technically be Spring, but the Thrift and the Spring Squill aren't having any of it just yet, thank you very much.
Bird life offered more in the way of a spectacle, with plenty of auks on the sea and numbers building up on the cliffs. Similarly, there were a few predators and scavengers about too, like Bonxie (Great Skua), Peregrine and loads of gulls.
There'll be photos of some of these in the next post, but as this is a SOMP post, here's a short (about a minute) 360 degree view of our approach to the cliffs taken using my phone.
Whilst Our Lass scanned the cliffs, I performed a slow pirouette, taking in the Fulmars in the nearest geo, then zooming into a couple of Bonxies (with accompanying gulls) which were scavenging a dead auk in the water (they're all just wee dots, but you can infer the position of the action from the white gull dots). Then it's a pan along the cliff face before zooming back out and continuing clockwise past the island of Copinsay on the horizon, and returning to Our Lass.