Swona Kittiwakes

The Pentalina ferry crosses some of the most treacherous waters in the U.K. as she navigates the Pentland Firth from Gill's Bay on the Scottish Mainland to St Margaret's Hope, tucked away from the elements on South Ronaldsay, one of the Orkney Islands.  

Some of the islands that she passes on this crossing are now deserted, the peaceful home to seabirds and seals.  Tides take her close to the shore, avoiding obstructions that make this crossing even more hazardous.

Unused to man and even more so to the larger aspects of the man made world the kittiwakes, who make the rocks on the southern most aspect of the island of Swona their home, are spooked.  A ripple moves through the colony.  A Mexican wave of lift off.  The kittiwakes, unsure of why they are spooked, are lifting off in an instinctive response to the movement of their neighbour.  Returning to their spot almost as soon as they have lifted off the combination of low light and ferry movement shows the grace of their involuntary movement

 Gulls lift off in response to the passing ferry on the island of Swona

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