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14 Jun 2019

From the edge of the world: part 3

Written by Sue Loughran
A fulmar peeks out from behind a rock on St Kilda
Hello! I’m Sue, the ranger on St Kilda. I’m writing a blog to share what it’s like to work on these incredible islands. This week, I describe meeting some fellow residents.

Whenever I go somewhere new, I like to get a feel for the land. It wasn’t long on my first day before I headed up The Gap, a place of sheer cliffs and exceptional views of Boreray, Stac an Armin and Stac Lee. 

Stac Lee was once home to the largest gannetry in the British Isles, but this title is now held by the Bass Rock in the Firth of Forth.

Lying face down at the edge of the cliffs gave me the chance to observe the whirling fulmars from above. They love to carry out several fly-pasts, which leave you in no doubt that they know you’re watching them watching you! Their flight is elegant and sophisticated with little wastage of energy. We’re now seeing them pairing up, just ahead of the nesting season.

Two fulmars sit on either side of a nest on a rocky ledge on St Kilda
Fulmars by their nest

I think I’d like to be a fulmar …