THE VAPOUR TRAIL of a plane shooting north falters behind the pastel pink of lazy evening cloud, and the sky grows full of a greater intent – birds feeding their young. The air is thick with wings – the bold arc of greater black-backed gulls, the frantic beating of puffins, their tangerine beaks barbed with quivering silver ribbons of sand eels, and the wheel and dive of choughs. Their flight is accompanied by the wild squall of nesting razorbills, kittiwakes, fulmars and guillemots crammed into the cliff face, as if the rock itself were screeching out into the wind. Above this riot of sound, ...


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