After the efforts of the longest day, we weren't keen on an early start, so Paula suggested we have a look around the Esherness area, at a leisurely pace. I was keen to remind myself of how high the cliffs are here, and why the photos of the waves crashing up and over the top during the winter were so spectacular. But I also hoped to see a few fulmars floating around on the updraughts, and of course the chance of skuas, especially Arctics, which are so exciting to watch.
After parking up, and nearly being blown off of my feet by the wind up there, I chose to head away from the lighthouse area and to the back of the cliffs, where I hoped it might be a little more sheltered. It was as I strolled back along the road that I spotted a red-throated diver drifting serenely along the edge of the loch up there, and it stole my attention completely. OK, the light wasn't anything to write home about, but I was soon using a drainage channel on the opposite side of the road to creep up closer, before scrambling across the road, keeping as low as possible, much to the amusement of anyone watching, as it appeared my legs had turned to uncontrollable jelly.
With the sun now out, Paula chose to drive Kate and me through some of the single track lanes nearby, and we were very pleased to spot an Arctic skua taking a bath in a small pool not far from the road.