When we got to the colony, there was an overwhelming stench of ammonia and a whole lot of gannets, nesting in an orderly way on their side of a small chain fence. We visitors kept to ours, where we could sit on benches with clothes pegs over our noses and look at them. The highlight for me was seeing one of the young gannets make its maiden flight. For the first few moments, it acted rather astonished that its wing flapping exercises had somehow launched it into the air. After that, it manifestly realised it had better concentrate on keeping an even keel and steering. It wasn't very good at it, and I kept thinking it would get flipped on its back. It was the only young bird in the sky and all the adults were flying around so gracefully it really stood out. Its third problem was trying to land again without being blown off the edge of the cliff. It had to circle several times before it managed this and when it did it made contact with the ground like a falling meteorite. That does seem to the normal technique for gannet adults as well. After this, we had to rush back to get along the bay before the tide came in again. We arrived just in time, with angry waves lapping at our ankles.