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Northern gannets are the largest seabirds in the North Atlantic, with a wingspan of up to 2 metres (6.6 ft). Photographer Andrew Parkinson spent more than 3 months living on the UK’s most Northerly point, in order to capture the story of this beautiful bird. “Every day I would abseil down 90m cliffs before undertaking a treacherous traverse along the base of those cliffs to a tidal boulder field. Once across that I then had a short scramble up to a fantastic gannet colony, its isolation and inaccessibility meant that no photographer had ever worked there before.”

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Pair of Gannets (Morus bassanus) collide in mid-air, the sprig of seaweed that the gannet (right) was carrying is sent flying through the air. June.~Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Pair of Gannets (Morus bassanus) collide in mid-air, the sprig of seaweed that the gannet (right) was carrying is sent flying through the air. June.~Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK
Gannet (Morus bassanus) flying low over water, Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, July - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) flying low over water, Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, July
Gannet (Morus bassanus) backlit by the morning sun, taking off. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, September. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) backlit by the morning sun, taking off. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, September.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) adult, backlit by the morning sun landing, Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK. August. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) adult, backlit by the morning sun landing, Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK. August.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) diving, Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) diving, Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK
Gannet (Morus bassanus) diving in evening sunlight. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, July. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) diving in evening sunlight. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, July.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) adult flying low over part of the gannetry, blurred movement, Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) adult flying low over part of the gannetry, blurred movement, Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK
Gannet (Morus bassanus) adult turning in the air as it begins to plunge dive. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK,  July. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) adult turning in the air as it begins to plunge dive. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, July.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) adult plunge diving as a fulmar passes in the background. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, July. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) adult plunge diving as a fulmar passes in the background. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, July.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) portrait, backlit by evening light. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK,  September. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) portrait, backlit by evening light. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, September.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) amongst coastal flowers. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, June. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) amongst coastal flowers. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, June.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) colony on cliffs during storm, Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, November - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) colony on cliffs during storm, Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, November
Northern gannets (Morus bassanus) in flight in  Force 8 gales above raging seas. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, September. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Northern gannets (Morus bassanus) in flight in Force 8 gales above raging seas. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, September.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) adult in flight through a natural arch. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, September. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) adult in flight through a natural arch. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, September.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) in the middle of a neighbourly dispute. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK~August. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) in the middle of a neighbourly dispute. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK~August.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) adult is met with neighbourly hostility as it lands with some fishing net. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, August - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) adult is met with neighbourly hostility as it lands with some fishing net. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, August
Gannet (Morus bassanus) breeding pair during part of their elaborate courtship ritual. Saltee Islands, Republic of Ireland, May. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) breeding pair during part of their elaborate courtship ritual. Saltee Islands, Republic of Ireland, May.
Gannet (Morus bassanu) pair preening. Saltee Islands, Republic of Ireland, May. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanu) pair preening. Saltee Islands, Republic of Ireland, May.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) pair preening one another as part of their elaborate courtship ritual. Saltee Islands, Republic of Ireland, May. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) pair preening one another as part of their elaborate courtship ritual. Saltee Islands, Republic of Ireland, May.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) adult stretching its wings. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, September. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) adult stretching its wings. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, September.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) breeding pair sit together on rock. Saltee Islands, Republic of Ireland, May. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) breeding pair sit together on rock. Saltee Islands, Republic of Ireland, May.
Gannet (Morus bassanu) breeding pair squabble after mating. Saltee Islands, Republic of Ireland, May. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanu) breeding pair squabble after mating. Saltee Islands, Republic of Ireland, May.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) colony on cliffs. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, July. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) colony on cliffs. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, July.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) colony, cliff top view showing the trails that gannets leave during a 2 second exposure. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, September - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) colony, cliff top view showing the trails that gannets leave during a 2 second exposure. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, September
Gannet (Morus bassanus) breeding pair during part of their elaborate courtship ritual. Saltee Islands, Republic of Ireland, May. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) breeding pair during part of their elaborate courtship ritual. Saltee Islands, Republic of Ireland, May.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) colony, cliff top view showing the trails that gannets leave during a 2 second exposure. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, September - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) colony, cliff top view showing the trails that gannets leave during a 2 second exposure. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, September
Northern gannets (Morus bassanus) in flight in  Force 8 gales above raging seas. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, September. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Northern gannets (Morus bassanus) in flight in Force 8 gales above raging seas. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, September.
Northern gannets (Morus bassanus) in flight in  Force 8 gales above raging seas. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, September. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Northern gannets (Morus bassanus) in flight in Force 8 gales above raging seas. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, September.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) young chick (right) confronting a fully fledged neighbour. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, August. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) young chick (right) confronting a fully fledged neighbour. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, August.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) taking off in rain shower. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, June. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) taking off in rain shower. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, June.
Storm clouds gather ominously behind Hermaness Gannet (Morus bassanus) colony. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, July. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Storm clouds gather ominously behind Hermaness Gannet (Morus bassanus) colony. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, July.
Rainbow and storm clouds over Bass Rock in the distance, which is the breeding ground for 140,000 gannets, Firth of Forth, Scotland, UK, May - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Rainbow and storm clouds over Bass Rock in the distance, which is the breeding ground for 140,000 gannets, Firth of Forth, Scotland, UK, May
Gannet (Morus bassanus) adult flying in strong updraft near the top of some cliffs. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, July. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) adult flying in strong updraft near the top of some cliffs. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, July.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) with a beak full of nesting material that it has taken from a nearby nest. Saltee Islands, Republic of Ireland, May. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) with a beak full of nesting material that it has taken from a nearby nest. Saltee Islands, Republic of Ireland, May.
Gannet (Morus bassanu) two breeding pairs 'arguing' on a coastal nest site. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, July. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanu) two breeding pairs 'arguing' on a coastal nest site. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, July.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) breeding pair sit together on rock. Saltee Islands, Republic of Ireland, May. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) breeding pair sit together on rock. Saltee Islands, Republic of Ireland, May.
Storm clouds over Bass Rock in the distance, which is the breeding ground for 140,000 gannets, Firth of Forth, Scotland, UK, May - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Storm clouds over Bass Rock in the distance, which is the breeding ground for 140,000 gannets, Firth of Forth, Scotland, UK, May
Gannet (Morus bassanus) growing chick stretches its wings a small peice of fluff is dislodged from its head. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, August. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) growing chick stretches its wings a small peice of fluff is dislodged from its head. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, August.
Northern gannets (Morus bassanus) in flight in  Force 8 gales above raging seas. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, September. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Northern gannets (Morus bassanus) in flight in Force 8 gales above raging seas. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, September.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) in flight is silhouetted against the setting sun. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, August. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) in flight is silhouetted against the setting sun. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, August.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) chick taps the tip of its parent's bill to try stimulate the adult into regurgitating some food. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, July - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) chick taps the tip of its parent's bill to try stimulate the adult into regurgitating some food. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, July
Gannet (Morus bassanus) returning to its colony with some nesting material. Saltee Islands, Republic of Ireland, May. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) returning to its colony with some nesting material. Saltee Islands, Republic of Ireland, May.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) using its wings to brake an adult returns to its breeding colony. Saltee Islands, Republic of Ireland, UK. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) using its wings to brake an adult returns to its breeding colony. Saltee Islands, Republic of Ireland, UK.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) profile of a pair of growing chicks. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK,  July. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) profile of a pair of growing chicks. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, July.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) adult, backlit by the morning sun landing, Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK. August. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) adult, backlit by the morning sun landing, Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK. August.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) adult regurgitates food for its growing chick. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK,  September. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) adult regurgitates food for its growing chick. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, September.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) fluffy young chick with mouth open. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, August. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) fluffy young chick with mouth open. Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, August.
Gannet (Morus bassanus) portrait of a growing chick with a fluffy head, Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, August. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Gannet (Morus bassanus) portrait of a growing chick with a fluffy head, Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK, August.
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