The painting offers an insight into the life of the sea bird colony at Heligoland. Northern Gannets, Kittiwakes and Common Guillemots returning every summer to the steep cliffs of the small North Sea island - located in the middle of nowhere in the German Bight.
In the far hazy distance you can catch a glimpse of the Kittiwakes and on the upwardly emerging walls on the left, the light is gently touching the common guillemot colony. Dozens of the little birds are pressed close together trying to occupy every single spot for a nesting opportunity. Above their heads a riot is emerging since the Northern Gannets are fighting for some breeding ground as well.
The Northern Gannet is a fantastic high-speed-diver of the North Atlantic. Breeding colonies of the goose-sized seabird have been recorded located in the same place for hundreds of years. However the Heligoland colony is very young established in 1991. Gannet pairs are monogamous and may remain together for entire life. Little gifts are often displayed to the partner and it is not unusual to see them pick up little rocks or plants as courtship present. I tried to show that intimate moment in this painting.