Midsummer: Foula (not Foula), Shetland, 18th-22nd June 2018

In my imagination, I had dreams of spending long balmy simmerdim evenings watching perfect sunsets beyond Gaada Stack off the north coast of Foula when I agreed to come to the isle in late June. Reality, of course, had a different idea. I headed to Tingwall Airport on Monday 18th June more in hope than … Continue reading Midsummer: Foula (not Foula), Shetland, 18th-22nd June 2018

Seabirds Count: many small islands, Shetland, 11th-12th June 2018

Well, they don’t really. Count that is. Not the seabirds. Humans count. Seabirds Count is the name of the fourth national census of Britain and Ireland’s seabirds. The first, in the late 1960s, was named Operation Seafarer, after the anonymous Anglo-Saxon poem The Seafarer, which the populist ornithologist James Fisher always contended, in his Shell … Continue reading Seabirds Count: many small islands, Shetland, 11th-12th June 2018

Britain’s Most Northerly: Unst, Shetland, 4th-17th June 2018

The final rock at the northernmost edge of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the full stop at the end of Britain, is Out Stack. It lies to the north of the famous lighthouse on Muckle Flugga, and both are part of Hermaness National Nature Reserve, which is, inevitably, Britain’s most northerly nature … Continue reading Britain’s Most Northerly: Unst, Shetland, 4th-17th June 2018

I Am the Walrus: Unst and Out Skerries, Shetland, 1st-3rd June 2018

After a foggy start, there were migrants around on 1st June and I found a third for Shetland, although it won't get most people excited as it was a hoverfly - Helophilus trivittatus. The only previous Shetland records have involved singles on Foula on 6th July 1994 and another of my records, at Easting, Unst on 18th … Continue reading I Am the Walrus: Unst and Out Skerries, Shetland, 1st-3rd June 2018

A letter in ‘British Birds’: 1st June 2018

When we finally got home after our winter away, the ‘post-pile’ included several copies of the journal British Birds. The most recent issue, for April, contained an opinion piece (known as BB Eye) by Javier Caletrio entitled Are we addicted to high-carbon ornithology? Now, I understand the impact of travel on global warming and climate … Continue reading A letter in ‘British Birds’: 1st June 2018