Tuesday, 30 December 2014


Red-flanked Bluetail - Shetland Autumn 2014

Some Autumn Highlights 2014

Autumn on Shetland produced this stunning Yellow-rumped Warbler at Grutness after initially being found by Roger Riddington in his garden at Virkie . . .it delighted the small crowds for several days.
Yellow-rumped or Myrtle Warbler - Shetland 2014
Myrtle Warbler amongst the flowers of a Grutness garden.
another stunner - this time a Paul Harvey special with a cracking White's Thrush at Durigarth, South Mainland 

Siberian Rubythroat - Levenwick. The best bird of the Autumn and my highlight of the year. This beautiful adult male was found my Dan Pointon during his Autumn birding visit to Shetland. This particular image was chosen at Birdguides Photo of the week which I was pretty delighted about!

This Siberian Rubythroat shot I took this Autumn literally went viral on the internet after putting it on Rare Bird Alert - it has graced many a mobile phone and laptop screen saver since (heres Dan Pointon's mobile phone!) . . . .and was, according to RBA one of the most if not the most memorable image of a rare bird taken in the UK this year!

My first year on Shetland has had so many photographic and memorable birding moments. From the encounters with the Spiggie Night Heron, King Eider & Eastern Subalpine Warbler in the Spring, to photographing Puffins, Northern Gannets, Fulmar and ringing Stormies in the Summer, being on Fair Isle for the Bridled Tern and Phil finding a Laughing Gull in June. Leading Shetland Nature trips and private bird/photo tours, flying the Islands with friends Adam and Daniella. Getting fully immersed in Shetlands smaller inhabitants - the stunning and under-recorded hoverflies & other Diptera, the Wryneck on Unst, the Pied Wheatear, 3 x Red-flanked Bluetails including Phil and I finding one each! The great fun out with the Arctic Warbler finding team. Being part of the exciting Eastern Bonelli's ID, the Lanceolated Warbler on FI, the Red-throated Pipit and OBP's to the creme de la creme of far-eastern gems - the Rubythroat - it's been quite a year!! What will 2015 bring - I can't wait to find out!

Monday, 30 June 2014

A Mini Spring & Summer Review .I.

I have never been as busy as these last few months on Shetland, loving every minute especially after such a long Winter! From Red-throated Diver at close quarters . . . .

and with a tiny chick in tow (under license) . . . .

Flying over the Isles such as Muckle Flugga! with good friends from Zurich in their private plane & the 'Shetland Nature' crew  . . .
Getting into my Hoverflies in a big way with a couple of Shetland firsts! (as well as a new Soldierfly for Shetland!) all in our own sheltered & well vegetated town garden! 

Getting my annual Puffin fix . . .this time on my favourite Isle, Fair Isle - where this Puffin brought me a flower . . .

Photographing and enjoying aerial pursuits of common breeding species such as the graceful Arctic Tern . . .

Visiting the stunning botanical site of the 'Keen of Hamar' on Unst to see species such as this Frog Orchid and tiny Moonwort . . .

and walking alongside the cliffs  dotted with nesting Fulmar . .and at this time of year surrounded by Sea Pinks in flower (thirft) finding new and exciting places and wildlife, all on my doorstep.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Easter Arrival

Night Heron - Spiggie Loch - Mainland Shetland.
After seeing the Reawick Night Heron a few days before,  I headed to Spiggie Loch, one of my favourite Shetland sites to see the second Night Heron after Easter. This stunning bird looked incredible in the late afternoon light as it fished around the shore edges and enabled full-frame shots with just my 300mm lens . . .superb ;)

Here he was swallowing a tiny fish . . 

My favourite shot - almost mediterranean late afternoon warm light showing that superb red eye off nicely.

Monday, 7 April 2014

King for a Day!

Hi Everyone. Today started disappointingly foggy with drizzle and light winds. Phil & I went to Unst for the day & whilst there the conditions brightened considerably and birding produced a few fresh Spring migrants and a couple of dog Otters. We saw the distant spec of a smart male King Eider (has been present for much of the Winter) amongst a flock of maybe 200 Common Eider at Uyea Sound. As we watched the flock started moving at some rate towards us so we stayed put and watched as part of the flock broke up and kept bee-lining towards us - with the King Eider in tow! After maybe 10 minutes the flock reached the shore and unbelievably started to get out onto the beach in front of us! What a dream to see this King Eider so close . . .a fantastic experience. After only a few minutes the Eiders took to the water again and briskly made their way back out into the Sound.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Fur & Feather

Delighted to find several Arctic (Mountain L.timidus) Hare whilst in the North Mainland today - I loved photographing 2 together (see below). Also tested my post-op body out clambering over heather clad, water-logged peaty hills - all worth it though ;)

Arctic Hare's - North Mainland

Arctic Hare

Arctic Hare

Arctic Hare - North Mainland

Pleased to find this Glaucous Gull at Brae this afternoon . . . 

Glaucous Gull fighting over a dead fish in Brae today

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Spitsbergen - High Arctic Summer 2014

There are a few places still available on the Travelling Naturalist tour to Spitsbergen in July this year which I cannot recommend more highly! This trip is a once in a life time experience with unrivalled Arctic Wildlife sightings and they have picked a prime time to cruise around this incredibly beautiful archipelago. From Polar Bears striding across the ice (24-30 on my trips!), to hauled out Walruses & millions of Little Auk & Brunnich's Guillemot on there breeding grounds, all in superb clear Arctic light, a photographers delight! Calm reflective Whale-filled waters, stunning glacial & iceberg backdrops all from the attractive spacious vessel - plus daily optional tundra walks for stretching the legs whilst exploring Arctic flora & pioneering history make this arguably one of the best wildlife cruise experiences in the world. . . . call the Travelling Naturalist now for more details . . . . http://www.naturalist.co.uk/tours/spitsbergen.php

Monday, 3 March 2014

Island Hopper

I arrived back in Lerwick this morning on the Northlink Ferry after a long journey back from the South after my Knee Arthroscopy last Thursday! It feels good to be back! Wondered (or rather limped) around some very attractive parts of Lerwick this afternoon after a spell along the harbour & catch where there was 1 Juv Glaucous Gull of note. 

Monday, 17 February 2014

Wet Weekend

The weekend saw visits to the fabulous world class Shetland Museum, Lerwick Fish Market & Scalloway Castle. . . .oh and some interesting cooking on the side . . .not quite domestic goddess yet, bit too heavy on the anchovies! 

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Storm Passing

Calm after the Storm in Lerwick . . . hope I get a better night sleep tonight! ;)

Friday, 14 February 2014

Loved exploring Shetland in the sunshine today . . . . .

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My favourite image today - Kittiwake Take-off - Lerwick Harbour

Lost something?

Love those wings . . .

Also found a nice Iceland Gull in the Harbour . . . .

Wednesday, 22 January 2014


HAPPY NEW YEAR! I have started off 2014 with a hip operation in Cambridge so have been away from Shetland for a few weeks now recuperating! However, at the beginning of January I set up a new photographic exhibition of my work at the fabulous WWT Welney Reserve Wetland Centre which is now running until the end of February. Please do pop along to see my recent works and to enjoy the WWT main hide Winter Floodlit Swan Feeding Evenings - it's quite a spectacle! There is also a great little cafe with great fenland views!

Address: Hundred Foot Bank, Welney, Norfolk PE14 9TN
Phone:01353 860711

Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
10.00am to 5.00pm - visitor centre and reserve (last admissions are at 4.30pm)
Thursdays - Sundays
10.00am to 8.00pm – visitor centre and reserve (last admission at 6.30pm)
Wigeon cafe is open -
10am - 4.30pm Monday - Friday
10am - 6pm Saturday & Sunday

Red-footed Falcon - Lakenheath 2013

Red October

First Light