Saturday, 31 May 2014

A walk around Noss

After watching Beren win three 1st's and a 2nd at his school sports day we headed off for the Bressay ferry on our way over to Noss National Nature Reserve.




It was pretty foggy as we set off across to Noss, but we had high hopes that the sun would soon burn it off.


And it did burn off, though with enough drifting about o give a fantastic mist shrouded landscape.

The Noup 181m...






Of course there were one or two birds there...




And if you watch my video below you can enjoy the highlights walk around the island in HD with otter, arctic skua and much more...





A fine day in The Daal of Lumbister

Most days of the year a walk out to The Dale of Lumbister would be a very wet boggy affair, but we've had some very good weather lately, so the going was better than expected and today the weather was scorchio.

One of the Lochs of Lumbister...


Just entering the Daal of Lumbister, a steep gorge like valley that leads down to the sea...



With some nice falls...





Around the Lochs of Lumbister is an RSPB reserve with a wide range of waders and wild flowers...



Dunlin...


Great Skua...


Merlin...



What weather we've been having lately, fantastic!







Sunday, 25 May 2014

Wildlife Explorers go north...

Today we met up with Shetland RSPB Wildlife Explorers at Collafirth Pier near North Roe for a trip up The Burn of Roerwater to the Giants Garden.


The kids loved going up the burn and exploring rocks to climb and look under. We saw quite a few flowers too.

Heath Milkwort...


Butterwort...


Lousewort...


Roundleaved Sundew eating it's Sunday dinner...


Tormentil...


Dog violet...


Cotton grass...


The Burn of Roerwater is quite a big and active burn by Shetland standards and a place I like.

 

Are we there yet? We weren't too sure where the Giant's Garden was...



But when we found it it was obvious. An interesting spot with what looks like the remains of chambered cairns...


We separated from the rest of the group after a short spell looking around the garden. They went off to find the Giant's cave and his grave, while we headed back to the car via the burn. 

Here's Beren, Clare, her Dad and partner (fresh off the ferry) crossing the burn...


 And a few more pics of the lovely burn as we headed back down to the car...




The next group meeting is for a day on Noss, woo hoo!

Overnight at Sand Wick

With weather foggy, but not windy, I decided to go for a little overnighter to see how my back coped with a full pack and a night under canvas. I went to Swining Voe for a 4km walk along the steep banks to Sand Wick with the hope of a bit of otter spotting with a falling tide and wind in my face.

The head of Swining Voe...


And here's Sand Wick with the croft of Sandwick on the far hillside. It may have been a sandy bay once, but it's pretty stoney now!


Despite the lack of otters there were plenty of birds about and a pole cat (see the video below) and some flowers were out too.

Lousewort and sundew...


Primrose...


Moss...


On the way to Sand Wick I passed this deep cut gorge with a lovely waterfall in it...


And the Burn of Sand Wick that I camped near was very pretty too...


Here's a video of my walk there and a look around the bay and the old houses of Sandwick. Hope you find it interesting...



Monday, 19 May 2014

A fine day in the south end

It's been a wonderful day today and despite some fog I even have some sun burn on my bonce.

While out and a bout I took a few photos with a new lens I've got to take to Greenland with me, a Sigma 18-250mm macro. It's not as good for telephoto as my other heavier and faster lens, but a good all round one when weight is an issue, plus it's good for close ups.

Here's a fulmar soaking up the sun...


And an agitated raven...


The flowers are starting to bloom now. Here's some squill...


Thrift...



And marsh marigold...


There are some interesting sedimentary rocks at the south of Shetland...


And even some fossils, plant here?, but there are fish...


 And this arch looks pretty precarious, there's a chunk missing from it's top...



It was a lovely day and the airport rescue boat was making the most of it for some practice retrieving from the water...


Grass is cut, I'm shattered and I hope the weather stays the same tomorrow as I'm up on Yell all day. Lucky me!