Earlier in the week I had a parcel delivered which was a new book - 'Birds: Through Irish Eyes', it was written by Anthony McGeehan and Julian Wyllie. Anthony contacted me a while ago for a couple of pictures he liked and wanted to use them in the book, to which I happily agreed. The photographs were the Grey Phalarope - which I use as my blog banner - and the Woodlark from Skaw last winter. I must say it's a cracking book and will thoroughly enjoy reading it. The book is here on Amazon.
One 'milestone' reached this week on Unst, was by Mike Pennington. Mike reached his 300 species seen on Unst - quite amazing and even more so that the all time total for the island is 333 species. That puts Mike in a very exclusive club up here in Shetland, so well done Mike for that. What was the bird, I hear you say? It was a Longtailed Tit at Skaw - the first for the island in 151 years ! The bird was discovered by Martin Garner and the group he was leading (For Brydon's Nature in Shetland). I think it must have been a bit strange for the group, they had come up looking for rare or scare birds and then Shetland birders getting excited about a LTT ! .....
Last Monday (8th Oct) there was a fantastic aurora - as said by those lucky enough to see it. I stayed up until midnight and by then it had clouded over and was spitting with rain, so I turned in. Later around 1.30am, it all kicked off and as I was told by one person who saw it, it was as good as any you'd see on the tele - blast! There's another one forecast for around the 14th/15 but unfortunately I'll miss it as I'm going to the very deep south. We're off to visit a friend of mine who I've known since 1989 but have not seen for almost 20 years; Linda and Innis now live in southern Spain. After months down there with no rain (which resulted in wild fires and one fatality) they have now had severe floods in places - it almost sounds biblical.
A couple of nights ago, we had a lovely clear, cold night. There had been a prediction of low auroral activity, but I took a look anyway. There was a very faint glow to the north at midnight, but I liked the mist on the water and, on this occasion, the harbour lights helped the picture.....
North over Blatasound from home
As I said, I'm away for a short while so I won't be posting for a week, after that it may well be pictures from a more warmer climate.