Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I Love Saint Patrick's Day! 

Cheers from Fair Isle!

I have some American Irish blood in my family tree. 
So that is enough to celebrate where ever I am.
I'm not the only one wearing green and having a good time around here,
look at these frogs!

More Green!
four frogs mating
Frog Spawn in the garden pond.

four leaf clover
Good Luck!

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Glaucous-winged Gull is different from a Glaucous Gull.

Glaucous-winged Gull - Larus glaucescens
If the record is confirmed by who ever confirms such things, it is a good chance we saw a rare UK sighting of a Glaucous-winged Gull today. A bird normally found in the northern Pacific Ocean, this could be only the 3rd record ever in the UK. A first record for Fair Isle and Shetland. Spotted by the Fair Isle Bird Observatory Warden David Parnaby. The word soon got out and a small number of interested Fair Islanders braved the freezing sleat and rain showers to see it. Photo above is from the Crossley ID Guide for Eastern American Birds.

My photos below are rubbish! taken with my phone through a scope as the bird had flown much farther away by the time I saw it. Maybe someone will get some better photos in the coming days? Still, I'll show what I got because it is such a rare bird.

Shielding it's face from the weather,
it barley showed it's face while I was there.

This is what we saw most of the day... a big pale sleeping Gull. 

Standing in front of a Black-back Gull among a large group of gulls. We have seen many Iceland and Glaucous Gulls this winter. There is even a Glaucous Gull in the bottom right in this photo. I saw three Glaucous Gulls in the flock with the Glaucous-winged Gull as well.

Only a handful of Fair Islanders saw it.
David Parnaby of course, Susanna and Grace.
plus myself, Kenny, Deryk and Nick Riddiford as pictured at the scene.

yes, I know it is crap for even a record shot
but you can almost see the grey wing tips ID feature in this photo.

The actual views through the scope were great,
getting them as pics on my phone was met with poor results sadly.

Bird Obs has better pics on Facebook etc.
3rd record for Britain? Time will tell?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Rock Pooling Finds in Fine Winter Weather.

Kiss Me!
Sea-Scorpion - Myoxocephalus scorpius
We did a bit of rock pooling up here as the weather is fine here. while the rest of Scotland deals with the winter storm "Doris". Dave Wheeler our local meteorologist said we may be having the best weather in the UK at the moment. We found crabs and Brittle-stars... but we have the most pride in who can find little fish species. together we caught 4 species, Sea-scorpion, Shanny Blenny, Butterfish and Five-bearded Rockling. What fun!

Shanny Blenny - Liophyrs pholis
Mermaid Purses - skate egg cases
Henry looking at the Shanny Benney I caught  after turning over a big rock.

Purple Sandpiper


One of the big fat Five-bearded Rockling Henry caught.

Tidepool Texture


Common Limpets

Unusual Limpet, a smooth rainbow mother of pearl surface,
like I have never seen before. Maybe a new species for me?
The only two I have found? so one is no a fluke...

More Limpets...

The searchers on the shore.

Himanthalia elongata - Buttons
As seen and found on the South Harbour Beach.

This seaweed reminds me of Frank Gehry Architecture.

Purple Pink Anemone


Kiss me again!

Love... Giving it the boot for perspective.



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentines Day from Fair Isle

Love From Fair Isle - natural stone heart.
Every year on Valentines Day I go for a walk and take a few photos of natural heart shapes. 
It has turned into a bit of an obsession and now I see them year around.
I even Have a Facebook group you can join if you wish. 
As I found it... sweet little bit of beach glass.

North Haven Beach

A Heart of Stone

the white specks in this photo are birds and sheep. 

Blue Skies!

Loving the Big Blue Today!
A few photos from the weekend...
South Harbour

Auld Haa House

Birthdays at the Haa!

We even had some snow last Thursday...
Biggest snow of the year "snow" far.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Wild Winter Weather - Videos

Ever wonder what is like to be on Fair Isle in a bit of weather?
I have posted a few storm videos I have made in the past few years.
Yes, sometimes I'm foolish enough to go out with a camera in a hurricane. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Seals and Beach-combing - Happy New Year! 2017

it's a relative term,
I know baby Seals can make me happy when I see them,
I can't help but project human emotions on them.
Who knows what they are thinking?




Baby Grey Seal Pup

Wire bird on post, Robin, South Harbour.

Found objects from the beach
Dead Shag Foot
the pads and webbing were interesting.

I found this great Ear Sponge,
It made me want some clay and a potter's wheel.

Figurative Bone,
 homage to Henry Moore Sculpture.

happy? or sad?

Cheers from Fair Isle!