Monday, 22 April 2019

A wander around Noss Hill and the coast


Clare's still away, Beren's was on a sleep over and it was a fantastic Easter Monday here in Shetland, so I went down towards Spiggie to go for a steady wander around a bit of coast I've not been around before. The chunk between Fitfull Head and Spiggie.


9.5km in about 2.5 hours just taking it easy and taking photos and video with my phone on the way. I parked up at the boat house on Spiggie Loch and then headed south on the road.


Spiggie Beach...




Looking back towards the car with The Ward of Scousburgh...


Some of the WW2 remains of the radar command chain on Noss Hill. As usual all the buildings were full of rubbish, mud, sheep muck and the odd dead sheep, so I didn't explore!




Looking south to Fitful Head...



 There are a few impressive promontories along the coast. This is Landvillas... 


And The Stack 'o da Noup...


And plenty of unnamed stacks (atleast on OS) and the odd small arch...


Near the end there is a fantastic view of the Isle of Colsay with St Ninian's Isle straight behind it. Lovely...



The walk finished with heading back in to Spiggie beach and then back to the car...


 It was a very fine wander on an amazing day! 

And here's a short video of it too...






Saturday, 20 April 2019

Saturday stroll and Clickimin Broch...


Beren had a party this morning, Clare's sooth on a retreat, and I had time to kill so I went for a slow wander with my camera around Clickimin Loch and out on Sea road. About 7km with lunch stop at Fjara...


Stitched panorama of the broch (70mm lens)...


10mm samyang. Adds a bit more drama?







There were a few swans and other birds on the loch. I saw one swan sailing down wind almost the full length of the loch, wings arched up and just pushed along.


I popped in to a busy Fjara for a chicken quesadilla and a coffee. Very nice, but a bit dribbly. The quesadilla!


And then continued my wander out a long sea road. A couple of seals, bobbing in the sea, some otter spraint, but no Humpback whales like the one that cruised through the harbour yesterday! I missed it as I was home and sofa bound.

I did see my first terns of the year and a few other birdies on the walk though.

Turnstone...


Black headed gull...


Great northern diver...


Oyster catcher...


Redshank...


Merganser...


Mallard...


And a nice iridescent starling...


 It took a bit out of me, despite the slow wander. I was down at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary on Thursday for a CT cardiac scan and calcium scoring. Hopefully I'll get to see my consultant in a few weeks with the results and find out what's wrong and how they'll fix me. Fingers crossed!




Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Beren'z Antz


Beren got a few black ants and a queen months ago. They've been dormant in a test tube with nothing much happening. Until now!

Suddenly they're lively, eating and all of a sudden the queen has been moved from her test tube palace to their habitat where we will hopefully see a nest form.

They are tiny! here's one on a small slice of apple...


They moved a few larvae, then moved the queen and now they're arranging the rest of the larvae around the queen...


Exciting times in the world of ant farms! 

Here's a little video I managed to get. It's really hard to focus on them and my tripod being in my car at the garage doesn't help, but Beren wanted to get a bit of video for posterity.

Sunday, 7 April 2019

A windy wander around the Ness of Ireland



It's been a windy day, but I wanted to go for a walk around the Ness of Ireland, just north of Bigton, and try out a little cheap clip on mic and my mobile phone for making a video. Clare and Beren had mutinied with a morning on the Xbox, so I set off unchaperoned for a 5.5km wander.


Looking down the Clift Hills from just above Maywick...


Maywick...


The Taing of Maywick...



I love this bit of coast. Lots of geos, stacks and arches. Here is Burgi Stack...


Looking towards St Ninian's...


Quite a big inaccessible arch...


You can just make out the tombolo to St Ninian's here before I headed back to the car and home for dinner...


And here's a little video of the walk on my phone. As you'll see it was hard to hold the phone steady in the wind, but it's a nice little record of the walk...

Friday, 5 April 2019

A family plod around Fitful head



It's the school Easter holidays here and the wind has finally dropped off so we packed some food and headed down the south end for a 9km walk around Fitful Head from Quendale Mill. Clare and Beren had never been around there before and I think both the climb up there and back down the Noup were a bit of a shock to the system. 

Possibly not one generally recommended for knee replacement patient or those with a cardiac complaint, but a slow and steady plod saw all all round safely.


We set off from Quendale mill up a track next tot he car park with the intention of joining the main track up to Fitful Head just before the steep climbs on it start. There are a couple of barbed wire fences to cross this way, but it's a nicer way to get there than following the main track up there from the road.



The old mill dam with remains of sluice gates...


Looking back down the 'main road' towards Sumburgh...


This is the point where the road meets the coast before heading ever more steeply to the top...


I've cycled up there, just...



The radar station where the road ends...


It was a pretty calm day, but up there there was a chilly breeze, so we found a little shelter to eat our lunch with some stunning views...


And then it was on along the cliff tops to wards the impressive headland of Siggar Ness...


A mutiny prevented us going down on to Siggar Ness for a look about (as they didn't want to walk back up), so we carried on towards the Noup and the very steep and slippy descent to Garth Wick.


Sumburgh Head and Garth's Ness are in the distance. In the dead ground is the very steep descent...


The photo with my ultra wide lens doesn't do it justice. It really is very steep and slippy so be warned...


After a look about the burn at the bottom of the cliff it just was a short and flat walk back to the car to the Garth's Ness track and back to the car along side Quendale Beach. A great scenic walk, just choose your weather, or you wont see much as Fitful Head is often in the clouds.

I've got plans for a walk around the Ness of Ireland over the weekend assuming there are no mutinies! Walking with Clare and Beren is good for me as it slows me down and gives a bit of time for photos too.

Edit: mutiny has been announced!