Sunday, 20 May 2012

Another fine day..

After a busy day and late night yesterday we were a bit slow going this morning. It was much cooler and breezier than yesterday, but still a grand day. I nipped out to Weisdale for a bit to go to look at The Shetland Open exhibition again and see if I could find anything interesting to photograph. I didn't see any otters in the voe, but I did see some red breasted merganser, curlews and other birds that cunningly disappeared when my camera appeared. However, there were plenty of foals out and about in the fields around Tingwall like this cute one here.

After dinner the sun was really coming through even though the wind was still cool. We went down for a good look around the new Scalloway Museum. We were all really impressed with the range and quality of the displays there and some great interactive things for the bairns too. It was particularly nice to see a section on Jim o'Berry (Jim Smith), from Berry Farm, just behind our house. He died recently, but was a great innovator and mechanic developing the first fish gutting machine and mussel rope machine among other things.

With the weather getting better all the time we decided to go down to a favourite little beach on West Burra. It's great for watching seals and also for shell collecting with top shells and grotty buckies (arctic cowries) being our favourites to find. We carried on along the coast up and down the rocks and looking into geos until we were clambering up the crevice from one to be surprised by a spoot mallie (fulmar) flying out in my face. Left behind was it's single egg in what can hardly be described as a nest.

A few feet later and this one lived up to it's name by throwing up at me. Luckily I wasn't close enough to get the fishy vomit on me, not like years ago climbing when one threw up on our ropes, that was not nice!

We'd had enough adventuring for one day and I wanted time to relax and sort things out as I start a new job tomorrow, so we headed back to the car over the grassy hills. Just as we were sitting atop one mound admiring the view an arctic skua (scooty allan) came over the banks towards us. I could hardly believe my luck, bad luck, as I'd left my camera in the car so could only get his awful snap of it with my mobile. It circled around us as if to make fun of me,  went off along the coast and then came back to practically hover on the lift off the slope right over our heads, only may be 20 feet away. A wonderful sight and missed opportunity for me, still I'll likely get another chance.

So, we've had another great weekend, the weather is forecast to continue being good for the next few days  which is great as I might be out and about getting to grips with my new job.


  1. Hope the first day in the new job was a good one. Wishing you all the best.

  2. Yeh, it's going fine thanks, just like the weather just now :oD