Saturday, 16 June 2012

Here and there and round about...

I haven't posted for a little while, but there's plenty being going on. I guess I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself as my camera is still away in the very expensive camera hospital and as ever the photos off my mobile just don't do justice to the wonderful landscape up here.

With work I've been up to Fetlar looking at access issues with a whimbrel colony there and looking at access to a lovely beach up at the north of Yell. Next week I'll be back up in Yell and hopefully heading out to Uyea from North Roe to look at other route issues. It's not all getting out to lovely locations though, there's plenty of paper work and more run of the mill issues to deal with.

Beren has been out with us doing some more geocaching around the Wester Quarff area, there's a few really nice ones around there. We'll even registered our own geochache 'The Smuggler's Cave' on Burra and tried to register one up near Njugal's Water in an underground bunker, but it's too close to Nugles View to be registered, even if it is a totally different type as it's underground. If you wander N.E. from Nugles View a hundred yards you may find it, some have!

I've been out and about with my friend and adventure dog Teddy too. We've had a good old stroll around the S.W. coast of Muckle Roe past the light house and up towards the Hams watching common seals, dodging bonxies and even seeing a Merlin, a first for me. There are some great lochs up there with red sandy shores and ideal camping spots where you'd think you were the only people in the world. Oddly we did actually see some other people, walkers, when we got back to Little Ayre and they're more rare than the birds!

The other day we headed down to Burra and Kettla Ness looking for edible sea weeds and doing a bit of scrambling around the slabby cliffs, even Teddy was rock climbing with the odd boost up some bits and swimming to meet us at other points...

We came to a bit of a dead end eventually, save for us deciding to join Teddy in the sea. We sat for a bit and watched puffins, guillemots and black guillemots diving, being amazed at how long they can stay under water. Then we had a more challenging climb up the cliffs. After lifting Teddy up some high ledges I accidently sent a rock bounding down to the bottom and the daft dog set off to chase it! As he couldn't get back up the ledges on his own I had to go all the way back down and bring him up again, careful not to repeat my mistake.

Looking south on Kettla Ness from our puffin watching spot...

We carried on along the cliff tops before heading back on the other side of the island sighting great and artic skuas along with terns and oyster catchers and saw around 5 broods of eider ducks in the bay on the south side of Bannaminn Beach (around 20 chicks).

Last night Beren was invited to a sleep over with his best buddy and we had the best part of a day to ourselves for a change so Clare and I set off for a long planned walk around the local hills. It is years since we've been  for a decent walk together what with Beren and me suffering with CFS/ME for several years, so it was a real treat.

We set off from our door up the Hill of Berry and over to Burwick. From there we headed north, into the wind and drizzle. Clare said it was darker today than it's been most nights lately and she wasn't wrong, you'd never think it was mid summer next week!

Up The Hill of Burwick we went and followed the loosely defined ridge north over Setter Hill and up to Outer Knappy on The Hill of Griesta with a altitude sickness inducing height of 118m! 

Looking south from The Hill of Griesta as Clare ermmm....summits!

Looking north from the top over Tingwall Airport and out to Nesting...

We came back down into the Tingwall Valley and made our way back up to Berry Lane and home passing a well hidden gem of a garden that some one is developing on the hillside, complete with a little stone circle. We felt a bit guilty stumbling across it so no details or photos here, but if the owners happen to read this, it's lovely what you're doing there and we're very envious.

8 miles later we were glad to get home. Not the longest walk in the world, but it's hard going over rough moorland with no paths most of the way.

My bread that was proving while we out is now baked and lucking yummy, Beren's back in bed to catch up on his lost sleep and I'm looking forward to getting spoilt tomorrow. Well it is Fathers Day!


  1. Lovely to read your post. Was worried you were unwell. We have our 20 month old grandson staying over tonight, to give our daughter and her husband a night away on their own for her birthday, so can imagine how much you and Clare ( my daughter is a Claire) appreciated your adult free time together. ;)

  2. Thanks for your concern Ellen; tired but not too bad.Getting some time to actually do things together is great and very much appreciated!