Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Macaroons, Papegaaiduiker, Lunnefågel, Lunde, Papageitaucher

It was an excellent Shetland summer day at Sumburgh Head today. I went with the express purpose of taking pics of Puffins. 

At least one Puffin picture day per year is a legal requirement for folk in Shetland - this stems from the Puffin Picture Annual Requirement Regulations (Zetland) 2001, transposed from the Eh Up Directive  "Macaroon [Picture] Requirements - EC/111/Eh Up_TOSH/BBC/ITV/DIY" etc.......

['le macareux moine' is french for Puffin, which naturally tranposes in 'euro-ese' to 'macaroon']

I arrived to find Funky Aiden in full Puffin picture taking mode - he had previously been made aware of the regultions and was keen to fullfill his annual committment. Indeed, during the course of the day, a not inconsiderable number of Zetlanders made their annual pilgrimage to 'da head' to tick off their annual Puffin picture legislative requirements.

Word had obviously got round, as representaives from both SNH & the RSPB were on hand to certify compliance with the regulations & ensure that all such compliant (and non-compliant) activities were accurately recorded. I personally had my ticket well & truly clipped by a very pleasant young lady with 'boobies' written across her t-shirt - & very nice it was too !!!!!!

Anyhoo...... heres some Puffin pics.

Puffins are naturally inquisitive - this one was asking what I was doing?

This one decided to put on a shown - he was trained from an egg as a contortionist.

WHIT'S YUN - boy, boy, boy!!!

A Puffin's beak is actually very thin. Also notice the inner claw - it points sideways & is useful for scraping soil out of the nesting burrow (& all the claws are VERY sharp).

This one was feeling a little tired - it was a warm day after all.

Time for a snooze in the sun. Notice the 'nail' above & below the eye. Its part of the breeding plumage & is lost during the winter months, as is the grey base to the beak and the yellow fleshy area at the hinge of the beak.

As you can see from this immature bird that was 'prospecting' a future nest site. It still has a dark side to its face and has not grown the decorative sheath at the base of the bill the adults grow in summer breeding plumage. The adults bill looks much like this during the winter. This immature bird also has much paler legs.

An adult's bill - 3 grooves in the bill as opposed to 1 & a bit in the immature above.

A breeding pair at the entrance to their burrow.

and.....my favourite picture of the day....

whit's du saying boy...

Here's some video of the immature Puffin.

and some of an adult

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lerwick & Bressay Sound

There is a track all the way to the base of the transmitters on the Ward of Bressay. Its very steep in places and is only a 'road' for the last steep part near the top, but you can drive all the way to the top and the views over Lerwick are excellent.

The Knab and graveyard centre, Lerwick Power Station far right.
Most of Lerwick - Sandveien, Nederdale, Sound & Upper Sound left. Burrdale wind farm on horizon, left of centre.
North-west Bressay. Pale green nissen hut to the right of centre is the Bressay Galley Shed. In the middle of the group of houses just left of centre, is the beggining of the track which leads to the top of the hill.

see also

Friday, July 23, 2010

More Sky & Foula

Another excellent sunset yesterday evening. Went out along the track to Burgi Stacks along the west side of the Ness of Ireland. From around 9pm to 10pm the sunset is excellent. A muckle moon also this evening & i've addedd some blue from the following morning.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Gannet & Bonxie

These were taken today in Lerwick Harbour after our Elaine saw the Gannet fairly close in from our office window :) The Bonxie was feeding on 'just-fledged from above the Peerie Shop', Herring Gull chick - but thats what Bonxies do.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Whooper Chicks

Good to see the Whooper Swans are still doing well & producing chicks. They first successfully bred in Shetland in 1994.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Rescued Trimaran brought to Lerwick Harbour by Lifeboat

This damaged Norwegian trimaran 'Epoksy' - minus its mast was brought into Lerwick Harbour a short while ago after being rescued by the Lerwick Lifeboat. The trimaran ran into trouble after its mast was damaged and it lost power at 7.53pm on Thursday 15 July (yesterday). The Lerwick Lifeboat made contact with the vessel around 70 miles off the southeast of Shetland after 8am this morning and towed the boat back to Lerwick Harbour. As it was almost below our window here are some pics of the event.

Lerwick lifeboat bringing the trimaran alongside at Lerwick Harbour.

Shetland Coastguard talking to the crew about the event and rescue. Damage to the bow visible - and no mast left at all.

No obvious significant damage to the stern.

And the inevitable media interviews with the crew.