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Sunday, 26 June 2011

I saved a little life today.

Today, for the most part, has been a day for seeing wildlife and not being able to take photo.

On my way to work a sneaky pheasant/grouse looking bird crossed my path as I was driving past the Ring O Brodgar. Whilst at work, 2 Guilliemots flew beside me, as did an Arctic Tern. Sigh.

On my way home from work another 2 Guilliemots flew by the car and landed in the field next to me. So I screeched to a halt (after checking my mirrors, of course), quickly reversed into the nearest farm road and jumped out the car. My eagerness caused the birds to fly away!!!!

I got back in the car and passed the Ring O Brodgar Grouse to be seen....passed the Stenness Standing Stones...nothing....then I came to the junction where I turn left to head towards Kirkwall. In the middle of the road was a little furry ball. A car turned the corner and drove over it, narrowly missing it with the tyres. I found a place to turn, headed back down the junction and found a place to abandon my car safely. It was still there and it was an ORKNEY VOLE!!! Was it dead, though?????

Thankfully not. It was very much alive but I do think it must have been in shock. It had moved to the side of the road but seemed as though it was sleeping. I took a couple of quick photos then nudged it gently with my foot until it 'woke up' and darted into the bushes.


It doesn't look as big as a guinea pig because it's curled into a wee ball. I would say it's as big a large hamster.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Swans at Brig O'Brodgar

When I went for my interview in Orkney back in May I saw a swan sitting upon her eggs in a nest by the Brig O'Brodgar.

I am pleased to announce that she has successfully produced two healthy signets!

Thursday, 16 June 2011


I've been walking about this area of Kirkwall a few times but there have been no sightings of otters yet. If I do see one, I hope it's not another vehicle encounter.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Orkney Vole

I have spotted my 2nd Orkney Vole. Both times they have tried to run under my car, much to my alarm, and they're not as small as I had imagined. They are actually about the size of a guinea pig.

I'm hoping that my only chance for getting a photo of this little creature isn't when it's dead :(

Monday, 13 June 2011


This wildlife photography is useless without the proper equipment. Try to sneak up closer for a decent shot and they fly away. Try to take a back-up shot from a safe enough distance with a view to severe cropping and the image is just too blurry. Tripods just won't do in these situations either.

However, I have a back-up shot of a Lapwing. There were loads of them but this one was closest. Then I took one more step and they all took flight.

And some other birds that are not on the Tough Challenge list....


Shag (this one might be quite tricky to see)

Not sure what these are yet....

Sunday, 12 June 2011

I never thought bird identification would be this hard

It doesn't help when I have a lens that isn't 'zoom' enough.

Guilliemot and Razorbill are both on my Tough Challenge list but I don't know which one of these birds it was that I caught on camera. As usual, it's not the best photo as I've had to crop for extra zoom and not only is the quality rubbish as a result, it also shows just how shaky my trembling hands actually are.

I will be going back to finish this walk at Deerness (I didn't get to go all the way round to Mull Head) so I will take more photos next time. Plus, there are Great Skuas that fly about from time to time and the Orkney vole can be seen up here. If it wasn't a nature reserve I'd camp out until I got the images I wanted.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Race For Life!

I want to say a HUGE THANKS to everyone who sponsored me for the Race For Life.

It was a great day with lots of emotion. Well done everyone who took part!!

These girls were hilarious and having so much fun themselves. I get the feeling they might have been trying to tell us something about mobile phones.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Newark Bay Seal

When I first saw the seal he only poked his head out of water for a little bit then disappeared. I got the camera out in case he came back and my patience paid off. He came back, albeit further away.

This image of a grey seal was taken from Newark Bay, looking out towards the Copinsay Islands.

On my drive back to Kirkwall a Guilliemot flew inbetween me and the car coming towards me. We both stopped to watch it fly. It was stunning and I wasn't able to take a photograph. However, I know now where I might find one :)