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Monday 4 December 2023


Shetland Bird News, Latest Sightings:

Beautiful light and sunny days combined with severe frosts and ice.

Today is the first day of my permanent post here! 😊

Looks like I will be moving to my forever home in mid January now.

Tuesday – extremely icy here and everyone walking at a snail pace on the ungritted pavements.

Saturday 2 December 2023

Christmas Parade and Light Switch on – Lerwick, Shetland!

Christmas Parade, Lerwick

Best Christmas parade I have ever seen, they certainly didn't do anything like this in Norfolk. A fabulous turn out by hundreds of people and lots of excited children! Santa arrived on the RNLI Lifeboat at Victoria Pier and then led the festive procession along Commerical Road (main street) lined by lots of families.

Festive floats, Christmas characters including the Living Lerwick mascot, Olaf from Frozen and The Bigton Samba band marched along to a lively drumbeat, while the Lerwick Brass Band played some classic Christmas carols at the back of the parade, with the Lerwick Jarl Squad singing along. There was a snow machine on one of the floats, but it did actually snow too! Note the handsome Husky dog with lit up collar and two Shetland ponies in the parade!

Bigton Samba Band at Market Cross, Lerwick

Bigton Samba Band & Parade at Market Cross, Lerwick


Shetland Bird News, Latest Sightings:

It took a good half an hour to scrape the ice off my car this afternoon! I don't get my Winter tyres until next Friday, so with very icy conditions, I won't be doing any unnecessary travelling until then.

Put some apples out in the garden yesterday and today, they are disappearing very quickly, mostly by Blackbirds.

Thursday 30 November 2023


Shetland Bird News, Latest Sightings:

Lunch at work with the physio team as well – a get together for Sidonie and a card and beautiful silver necklace (chosen by Elaine) given to her from all of us. Sidonie kindly gave us some New Zealand chocolate and a lovely little bird book on the birds of New Zealand for me! Sidonie pointed out her favourite bird in the book, which is a TakahΔ“.

Then, an evening out after work to the "Douglas Arms" for drinks with Sidonie, Catherine, Kyle, Jen and Luke. It was Sidonie's last day at work and on Saturday she leaves Shetland. There was a football match on a big screen, being watched very enthusiastically by a group of locals! It seemed like a really warm and welcoming pub with Christmas lights up, musical instruments hung on the wall and a fascinating collection of historical photos and artworks.


Wednesday 29th November

Shetland Bird News, Latest Sightings:

Monday 27 November 2023


Shetland Bird News, Latest Sightings:  

Several things being organised in relation to my house purchase, not as simple as I thought it would be, but going smoothly currently! I will either have to pack very quickly indeed or I will have a bit longer until the new year?! 😊

Sunday 26 November 2023


Shetland Bird News, Latest Sightings:  

Raining all day, rest and jobs. I recently bought a new Christmas πŸŽ„ for my new house, but it may not get unboxed until Christmas 2024! I may be in my fabulous new house before Christmas, but it might end up being January 2024 – depends how quickly the solicitors work together!🀞 😊

Saturday 25 November 2023

Guided Beach Tour!

Banna Minn Beach, West Burra


Sidonie (see yesterday's post) has not had a car for the majority of the time she has been here and hadn't visited the beaches at West Burra yet, so I said earlier in the week I would take her today.  It was chilly with NW winds, but dry, apart from the odd spits of rain and the sun even even came out for a while on and off, not bad for a late November day here!

Meal Beach, West Burra


I had a big flask of tea for us and we picked up some lunch and snacks from Sound Garage on route. We started off at Meal Beach where there were several cars in the car park. Frustrating to find the 'public' loos closed – obviously only open for the tourist season! We ambled down the path and through the gate to the beach, but stayed on the cliff edge and took some pictures of this stunning beach, before heading back to the car. Sidonie was impressed with the views through my Swarovski binoculars! Then headed to Banna Minn Beach. On route we stopped briefly at the pull in area and picnic table opposite Easthouse Croft (renovated croft house and museum) and saw some seals on an island, Ringed Plover, Turnstones, Redshanks, Oystercatcher and on Papil Loch there were several Whooper Swans, Greylag Geese and a good number of duck. Also saw several Redwings in sheep fields on route and some very unusual looking fluffy sheep with black faces – a breed I had not seen here before. Update from several lovely Shetland folk on Facebook, who told me they are Valais Blacknose Sheep, a rare breed from Switzerland.

Great Northern Diver at Banna Minn Beach, West Burra
Banna Minn Beach, West Burra
Sidonie on Banna Minn Beach, West Burra
Valais Blacknose Sheep on West Burra
A rare breed from Switzerland

Parked up for Banna Minn Beach and walked down to enjoy the spectacular views of this tombola. I found two Great Northern Divers here, fairly close inshore and was surprised to see two Goldfinches flying close by and at eye level past me! It seemed to be getting increasingly colder, the longer we were out! Headed back south and had our lunch in the parking area, overlooking St Nininian's Isle. Then went to Maywick Beach, which Sidonie particularly enjoyed seeing, but it was icy cold here, so we didn't stay long! No birds of note, apart from Fulmars sailing round the cliffs.

Maywick Beach, near Bigton 

Had a tour around Levenwick and the gorgeous beach here. Watched lots of black bunnies amongst the usual brown ones on the cliffs beyond the beach and then made our way to end the day at Hoswick Visitor Centre. I knew it closed at 4pm and we got there at just before 3pm – however, the staff seemed reluctant to let us in, as they were putting Christmas Decorations up and said they were closed...... but they did let us in and we had a quick browse round, but neither of us ended up buying anything. Headed back to Lerwick, dropped Sidonie off at her accommodation and I returned home and fell aleep!


Shetland Bird News, Latest Sightings:  

I had a fabulous surprise this morning, there was a female Northern Bullfinch sitting on my kitchen windowsill!!! It was feeding in the honeysuckle! Lazy birding! πŸ˜„

Friday 24 November 2023

Sidonie's Leaving Do!

Catherine, Penny and Sidonie
Awful picture of me (after consuming alcohol), but Catherine and Sidonie both look glam

A few of us met up for a peerie get together at The Lerwick Hotel this evening – our lovely locum OT Sidonie is leaving us next week! I had my first alcoholic drink in years, a Bailey's with ice – I'd forgotten how lovely that is! Catherine, Sidonie, Karen, Josh, Kyle and myself enjoyed drinks here for around half an hour and then moved onto the FjarΓ₯ CafΓ©, where four of us remained enjoying another drink or two and some wonderful food. Kyle was the main entertainment, he was telling us all sorts of eye-opening stories, much to our amusement! A really lovely evening and nice to get out socialising for a change. We all walked home in chilly but dry weather, no rain or snow, bonus! 🍹🍸πŸ₯ƒ

Wishing Sidonie a lovely Christmas with some of her family, happy travelling and enjoy your next OT position, wherever that might be! Its been a joy to work with you. πŸ’– 😊


Shetland Bird News, Latest Sightings:  

Much warmer today compared to yesterday! Sun and blue skies all day!

Thursday 23 November 2023


Shetland Bird News, Latest Sightings:  

Our new permanent Band 6 OT popped into meet us all at work today, before she starts next week and brought in luscious Lemon Drizzle Cake, my favourite! πŸ˜‹ A lovely bubbly, enthusiastic and fun lady – exciting times ahead! But very sad to see our lovely Locum OT leaving next week, who has been awesome to work with in so many ways. We are having a little drinks meet up tomorrow evening, that is if we can get through the 6ft snow drifts 😜 joking! πŸ˜‰

I guess nobody has looked for the Black-bellied Dipper today!

No Northlink Ferry running yesterday or today and Friday's sailings are under review.

Strong winds and the sleet on my windows this evening was at times, almost deafening!

🌨 ⛄ 🌨

Wednesday 22 November 2023


Shetland Bird News, Latest Sightings:  

Black-bellied Dipper at Bridge of Fitch today – not too far away from Lerwick!

Strong winds and heavy rain here – no different to yesterday! πŸ˜€

Tuesday 21 November 2023


Shetland Bird News, Latest Sightings:  

Black-bellied Dipper at Voe today, I really hope this will stay until my day off on Friday, its been a while since I have seen one. My last sighting was December 2018 and prior to that was February 2013.

I picked up an Amazon parcel this evening after work – a luxury blanket to cover an old chair – the side of the box had a large hole in it and I was shocked to discover that the blanket was completely drenched with water (I presume) inside its zipped plastic bag. Never had that happen before, so returning that tomorrow, I could have dried it out I suppose, but it smelt very odd!

Had a quick browse in Odie's Antique and Collectable Shop this evening, what a fascinating treasure trove! There were lots of old books on Shetland, which caught my eye. I will have to return when I have more time, good job I left my purse in the car!

Strong winds and heavy rain here.

RBA Weekly Round-Up 14th to 20th November!

By Jon Dunn


Monday 20th November

Shetland Bird News, Latest Sightings:  

I have been stocking up on small, battery powered birch trees and candles for future power cuts. Strong winds and sleet showers forecast for the latter part of the week!

New "Winter" Michelin Alpin Tyres booked and being fitted, as well as the tracking getting done on 8th December – lets hope I have not left it too late!

Monday 20 November 2023


Sunday 19th November

Shetland Bird News, Latest Sightings:  

Pouring with rain and dull skies all day.

However, I still went out and had a brisk walk along St Ninian's Beach. I found a Blackbird on the far side of the beach near the overhang under the cliff, no other birds seen at all here. The entire beach was covered in vehicle tracks, every inch and up the dunes too. I presume people have been racing quad bikes over the sands again – very sad to see this fragile habitat being churned up for fun.

St Ninian's Isle, Shetland

Saturday 18 November 2023


Shetland Bird News, Latest Sightings:  

A gentleman called Paul phoned me from M&S this morning, I was quite shocked and he was asking me all about Shetland. I did my very best to try and sell it to him. He said I should work for the Tourist Board!!! See my post on Wednesday to explain why he phoned me.

Chilly, rainy and windy here currently!