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Sunday, 9 May 2021


My cottage at Levenwick for three weeks in October!

View from the cottage!
Yes, I know it won't look like that when its torrential rain for days on end!
Excited is an understatement! I have spent a lot of hours researching, reading reviews and trying to find a cheaper way of going to Shetland this Autumn. After lots of hard work I have finally got somewhere incredible booked.

I knew that the awesome place I stayed at in 2019 with Niki and Piet at Quinni Geo Apartment, Voortrekker in Levenwick, was totally booked up, so no hope there. I managed to find out the name of the rental cottage, where the Western Subalpine Warbler was at Hillwell, but that was all booked up too. Several other cottages and hotels that look fab were also booked up. I got very excited when an awesome cottage at Hoswick was possibly available, but the owner had to clarify if someone was staying on dates that would have been my first week. Sadly they were, so I would only have been able to stay there two weeks. I photographed this house on my Oriole Birding trip in 2017 and watched birds in this fabulous garden! Anyway, so that plan was squashed. Then I thought about the Sumburgh House Hotel and made enquiries and although they gave me a very good deal for three weeks, the room looked very small and I could see the room was either over the bar or close to it and would be at risk of noise at night. Nice views of the lighthouse and sea though. The minus to this would be hauling birding gear up and down the stairs each morning and evening.

I decided to contact Niki at Voortrekker, just in case someone had cancelled or if she knew anyone else with accommodation. It just so happened Niki did know someone and a lady who had a cottage only a couple of minutes from her!!! Niki contacted her friend and we emailed and today I have conformation of the booking! It is a gorgeous traditionally built stone cottage, one bedroom, living room/dining room, kitchen, bathroom and a fabulous lawned front garden surrounded by a stone wall and with the same magnificent sea and cliff views I had from Voortrekker! In fact you can see Voortrekker from this cottage. I decided that when it pours with rain (and it will) I'm more likely to be able to see some birds feeding on the lawn from the living room than I would have any chance of seeing birds at close range from the second floor of the Sumburgh House Hotel. Also this cottage will be far quieter. Parking is literally next to the wall/gate of the cottage! The only downside is that I will have to cater for myself! Can't have everything!

Last night I booked Northlink Ferry and this time I'm taking my car! I'm going to drive half way, stay in a B&B, drive the second part of the journey the next day, catch the ferry on the Saturday night and arrive on the Sunday. Three week stay and then depart on the Sunday, drive back Monday/Tuesday. This will also enable me to twitch any rare birds on route south home! Return to work on Wednesday. Also I managed to persuade my boss to switch my days around just before I start the holiday! Roll on October!

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