Tuesday, 17 August 2010

A slight diversion...

A rare sighting was reported, this weekend, of a storm-petrel researcher, not only leaving the island of Mousa, but venturing further north than Lerwick! Two lovely days were enjoyed exploring the isle of Unst, the most northerly part of the UK. Unfortunately, I didn’t reveal any rare sightings of my own, not that I was really trying very hard at all, but a leisurely time was had involving a spot of botanising at the Keen of Hamar, marvelling at thousands of gannets at Hermaness, eating garlic-soaked langoustines and dipping cafes and brewerys. Sightings were limited but included Edmonston’s Chickweed, 2 Great Northern Divers (one in stunning summer plumage) and a sleeping otter (which my mum almost stood on!) on Ham Beach (by Muness Castle), 25+ Ruff feeding in fields around Muness Castle, and 1 Black-tailed Godwit on beach on Uyeasound.

Mousa escapee

Keen of Hamar

Slender St John's Wort Hypericum pulchrum

Edmonstons Chickweed Cerastium nigrescens, endemic to Unst

Field Gentian Gentianella campestris

Hermaness - the UK's most northerly nature reserve

Muckle Flugga - home to the UK's most northerly lighthouse - and just a few gannets on the adjacent rocks

Sundew Drosera rotundifolia

Peacefully sleeping otter, Ham Beach, Muness