Shetland Autumn - August 2018

It’s not easy figuring out where spring stops and summer starts, or where summer stops and autumn starts.  Once upon a time I might have muttered something about school or maybe university vacations defining summer and the bit before was spring and the bit after was autumn.

However, I’m starting to think that the birds have got it right.  

Spring is when the migrants return and fight over nesting sites and mates, summer is when they rear the youngsters and autumn is when the bird all disappear off to their winter homes or feeding grounds.

So, when I was on Shetland in April that was very clearly spring - the sea cliffs were full of guillemots and puffins - much bickering over nest sites.

In June it was clearly summer on Shetland - there were lots of birds sitting on eggs and the puffins were returning to the burrows with sand-eels for their pufflings. 

By August - the cliffs are quiet.  The puffins have gone and the guillemot stacks are clear - with the chattering summer residents replaced by shags.

So it’s clear (on Shetland at least).   April is Spring. June is Summer. August is Autumn.

The autumn attractions - lots of blue sky and sunshine, warm quiet beaches, still plenty of bird life.

Compass and Sumburgh Heads
Castle Stack, West Voe of Sumburgh
Guillemot Stack, Broad Geo (currently guillemot-free)
Brei Geo, Scat Ness
Quendale Beach 
Fulmars (locally called Maalies) - always chattering no matter what the season 
Shags (locally Scaarfies) hanging out on, and above, the cliffs
St Ninian's tombolo
There are, as usual, more pictures in an album on Flickr. 

Black and White Challenge 2018

I did one of these black and white challenges last November (which was mostly around Oxford) - this time the challenge was “My Life in 7 days of B&W photos. No humans. No Explanations” - and was mostly further north.

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7