Monthly Report, July 2020

Borne from long-stranding habits, I felt the need to produce a monthly report.

  • Reporting Days: 31
  • Location: Mix of Oxford and Shetland
  • Miles Walked: 142
  • Miles Driven: 1250
  • Gardens Tended: 2 (1 in Oxford, 1 in Shetland)
  • Puffins Seen: Hundreds (all on Shetland)
  • Photographs Taken: Thousands (mostly of puffins)
  • Zoom/Teams/Hangout Meetings Attended: 0

In summary, a very successful month - in addition to bringing two gardens under control, and painting a considerable fraction of the Shetland garden fences,  I spent a lot of time outside, carrying cameras, away from desks.

In Oxford this time was spent at the various local nature reserves (all without venturing more than 3 miles from the Oxford house), and on Shetland (after facing the social distancing challenges of a significant number of motorway service areas, a Premier Inn and two NorthLink Ferries) I spent almost 3 weeks without venturing more than three miles from the Shetland house.  

On Shetland that 3 mile distance includes Sumburgh Head, Scat Ness, Quendale Beach and Garth's Ness - and an awful lot of sea birds.

A various points during LockDown, I was pretty despondent about making it back to Shetland before the puffins packed up their burrows and headed back off to sea for winter, so I was delighted to see so many puffins (and pufflings) still in residence.  

Alongside the puffins, I was particularly delighted to spend time with a pair of Red-throated divers and with a group of very accessible black guillemots.

Puffin, Sumburgh Head

Puffling, Sumburgh Head

Red-throated Diver, Quendale Bay

Black Guillemot, Scat Ness

Key objectives for the coming month; another trip to Shetland - and continued avoidance of Zoom, Teams and Hangout meetings.  And maybe finishing the northern fences.

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