Monthly Report, July 2021

It's really good to be able to write an All Shetland monthly report. 

And if I was going to write a one word report it would be "Auks", and the slightly longer (four word) version would be "Auks at Sumburgh Head".

Blue skies over Sumburgh Head

  • Reporting Days: 31

  • Location: Entirely ZE3 (with very occasional outings to ZE1& ZE2)

  • Miles walked: 141

  • Miles driven: 363

  • Gardens Tended: 1

  • Puffins Seen: Hundreds (and a lot of other auks too)

  • Orchids Seen: Quite a lot!

  • Photographs Taken: Many thousands

Puffin in the mayweed

July is without doubt the peak time for watching and photographing auks around the south end of Shetland - the four species of auks (guillemot, razorbill, black guillemot and puffin) do their own thing to their own time scales, but July is the point in the season when the youngsters are most visible (and the adults are busiest doing their feeding).

Black guillemot with butterfish

Muttering Puffins

Razorbills plus youngster

Puffling ready to fledge

Adult razorbill

By the end of July the guillemots and razorbills have all gone (there might be 1 or 2 exceptions!), the pufflings have mostly gone and the adult puffins are gathering ready to depart and the tysties (black guillemots) are in the later stages of rearing their young.

Black guillemot nestling

And just in case you were getting the idea that auks are the only thing to lure one to Shetland in the summer - the wild flowers in July are splendid too.



Bog Asphodel

More orchids