That Was 2021

2021 was a strange year. In many ways just a continuation of 2020 - so how do I distinguish it from 2020?

Travel was again pretty much curtailed - still haven't been on a plane, train or bus since early 2020 - and travel has been primarily day trips between Oxford and Surrey plus a number of extended trips to Shetland (achieved by car and boat).

Having got the travel grumble out of the way, and on the plus side, I'm actually quite pleased that my carbon footprint has been so reduced and it's been splendid to have had so many days when the big decision was which Shetland beach to wander on.

I have successfully taken another 365 pictures of the day.  I have successfully taken another 12 pictures of the month (see below for this years set). I've taken a bewilderingly large number of photographs (I'm blaming the auks - and the very fast silent rapid shooting function on the new cameras).

My vague target was to walk 2000 miles this year - haven't even made it to 1500 - again, I think I'm going to blame the auks, I spent far too much of the Shetland summer sitting watching them to clock up the walking miles I might otherwise have done.

And since this seems to have turned into another post about auks, I might as well point out that I've seen five species of auk around Shetland this year - puffins, guillemots, black guillemots and razorbills and, finally, a little auk - much less common around Shetland than it's cousins but no less welcome.


Little Auk at Grutness

Guillemots at Sumburgh Head

Razorbill at Sumburgh Head

Puffin at Sumburgh Head

Black Guillemot at Scat Ness

Pictures of the Month 2021

January: Christ Church Meadow, Oxford

February: Green Lane, Shotover Estate, Oxford

March: Mallard, C. S. Lewis Reserve, Oxford

April: Blue Tit in the Oxford garden

May: Puffins at Sumburgh Head

June: Pyramidal Orchid at Milham Ford Nature Park, Oxford

July: Puffin and Puffling at Sumburgh Head

August: Orca at Scat Ness

September: Blue Tit in the Oxford garden

October: Scat Ness Sunset

November: Snipe at RSPB Otmoor, Oxfordshire

December: Kingfisher at Port Meadow, Oxford

Monthly Report, November 2021

The month has been spent back in the south (mostly the Deep South) - and most of the photographs have been tree (or at least autumn-colour) related.

Reporting Days: 30

Location: A wee bit in the Cairngorms, then Oxford

Miles walked: 117

Miles driven: 810

Gardens tended: 1

Puffins seen: none

Jabs received: 2 (Flu and COVID booster)

Photographs taken: hundreds (mostly trees)


Having found very few trees around Shetland last month, it's been good to catch up on my arboreal photos this month - and it feels like the autumn colours were pretty good this year.

Autumn at Loch an Eilein, Cairngorms National Park

Loch an Eilein, Cairngorms National Park

Green Lane, Shotover, Oxfordshire

Harcourt Arboretum, Oxfordshire

Shipton Lock, Oxford Canal

Sydlings Copse, Oxfordshire

Mesopotamia, Oxford


It also been good to spend a little bit of time birding around Oxfordshire too - aside from watching the usual suspects around the garden - was particularly pleased to spend time with the snipe at Otmoor and with the kingfishers along the banks of the Thames.

Snipe at Otmoor

Kingfisher on the Thames

Sunrise, Sunset & Snow Fall

And just in case you might have gotten the idea that sunrises are only found on Shetland - or that snow only falls in winter.

Sunrise in Headington, Oxford

Sunset in Bury Knowle Park, Oxford

Snowfall at Rock Edge local nature reserve, Oxford