30 Days Wild 2022

This is the eight time I've done (the summer version of) 30 Days Wild - and the first time I've been able to spend all 30 days on Shetland. 

I've taken and shared pictures from four islands - Yell, Unst, Mousa plus the Shetland Mainland. 

I've shared images of numerous auks (including puffins, razorbills, black guillemots) plus gannets, terns, eider, wheatear and kittiwakes. There have been quite a few orchids, and numerous beaches. 

These are five of my favourite pictures from the last 30 Wild Days.

Kittiwake and chicks (Sumburgh Head)

Been Fishing (Sumburgh Head)

Puffin in the Pinks (Sumburgh Head)

Roadside Orchids (Virkie)

Rolling Waves (West Voe of Sumburgh)


Monthly Report, May 2022

This was a month of two halves - first half searching for bluebells and orchids around Oxfordshire, and the second half back on Shetland hanging out with the puffins (and other birds too) .

Reporting Days: 31

Location: Oxford & Shetland

Miles Walked: 130

Miles Driven: 972

Gardens Tended: 3

Photographs Taken: Thousands (mostly puffins)


Oxfordshire

Bluebells, Sydlings Copse

Early Purple Orchids, Sydlings Copse

Green-winged Orchids, Bernwood Meadows

Bluebells, Shotover Country Park

Early Marsh Orchids, Lye Valley

Shetland  

Wave-watching at Scat Ness

Nest building at Sumburgh Head

Who's Watching Who at Sumburgh Head

Razorbill at Sumburgh Head

Black Guillemot at Scat Ness

Chattering Fulmar at Sumburgh Head

Lapwing chick at Grutness

And next month - you can expect more puffins - and more orchids...

Monthly Report, April 2022

Another month, another report.  This time mostly spent hanging around at the south end of Shetland.

Reporting Days: 30

Location: Shetland (mostly)

Miles Walked: 150

Miles Driven: 1234

Gardens Tended: 3  (a new personal best)

Photographs taken:   Thousands (mostly auks - and bluebells)

The big question this month (in my world) was when are the puffins going to return.

I had timed my return to Shetland to coincide with the start of the season at the Sumburgh Head lighthouse.  The kittiwakes got the memo. The guillemots got the memo. The razorbills got the memo. Katja got the memo. The shags got the memo.  But not the puffins.

Sumburgh Head lighthouse - ready for the summer season - as seen from the foghorn tower

Looking over West Voe from the lighthouse deck

Kittiwakes ready for the season

Shags pairing up

Guillemots back on the stacks

Razorbills getting reacquainted 

Coffee & cake from Katja's Unken Cafe at Sumburgh Head (highly recommended)

But eventually the puffins did put in an appearance - always good to see them back.




And there are always beaches and headlands that need walking

Quendale Beach

Waves rolling in to Scat Ness

Meanwhile back in Oxford - more bluebells than you can comfortably count - and some early orchids too.

Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve

Sydlings Copse

C S Lewis Reserve

And next month - more Oxford woodlands, and hopefully more Shetland auks too.

Monthly Report, March 2022

 Apologies for the delayed monthly report - I got distracted.

March was (almost) all about Oxfordshire again - but one of the bonuses on Oxford in March is that no two days are the same.   There was plenty of weather around - from winter-gear days through to garden-furniture days - and there's the constant round of new emerging plants every day - from daffodils and snowdrops through to bluebells, snake's head fritillaries and (almost) orchids.

Reporting Days: 31

Location: Oxford (mostly)

Miles walked: 120

Miles driven: 600 (and half of that was on the last day of the month)

Gardens Tended: 2

Photographs taken: Hundreds (mostly emerging flowers)


Snow drops in Bury Knowle Park, Oxford

Storm Damage, Marston, Oxford

Green Lane, Shotover, Oxford

Frogs, Lye Valley, Oxford

By the River, Iffley, Oxford

Emerging Orchid, Sydlings Copse, Oxford

Bluebells, Headington, Oxford

Snake's Head Fritillaries, Binsey, Oxford

Dandelion & Tortoiseshell, Bury Knowle Park, Oxford

And finally, heading north on the last day of March

Annandale Water Services, Lockerbie, Scotland




Monthly Report, February 2022

 Circumstances dictated that this should be an Oxford month - in many ways we were able to treat it as another LockDown month - returning to the routines and walks from the other LockDowns.  The pictures of the day came from the C S Lewis Reserve, the Lye Valley, Shotover, Mesopotamia, Sydlings Copse and (most often) Bury Knowle Park.

There were lots of good sunrises to watch, emerging flowers to photograph and storm damage to mend (and photograph!).

Reporting Days: 28

Location: Oxford

Miles Walked: 104

Mile Driven: 9.7 (yes, really!)

Gardens Tended: 1 (including a little bit of fence mending)

Photographs taken: Hundreds - mostly trees (some broken)


Sunrises

Despite the challenges of not being able to see a horizon from the Oxford house (too many adjacent buildings) there are points in the year when I can see decent sunrises from my office window - February is one of those months.

Headington Sunrise #1

Headington Sunrise #2

Emerging Flowers

Early spring is a time of constant floral change as flowers appear overnight.

Crocuses

Snowdrops

Snowdrops

Storm Damage

Having three named storms roll through in a few days - did take its toll in the local woodlands, but fortunately not too much domestically.

Storm Damage - C S Lewis Reserve

Storm Damage - Green Lane, Shotover


Walks

Dark Clouds over Bury Knowle Park

High Water at Parson's Pleasure, Mesopotamia

On the Lye Valley Boards

Blue Skies at Sydlings Copse