Monday 21 June 2021

Marwick whales.

 I wandered up Marwick Head to look at the auks and bumped into Minke Whales. There were probably five Minkes feeding quite close in. The whales were very visible, splashing a good deal as they fed.

Five Minke Whales off Marwick.

Also on view the auks, Kittiwakes, Fulmar, Ringed Plover and Jackdaw.




Ringed Plover.


Plenty of Jackdaws around, these birds nest on the cliffs but roost in the rookery next to our house, or further away later in the year.

Back at the ranch various things showed well.

Beris chalybata, a soldier fly.

Eggs of Gastrophysa viridula, the Green Dock Beetle.

Gastrophysa viridula adult female.

Geum urbanum, not a common plant in the county.

Leucozona leucorum.

Silver-ground Carpet.

White-shouldered House Moth.

Tuesday 15 June 2021

Sun.... gone.

But it has its advantages, the wind by the cliffs was mighty on Saturday, lots of seabirds manouvering near the edge.


TC and I had a struggle walking at times, not quite strong enough to blow us over, but progress could be tricky.

I've been light trapping, a few nice moths:

Epiblema scutulana (most likely).


Poplar Hawkmoth.

Common Pug

Small Phoenix.

This Phyllobius viridicollis was in amongst the rhubarb as younger daughter chopped it for tea. The rhubarb patch is surrounded by nettles.

Phyllobius viridicollis.

Deleaster dichrous.

Always nice to see Deleaster dichrous, an occasional intruder in the light traps.

Wednesday 9 June 2021


 At work been working with Orkney Native Wildlife Project, we put out these tunnels baited with apple and lined with ink.

Result! Orkney Vole tracks.

We've also had camera traps all over the place to try and get the wee blighters on video, not such a result, requires perseverence.

Lots of nice things in this space of nearly a month. White-tailed Eagle, Garganey, Blackcap and Whitethroat all on patch. I will try and do a catch up shortly, with some pix.

I thought I'd got a new beetle for the county but was pipped to the post by a week or so. This in my yellow washing up bowl trap - 

Sphaeridium scarabaeoides.

I had a bit of a bee and wasp weekend, six, maybe seven species of bumblebee in the garden including 7 or 8 Great Yellows.

Bombus distinguendus.

I found the potter wasp Anicostrocerus oviventris in the garden, nice patch tick. With the weather calm and sunny I went to Yesnaby on Sunday and back to the spot where I found A. scoticus last year. With a bit of patience I managed to find them again and better still their parasite Chrysis sp.

Not the best photo, this was hard enough to see, let alone photograph.

Some nice moths, these two were new for site in the garden.

Grey Pug.

Knot Grass.

That'll have to do for now.... Contrasting listening.


There is a wonderful session slot of Lou Reed and Anohni playing Perfect Day in the latest series of Jools, not to be missed IMHO.