The Shetland Nature Festival started with a bang, with the appearance of a pod of killer whales at Sumburgh Head. From 9am, they'd been spotted by many folk on the eastern side of the Shetland south mainland, reaching Sumburgh around lunch time. Dozens of folk were treated to marvellous views. Unfortunately, Andy Foote and Simon King were stuck in the Garrison Theatre giving their talk about killer whales and other wildlife.
Thinking about killer whales, it's worth checking out the Burravoe Primary School blog to read the bairns' entries about their trip to Sumburgh. With the school holidays now upon us, there's no more school visits to Sumburgh this year. However, we've been doing children's activities with the Shetland Nature Festival (see the Facebook page for updates). We've had a great time poking in streams, rockpools, pebble painting and discovering the wildflowers of Shetland. There's more to come, up until Sunday evening. It's really great for us as event leaders to see parents and children sharing nature together, discovering all sorts of new things.
At Sumburgh Head and Mousa, you can see that our seabirds have had a very poor breeding season. Most of the guillemots are away from Sumburgh now, but this isn't due to their "jumplings" leaving the colony. Most pairs on the exposed eastern side of the reserve lost eggs in a May gale (many did relay), there are abandoned eggs everywhere,