July 2007

The whimbrel passage may have started early with birds at Gerraquoy on 4/7 and nearby at Eastside on 5/7.

Glorious colonies of oysterplant flowering on local beaches in early July, along with sea rocket and sea kale.

A very young common seal pup hauled itself ashore just yards away from us at a local beach on 7/7 and promptly fell asleep!

We saw an otter cross the road by # 1 Barrier late at night on 11/7.

On 13/7 we saw our 1st Minke whale of the season off Grimness Head along with two harbour porpoises.

Indications that the breeding season is over for another year included hen harrier and short-eared owl at Gerraquoy on 19/7 – we will see these birds regularly at home for the next few weeks.

Two guests went off to Rackwick Bay on Hoy and had great views of a basking shark on 26/7.

July Highlights 2005

We discovered a wonderful (and rare) Oysterplant colony on a nearby beach and Red admiral butterflies appeared all over the islands.

On the afternoon of 6/7 we were treated to some gymnastics and blows from a couple of Minke whales who had obviously chased some fish around Grimness headland – quite close in and big animals!  In fact up to 4 Minkes fed in this area for several days, thrilling our guests.

On Hoy at St. John’s Head on 13/7 we were treated to a wonderful sight of a family of Peregrine falcons teaching their young how to stoop.

Meanwhile back on the farm a very late Oystercatcher eventually hatched her 3 young on 14/7.

Some mornings are unbeatable – despite the rain on 18/7 we saw a rare White-billed diver (happily in the company of a Great-northern diver for comparison); followed by an otter, always a treat!