Flotta in May

May has not been a good month for me. I am sorry for the silence, but for the past 5 weeks I have had a chest infection which will not go. (Yes, doctors etc are involved!)

There have been signs of spring. Some signs, like the lambs. These are pure Shetlands which live free range on West Hill.

001. first hill lambsThe Skuas have also returned. These are large sea birds which breed on the island. The Arctic Skua is the smaller of the two main breeds. It comes in two forms – light phase and dark phase – and both breed here. This is a light phase Arctic Skua on the nest.

002. Artic SkuaThe Great Skuas are known locally as Bonxies. They are big birds which prey on smaller ones. One result of this on Flotta is a smaller number of Eider Duck, as the Bonxies devour the chicks. They tend to nest on slight hillocks in the heather.

003. Bonxie on nestThis one was sitting on the bank by the road. I was only a few feet away before it took off.

004. bonxie taking offTowards the end of the month I had people over and we went puffin hunting one evening. Typically the puffins did not cooperate – I saw one disappear into its burrow but by the time I had told folk where to look it had gone! But we did explore some of the WW2 ruins. This is one of the gun emplacements guarding the entrance to Scapa Flow.

005. gun emplacementThe next evening we saw a cruise ship, the Corinthian, pass between Hoy and Flotta.

006. Corinthian passing HoyWith the very late spring, some of the roadside narcissi bloomed through to the end of the month.

PhotoELF Edits: 2015:06:03 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizeThese are on the side of the road along which I take the dogs each night. In this photo I have boxed my house.

008. narsissi with my houseBut the key feature of the month has been the weather. Cold, wet and windy. With rain, rain and more rain.

009. rain cloudsThe dogs had the right idea….

010. Isla asleep010. Meg relaxedWhen the sun did appear it was welcomed!

011. kitchenAnd we did get some lovely rainbows – this one taken from West Hill.

012. rainbowWe got some lovely skies too. This photo, from Stanger head looking west, was taken by Elly Doyle.

013. Red sky at StangerAnd this is the view over the oil holding tanks at the terminal.

015. sunset

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15 thoughts on “Flotta in May

  1. Sending good wishes for clear healthy lungs and wonderful warm sunny days to enjoy! Love the photos! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hope you are feeling better now that Spring has arrived! Love the photos, especially of the dogs.
    Looking forward to your new book. Love Cynthia

  3. Trust the sea air is clearing your chest infection and that you actually get some summer up there. It really is a very beautiful place.

  4. Such lovely photos. I can almost feel the wind blowing through the ewe’s fleece. As for you – while I really appreciate your beautiful photos, I think it is not a good idea for you to be out and about with a chest cold! Have a delicious pot of hot tea with honey (the latter has anti-bacterial properties), wrap yourself in a blanket, and read.

  5. Hi Liz, I hope you are starting to mend. I loved your pictures of the dogs, of course. I also thought the rainbow picture was so beautiful and made me think of the “Rainbow Bridge” story. Also picture of setting sun on Orkney was superb. We live in such a beautiful world, don’t we?
    Melodye from Fredericksburg, VA

  6. What an absolutely lovely picture, May I try to print it? It’s only a couple of months now till I come to visit. It is very hot here, another reason to visit. Punky

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