Land up in the Hills of Orkney

Orkney Birds

Hen Harrier

Moving to Orkney, you would have to be very odd indeed not to develop an interest in Birding. Hen Harrier’s, almost extinct in England, are a regular hunting visitor to our fields, sometimes gliding through the garden only a few yards overhead.

Lapwings, Curlews and a wide range of sometimes rare species visit us here at Heddle and I am well on the way to becomming a fully acredited birder. In addition to enjoying the beauty of our Avian friends a big part of the pleasure is in getting out and about, getting perspective on just how beautiful Orkney can be, even in coourse weather.

Personally, it did take a number of years for my interest to develop beyond passive appreciation, but in the summer of 2004 I signed up for educational bird watching courses organised through the excellent local adult education program and SNH.

These courses are run by the ubiquitous and serene Tim Dean, an acknowledged bird authority and author of the soon to be published Book of Orkney Birds.

A large part of the pleasure gained from these field trips is in visiting the OtherOrkney, the wild untouched and natural world that is really only a few yards away from the man made world found here, but usually not seen, or fully appreciated, in normal day to day life.

Following these Summer walks of 2004 I am now a veteran of three years of hardy Winter bird walks with Tim, and will probably will be for years to come, if he can bare it !  From here you can read a selection of reports from these walks.

Identification of what we saw is entirely down to Tim.

Most photos used in this section are sourced from Google so if anyone is out there who minds me borrowing then mail me.

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