Monday, February 25, 2013

Wildlife Weekend

Henry & Logan spent most of the weekend  looking at birds & tide-pooling.
This Seal was oddly way up the beach at the North Haven.

Henry found this Cuckoo Ray still alive trapped on the North Haven beach during low tide.
I picked it up and let it go back in the water.


Wood Pigeon - sadly the best of the new migrant bird arrivals this weekend.
also seen, a Greenland White-fronted Goose and (possible) Ring-billed Gull are still handing around.
Squat Lobster - one of 5 caught
Wildlife Adventurers

Spotted Cowrie Shell & 2 Long-clawed Porcelain Crabs.

left: We have no idea what this white sea slug thing is? Maybe a flat worm?
It's new one for us, any help with the ID would be great.

update: Lamellaria perspicua - a slug with internal shell
Yes! another first for Fair Isle!
right: Henry caught our 2nd record ever of a Montagu's Sea-snail aka Tadpole Fish. 

What? Pycnogonum littorale? some sort of Sea Insect or Spider.  
Ugly , but... A new first for Fair Isle found by Logan!

Note from Nick: The three marine invertebrates found by Henry and Logan - sea-spider Pycnogonum littorale, the mollusc Lamellaria perspicua, and the worm Marphysa sanguinea - do not seem to have been recorded for Fair Isle before.

Henry's pink...  Grey Sea Slug?

This Breadcrumb Sponge Looks a bit like a map of Scotland.

Henry caught one of the Goldfish that has been living in or pond for years.  
26cm.  or  10+ inches.

First Frog of the year! up at Golden Water.

Sunsets and the Lighthouse starts to shine though the night.

When viewed from the Auld Haa it looks like John at Utra has the beacon on his shed.
I gave Logan some tips about blogging, check it out his post of the same weekend..

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Nature Lovers! Natural Heart Shapes - Valentine's Day 2013

Everything is coming up Daisies for us Nature Lovers.

Today I took a walk a and photographed natural heart shapes.
I started this tradition Valentine's Day 2007. 
if you wish to join me? post your photos on my facebook group:
Nature Lovers - photos of natural heart shapes  

Today's Valentine's Day photos 2013
photos taken in my garden and among the rocks of the South Harbour Beach.

I Lichen you Valentine... 
because most of the Hearts I found today were in the Lichens

 Am I growing on you?

fruiting body of Sea Ivory Lichen.

don't play Koi with me.

rubbish, our love is all washed up.

 Wool you be mine, Valentine?

  Heart shapes I have found in nature in the past year...

Lichen you for my Valentine.

Lucky in love.

How about a "little" love for the Pechora Pipit.
Look for a few small white median coverts feathers that make a heart shape. (near chest)

Heart in my hand.

Together our love can Fly...

Love Rocks!

A Blue Heart?

A Little fishy.
This Shanny Blenney had a tiny white heart shaped spot between pectoral fins

Heart of the Storm.

More Love & don't forget to share the Love.
Here is a link to last years photos some of them are much better.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Damage Done! South Lighthouse - Fair Isle

Fair Isle's South Lighthouse lost it's wall yesterday due to high breaking waves.
Dave, Josie & Peter who live at the Lighthouse are safe & well, flats undamaged. My artist studio is untouched thank goodness, but the Northern Lighthouse Board's engine room window was smashed, flooding the room & equipment.  The window was temporally covered with a board, full damage will be assessed tomorrow when a NLB man arrives.

See yesterday's Storm video & blog post

The wall is gone form the road entrance to the foghorn.
Large chunks of wall have been move by the waves.

While everyone comes down to assess the damages, some folks say they seen storms like this before.
But that wall had been there for maybe a 100 years? I'm not sure when the fog horn was put in?

It's quite sad. The Norther Lighthouse Board who own the wall, must be glad they didn't just paint it...
  Do they really have the money to rebuild it, much less clean it up? Let's hope it's insured.

The wall plaque commemorating the WW2 bombing of the Lighthouse still stands.

You know that bench you like to sit on... I saw a few pieces in Hultry Geo.

The 4"by 4" post anchoring the bench was violently snapped off, stone and concrete scattered everywhere.

Who put all the rocks on my grass?

That's not a goal post on the football pitch. One goal post has been moved up the Skaddan by the Lifeboat Shed, the other is on the Muckle Uri Geo Beach. This post was to keep the sheep out of the Oysterplants on the beach? You can also see the grass is covered in gravel. We will have to see this spring how many of they rare plants are left? because, I can't find no trace of them now.

The bails washed around beach balls

The Fair Isle lighthouse Keepers Golf Course
 has some big divots made in the grassy slope by tumbling bits of wall pushed by waves.

Rocks thrown down the road.

The stone wall is gone... or moved further a field. 

It's not easy on the wildlife either...
The large waves churn up the bottom of the ocean washing fish onto the beach.
Yum! fried Octopus for dinner!

Ballan Wrasse

I have never seen or found Sun-stars on the beach before. Today I found 3!  I'm guessing their legs were smashed off by rolling rocks in the high surf. My sea shore guide says a Sun-star can have 8 to 13 legs, the one Sun-star had 13 legs while the one to the left had 14?

A  new  species for us found by Henry - Solaster endeca - 9 armed Purple Sun-star.

Purple Sandpiper
Liz taking video of the waves and damage to the Lighthouse.

Not Roadkill, Wavekill?
 Yes, We did eat the Octopus!
Fried in panko breadcrumbs served with a wasabi soysauce.
The next night we ate the rest braised in Spanish spices over pasta.
You got to take the good with the bad...