Friday, 30 September 2011

35.68 million inches due north

This time tomorrow, all being well, I should be on Unst. If Google Earth is to be believed, I will be 563.16 miles (906.32 kilometres; 991,128.63 yards; 35,681,710.28 inches, or intriguingly 532,562.84 Smoots, whatever a Smoot is*) as near as makes no difference due north of where I am now. To get there I will have travelled by car, airport shuttle bus, two planes and two ferries. From leaving home at 4 am, it will probably take about 12 hours. I shall no doubt be knackered, but looking forward to kicking around ditches and iris beds and peering into people’s gardens in search of birds.

Although we will have no such luxuries as WiFi in our chalet at Baltasound, as long as I can get a reasonable signal on my phone I should still be able to update the blog, but photos may have to wait until we get to Rob’s house next week. There probably won't be many photos actually - having decided to take wellies this year rather than put up with wet feet all the time, I had serious weight issues with my suitcase. As a result, the 50mm lens was one of the things that had to be left out. So it will be just bird photos (hopefully) and possibly a few crap pictures taken on my phone.

Kelda chalets – ours is the white one on the end. Halligarth Plantation just visible in the distance at the extreme left of the picture.

For anyone who knows Unst, or has seen John Shuttleworth’s ‘It’s Nice Up North’, this image shows where the chalet is in relation to the famous Bobby’s bus shelter (chalet just visible in the middle of the picture)

I hardly dare mention the weather, but despite distinctly unpromising wind directions (almost entirely westerly) so far this autumn, Shetland has already had loads of good birds. And there's a Pallas's Gropper on Fair Isle today. That would do....

* 67 inches apparently

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