4th January: Escape from Shetland

The day dawned with a howling gale from the east (how exciting would that have been in October?) and horizontal rain. A look at the weather forecast indicated gusting winds of up to 87 mph by late afternoon, which coincided with my return to Aberdeen. With this in mind I unsucessfuly attempted to get on a earlier flight - it was not looking good for the 5pm flight! Returning to the car we noticed an old dear clinging to the side of her car, it later became apparent that she had just about ripped the car door off in the wind. Returning to Sunny Dell we (I) finished off the bottle of Jura and sat watching planes taking off and landing. One plane however flew over quite low and apparently could not land, due to the wind, and touched down at Kirkwall instead. Returning to the airport full of sceptism I was greeted by head shaking jestures from the tourist information and feared my trip would now be extended. By some kind of miracle (or just a shit hot pilot) the flight landed and I was able to leave on schedule - hoorah.

So Shetland at Christmas good or bad? On the plus side If you get a nice day the birding is cracking and photographic opportunities are excellent. The New Years celebrations are a bit of a let down as everyone buggers off home well before midnight so much so that some of the hotels close at eleven. The two day bank holiday is a nightmare as everywhere completely closes so you really need to stock up on essentials i.e. petrol etc. As for Pies, forget it the bakers close down completely and the only pies you'll get are fast approaching their eat by date.

All in all it was a nice relaxing trip, but I'll stick to the Autumn and maybe late Spring next time.

Thanks to Rob for letting me stay and driving me around the galeswept isle. I bet 4 lasagne pies that the Escort still has that windscreen taped up the next time I'm up :)


John Hague said...

Hello!... er hello, anyone on this blog anymore?

Hello, can you hear me?

Mark said...

Ha ha Mr Hague. I'm far too busy at the moment to do any birding what with the decorating etc. Back to normal after next weekend.