Foula: the present in the past

Springs, Foula: my wife’s grandfather’s mother lived here

Foula has been less obviously affected by change than some other parts of Shetland, which probably makes human occupation hard but has benefits for wildlife.

Famed for its seabirds, especially skuas, it was the abundance of Snipe which I shall remember best. I have seen an estimate of about 100 breeding pairs, but would not be surprised if this is too low. They seemed omnipresent, and I even had the privilege of seeing an adult leading two peat-coloured chicks along the edge of the meadow behind the house.

During our stay we were lucky to see some migrants, including 2 Marsh Warblers, Icterine Warbler, and best of all a female Black-headed Bunting. Also of note was a presumed Lesser Black-backed x Herring Gull hybrid.

Snipe, Foula
Last but not least – Black-headed Bunting

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