David Gifford Photography

Fair Isle Bird Observatory

Photo: Fair Isle Bird Observatory

I’ve just returned from a fantastic weekend in Fair Isle, located between the Shetland and Orkney Islands. One of the most remote islands in Scotland, Fair Isle is roughly three miles long by one mile wide and surrounded by cliffs. It’s renowned amongst bird watchers for its seabird colonies and the rare migrants which pass through.

I stayed at the Bird Observatory, shown in the photo above. The staff were brilliant, I was sustained by large quantities of good grub and the atmosphere was very friendly. I also enjoyed meeting a few locals and took part in the weekly game of football held on about the only area of flat ground on the island. It was a bonus to meet French photographer-poet Georges Dif who was on a short visit.

As you will have guessed, there was plenty of scope for photography in my few days in Fair Isle. The weather was perfect and I had an opportunity to see lots of birds – including 8 new species for me. More photos to follow soon.

Update: A new observatory has been built on the same site, opened in 2010 - see my photo ‘The New Obs’.


Image #187