Jon Dunn

Jon Dunn


Jon Dunn is a natural history writer, photographer and wildlife tour guide based in the Shetland Isles, but with strong links in mainland Europe and North and South America that see him travelling widely in search of memorable wildlife encounters.

Author of the critically acclaimed “Orchid Summer” and “Britain’s Sea Mammals”, and co-author of “Britain’s Mammals“, he has written natural history and travel articles for several British magazines and newspapers, and writes the weekly Rare Bird Alert online Rarity Round-Up.

His photos have featured in “Britain’s Sea Mammals” and in numerous magazines and journals (60 North, Birding World, British Wildlife, Birdwatch, British Birds, Birdwatching, Alula, and Dutch Birding) and newspapers (The Sunday Telegraph, i Newspaper, Shetland Times, and Yorkshire Post). Front covers have included 60 North and Shetland in Statistics.

He credits a childhood living in the rural West Country of England for his lifelong interest in all things natural history based – a childhood spent exploring the water meadows and abandoned orchards of the Somerset Levels, and the droves and ancient woods of Dorset’s Blackmore Vale. Before long he had spread his wings further afield and was travelling widely around the British Isles and then further afield in search of birds, butterflies and orchids. A move to Shetland 15 years ago fulfilled his dream of living on the edges of civilisation in one of Europe’s great wild places.

He was once stalked by a Mountain Lion whilst bird-watching on edges of Mexico’s notorious Sierra Madre Occidental, but generally prefers experiencing wildlife on his own terms and not as part of the food chain.

Jon Dunn @dunnjons

I've a new favourite Caloplaca lichen today - C.flavovirescens. Known from just a handful of sites in #Shetland, I saw it at a known station, and then stumbled across an exuberant new colony some miles away. Loving the cool citrine yellow and warm rich ochre tones of this one.

Keeping a watchful, golden-filigree eye on the comings and goings in a #Shetland pond, a Common Frog last spring. Am hoping I'll be making the acquaintance of some more wooing frogs in the days to come.

Introducing Etta Lemon, the ‘dragon’ who built the #RSPB 1889-1939. Called out the fashion for feathered hats. Fought a running battle with the plumage trade. Brought to life in my book: an eco heroine with a rhino hide. #BeMoreEtta #WorldBookDay #OxfordUniAuthors @Natures_Voice

Really thrilled to get a starred review from @KirkusReviews for #TheGlitterInTheGreen. It'll be on sale in the US and Canada on 20th April - but is available for pre-order there now... American and Canadian friends and followers - please tell the (humming)birders in your life!

I do like a good book-shelfie...

It's #WorldBookDay! And, in keeping with today's maritime-themed tweets, here's a great selection of marine wildlife book reviews from @WildlifeMag, including some I wrote. A particular favourite being @steverutt's mesmerising #TheSeafarers.

Rather than the current vogue for blindly planting trees in the UK that's seeing blanket bogs lined up for forestation, how's about restoring some of the 92% of our lost seagrass meadows... and addressing the causes of loss while we're at it.

A couple of finds yesterday at the beach - a Northern Cowrie (Trivia arctica) and a Spotted Cowrie (T. monacha). Here in #Shetland, Northern seem a little scarcer than their slightly bulkier, darker, spot-bearing counterparts. Regardless, either is a quality beach-combing find...

I've found a few Caloplaca verruculifera lately here in my corner of #Shetland - the first records of the species for Whalsay. The textbooks say they're rarely fertile, but all of those I've found have had abundant apothecia. Until now...

What’s that? You want to come to Greece and learn Macro Photography with me, @bugboybaker and @dunnjons - then click here -

It’s tea time, right? Time then to share a bite to eat with this hermit crab, tucked tight inside a flat periwinkle shell, fastidiously tucking into some algae. My #Shetland rockpools rarely disappoint, with something cool to see at every visit.

A superb birthday present for my pal, @shetlandnature, today - a dunter king.

Excited to have captured this white-letter hairstreak emerging from its egg before slipping into the nearest elm bud (Hove, Sussex). @savebutterflies @BCSussex @ukbutterflies

Anticipating some low tides in my corner of #Shetland today, I'm looking forward to seeing what I can find in the rockpools left behind. I always wonder what twist of fate befell the former inhabitants of small shells like this tiny limpet.

Today's the first day of meteorological #spring and, here in Shetland, frogs are getting fruity. It's almost time for life to blossom once more.

Displaying Tystie at a #Shetland colony. Many now in summer splendour and on the milder days even starting to practice display on the water.

Don’t just imagine a nature-rich future – demand it! I’ve joined over 50 organisations calling for nature’s recovery to be written into the #EnvironmentBill It only takes one min, will you? #StateofNature

I can't wait for Attenborough's Life in Colour this evening on @BBCOne. Hummingbirds like this Violet Sabrewing, with their iridescent feathers, will feature in it... the mechanics of iridescence are just one facet of the hummingbird world explored in #TheGlitterInTheGreen.

Wildlife Twitter hivemind: a property developer and architect friend asked me for an up to date document on wildlife enhancements/features for building new homes - specs for gaps in fence for hedgehogs, basic garden design, bat box types. I have ideas but this not my expertise!

Immense fun this afternoon messing around in the sea at the foot of my #Shetland croft. Some new species found for the croft's pan-species list... and some old favourites seen in a new light. Here a shy and retiring Dog Whelk, and friends.