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

We could all do with a little colour right now... so, with my #TheGlitterInTheGreen not far away, this year's #AdventCalendar on my Twitter feed is going to be all about hummingbirds - featuring a new #hummingbird every day in the run up to Christmas, and starting with a Snowcap.

Looking forward to this tonight #StormBorn by @Mara_media which myself & @ImagesEcology really enjoyed working on as #otter guides/consultants. Fantastic to see #Shetland #otters once again feature on another blue chip wildlife documentary- and as always, proud to be part of it

I managed a paltry 32 species for the first winter #GardenBirdRace organised by @dunnock67 this weekend. Alas, none of the recent Blue Tit irruption have stayed nearby.

A year ago I was enjoying different tits - Varied and Japanese - in the beautiful woods of northern Japan.

This weekend please retweet this great resource to buy Irish handmade Christmas gifts.

Buying from these creators keeps Irish art & crafts alive. Give something made with love to those you love! It makes a difference

Definitely my favourite story this weekend.

There are some areas of the hill near my #Shetland home that feel more like tundra than conventional heather- or sphagnum-dominated upland. They’re rich in lichen, a springy, glaucous carpet. I find the texture of it completely mesmerising.

Xavi Bou’s starlings leaving a pre-roost assembly tree in winter Catalonia. Truly one of the greatest bird photos I’ve ever seen - scientifically and artistically. Read a bit about in ⁦@GrantaMag⁩

Only one more sleep to lockdown #gardenbirdrace
No need to pre-register
FAQs on blog with highlights from the May event.…
RT appreciated @Natures_Voice @_BTO @BTO_GBW @BirdTrack @MeganMcCubbin @ChrisGPackham @SIBirdClub

I've not done a #FollowFriday tweet for a while, but here's a tremendous account - @wildflower_hour. It's an entire community within Twitter, run by a team of friendly botanists including @botany_beck - who's made a video all about it.

I've been doing some tiny commissions for friends and family of their favourite beach inside a large matchbox incase in a map. Available to do any tiny beach up until the 15th of December. Uploading to Etsy where you can note the name of your favourite beach or attach a photo.

Mrs. Naturalist: “Sweetheart, there’s a spider on the ceiling. Will you do something about it please?”


A long walk this morning, replenishing a feeding station out on the hill behind the house. Found some beauty in the little things - colourful mounds of saturated moss. There's always something to see here in #Shetland, no matter what the time of year.

Not gonna lie. Am absolutely thrilled to have a book in the latest @BasicBooks catalogue.

>does happy dance<

You need a squirrel fail today.

Today definitely feels like a Marvellous Spatuletail kind of day...

My pal @shetlandnature’s relentless march towards the largest bird house list in Britain continued today with the finding of a superb Glossy Ibis. Am jealous as can be!

My weekly summary of the latest rare and scarce bird news for the lovely folks at @RareBirdAlertUK. This week marking the return of Dog-in-a-Doublet.

@dunnjons @RSmythFreelance Coming online soon but in print first...

Well, that's my day made, right there.

Just found myself included in a roll-call of nature writers I admire enormously in @RSmythFreelance's piece for @The_Fence_Mag. 🌿

Here's a good read over your morning coffee. @calflyn has written a beautiful, thoughtful piece about the desperate need for apex predators as a whole, and wolves in particular.

Landscape of fear: why we need the wolf