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 “The Glitter in the Green” and “Orchid Summer”, he has written natural history and travel articles for a number of 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 read about Cytinus in @thorogoodchris1’s superb ‘Chasing Plants’ - they’re mind blowing plant parasites that live inside their Cistus rock rose hosts. Literally within their tissue. The only time we see them is when they flower, waxy masses thrown to the surface for a few days.

A day of sheer orchid indulgence for our wildflower photography guests today in Rhodes, with Ophrys orchids in all shapes, sizes and colours. @sarah_cuttle was on fine orchid-hunting form, picking out exceptional fresh O. calypsus and O. cretica.

A good day out with our wildflower photography group here in Rhodes - some island endemics caught up with, and the first of what promises to be a plethora of orchids - here a pale Pink Butterfly Orchid (Anacamptis papilionacea).

Who would like to see some awesome Scottish moths this year? We have put together a series of fundraising moth weekends based in #Cairngorms. All profits to @BC_Scotland. Loads of exciting moth targets & 🤞impressively large catches. Info in link #TeamMoth

Well that was a surprise... a really dark sky as it was pouring with rain then, all of a sudden, this happened! Only lasted for a few minutes but the sky went golden 🧡💛🌅 Good night all.✨️ #sunset #sunsetphotography #StormHour #NaturePhotography

Nice Aurora from Orkney tonight. Perhaps not exactly dancing, but pulsing and shimmering, reaching beyond overhead and into the southern sky. Best show I've seen for a long time.

"I sometimes think I came to nature arse-about-face, because I began with books." That's me, in my new book (out Thursday, did I say?). Here's a short thread on a few of the books that shaped my view of nature and wild things when I was a kid. Join in, if you want.

While I've not yet heard a Snipe drumming outside my house this year, it's surely only a matter of time now. Golden Plovers are certainly starting to be a lot more active and vocal...

This bird from a few summers ago - am looking forward to summer evenings watching them again.

Four years ago today, whilst looking for hummingbirds in northern Peru, the orchid-hunting instinct couldn’t be ignored. Still haven’t a clue *what* it was, but it was a bonny thing nonetheless.

Verbascum levanticum, clinging to the sides of a reef limestone outcrop in Cyprus recently. A chasmophyte, no less - a plant that loves clinging to crevices on sheer rock faces. A new technical term for me, and one I probably won't get to use often, but a great word in the mouth.

Kearsden Moors is one of the last places in England left with Marsh Gentian (Gentiana pneumonanthe)…

For the past 3 years I’ve been growing seed sent to me by @NaturalEngland and finally parted with the plants to plant out and reinforce the small population that’s left 🌱❤️

Skylark singing outside the house this morning. Spring officially here at last.

Absolute mega find today! I think this is my first Cordyceps militaris. Never thought I'd find one!!!

Back in January I was lucky enough to find a Starnut Palm seed while beachcombing on Vatersay. I'm told it was only the 3rd Scottish record of this tropical seed that floated here from the Caribbean. Well, on Vatersay today I found another one! #beachcombing

Feeling Spring like in Cheltenham back garden , and first garden butterfly is a Comma ,posing nicely on daffodil planted years ago in lawn @savebutterflies @BC_Glos

Just too much work on presently for me to make my annual pilgrimage to the spawning ponds of Shetland's west side but, as the weather here warms up after the recent cold snap, it's good to know the frogs are busy going a-wooing out there.

Scarlet Elfcups are still looking fab & the Yellow Brain, Tremella mesenterica, is replenished after all the rain this week! At first I thought that was ice 🧊 on top of the Yellow Brain but closer inspection revealed it to be a blob of Crystal Brain, Exidia nucleata #FungiFriday

British Wildlife is fabulous - like the best lucky dip, you never know what delights the next issue will hold. It’s always full of fascinating articles written by informed naturalists. (And, occasionally, me - which goes to show the editor has a kindly streak 😉). Give it a try!

A pretty spectacular display of the Mirrie Dancers last night- this pic by my better half, Vaila over Halligarth. And where was I? Don’t ask….
#shetland #aurora