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

Proving, with perfect timing, that my kitchen window seawatch today isn't entirely wishful thinking...

I couldn't resist sharing one more of the Bearded Seal from yesterday. Today's distracting sea mammal project? While I #amwriting I'll be keeping an half an eye on the sea beyond the kitchen window today for Humpback Whales...

I had been looking out for a more richly coloured Broad-leaved Helleborine for a while, so spotting this stunning specimen in deepest velvety purple at Minera Quarry was another of my #favouritefind (s) #wildflowerhour

What’s at the end of a Rainbow🌈?.........turns out it’s a Waxwing. Taken today in #SouthNesting

Such a fabulous sound. I can taste the tang of salt marsh in the air.

And here's a #Movember Bearded Seal full frontal...

A good start to the weekend - a rare Bearded Seal, newly arrived in #Shetland from the #Arctic, this morning.

Those whiskers!

Even the sea mammals are doing #Movember this year...


An Oilbird takes a look around from a dark canyon wall in Ecuador. The bird has a raspy call and the Spanish name for it is guácharo meaning, "one who whines or laments."

Grey seal pupping going strong, it's knows it will have to go to the sea soon.

Am thoroughly enjoying the recent archive orchid photos posted by my good pal @thenewgalaxy.

I think #FollowFriday is a thing. So if you’re interested in orchids and other curious plants, why not give Richard’s feed a follow.

Some more winter warmers from Rhodes earlier this year, taken on the #Orchid Odyssey tour I co-lead with @christofides_ - Ophrys cretica & rheinholdii.

We'll be back there in early April 2020 - the perfect antidote to winter...

With the discovery of Bearded Seal on Burra yesterday I was inspired to post this, Yell 2010. In a week we have #Humpbacks & #Orca close inshore in #Shetland’s waters yesterday’s Beardie illustrates how amazing these colder ‘out of season months’ can be! And the Goshawk!!

Unreservedly recommended. An inspiring and vital book. I wish I’d had this to read many years ago.

A Sooty Copper & an Himantoglossum jankae orchid from the Butterflies & Birds of North Greece tour I co-led for @Greenwings again this year. On cold days of winter it's good to have these memories, and to look forward to returning there again next year...

Waking up from a snooze in between fishing bouts. Short periods of sleep help the otter rest, warm-up from fishing in the cold seas and help maintain fur.

I challenge you to find a more glorious Medieval bat. (You won’t)
Psalter, England c. 1360-1400

On this day in 1889, Emily Williamson of #Didsbury invited her friends to tea – and asked them to sign a pledge to wear no feathers. And so the #RSPB was born

I've had these mugs made as fund-raisers for conservation. Emily drawn by #ClareAbbatt #birding