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

If you’d told me, 25 years ago, that I’d live somewhere where Pied Flycatchers were regular, annual visitors to my garden, I’d never have believed you.

But here I am in #Shetland, after a couple of decades of these beauties visiting me. This one, yesterday.

This is INCREDIBLE - a NEW PLANT RECORD for #Scotland!!! Coral necklace (Illecebrum verticillatum) is a #rare species from Cornwall & the New Forest. We've just found it growing in extraordinary abundance at Loch Treig in the Scottish #Highlands!
🤯🤯#Corrour #wildflowerhour

Over the moon yesterday to learn that this image I took of a fly caught by a Great Sundew here in #Shetland has been shortlisted in this year's Close Up Photographer of the Year competition. It's up against some extraordinary, beautiful images. Congratulations to all shortlisted!

Happy book birthday to @LevParikian. Gilbert White meets Bill Bryson. In West Norwood. By a shed. Infuriatingly charming, endlessly informative.

Goldcrest. During the coming weeks hundreds, probably thousands will make landfall across #Shetland having crossed the North Sea, slightly off course on their autumn migration.
#Migration #autumn

Nice one, @NorwichCC... 🙄

We're licking our lips at the prospect of a new winter tour to see the iconic Iberian Lynx! More news on this exciting trip coming soon! 🇪🇸

A fascinating paper from @UCRiverside exploring the sense of smell possessed by hummingbirds, and how it may help them avoid danger when feeding.

Too late for inclusion in #TheGlitterInTheGreen, but I love how we're still learning new things about them.

We’ve had a few great butterfly days over the past week … including these two, Chalkhill Blue and Adonis Blue posing for a comparison pic!

'Birdwatching in Cuba has, until very recently, been almost the exclusive preserve of foreign tourists,' says the Cuban who launched the island's first birding magazine this year. My story for @StartupCubaFilm @dunnjons @BirdsCaribbean

It's 🍄 time! We've reached the #WaxcapWatch! Help our Cairngorms Rare Plant and Wild Connections project find waxcap grasslands and hunt for your autumn colour in the grass!

Am looking forward to seeing what waxcaps I can find near my #Shetland home in the coming weeks. While Shetland's home to these candy-coloured fungi, they're found all over Britain - so this is a bit of citizen science for anyone walking in a park or the countryside near home...

A years worth of uber cute damselfly videos montaged together…

Been a great year for my macro videos enjoy 😊

I’ve put a 4K version on my YouTube here;

@CanonUKandIE @CanonEMEApro @BDSYorkshire @BDSdragonflies

So tonight this happened 😍Oleander Hawkmoth 😍 3rd record for Shetland. It was found yesterday by a friend on a remote skerry in #SouthNesting. They didn’t know what it was so took a photo & sent it to me this morning. After work I went looking for the needle in the haystack 😁

The #Faroese tourism industry has high hopes for next summer. All in all, the Faroese tourism industry has enjoyed a decent summer, says Guðrið Højgaard, CEO of Visit Faroe Islands.


A superpod of 1,428 White-sided Dolphins killed y’day in the Faroe Islands. These could, easily, be the same animals we’ve seen lately in Shetland.

But that personal grief aside, this is utterly vile.

‘Tradition’ can’t absolve this. It’s beyond time for change, @Tinganes.

The latest edition of Neotropical Birding is a cracker - including a fascinating review of the conservation work by @BirdLife_News Partner @ABCbirds in the Neotropics, a taster of @dunnjons book on hummingbirds, & tales from 40 years birding in Peru by Barry Walker

In the wake of northeasterlies, apples deployed in the garden, binoculars and camera beside me at the laptop, and it's time to write the @RareBirdAlertUK weekly Rarity Round Up. Last year this delivered my first garden Greenish Warbler. Today I'm hoping for an Arctic Warbler...

Arctic Warbler in my garden this afternoon.

Nice bird for the garden list!

One hour until "Writing Science in Fiction" with @aladybiologist, @jeffvandermeer, and @dunnjons. Go register! It's free and you can tune in from anywhere.