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

Variation amongst Broad-leaved Helleborine. All last month from different plants at one small site that only held 15 flowering plants

Colour and form variation in Glasgow’s Broad-Leaved Helleborine orchid population

18/8/19 Ainsdale - I'm particularly fond of #Gentians, few more so than the Felworts of Gentianella. G. campestris (Field #Gentian) is one of the larger species of this genus, with a largely Northern distribution but sadly vulnerable and in decline at the moment #wildflowerhour

Having spent much of the past week stumbling across Dutchman's Pipe (Monotropa hypopitys) in the dark woodlands of France, here's a North American equivalent I found in Maryland last year - Monotropa uniflora. Also pale and interesting. Also not a Ghost Orchid...

#wildflowerhour back in Wiltshire this colony of var rosea violet helleborines is in perfect flower @ukorchids

“How do you write a eulogy for a glacier? Think about it. How would you go about that, having grown up with glaciers as a geological given, a symbol of eternity? How do you say goodbye?”

Sitting outside on Compass Head reading @dunnjons marvellous #OrchidSummer - this is where I ‘discovered ‘ my first ever orchids (heath spotted) back in June. Love #Shetland @ukorchids @BSBIbotany @wildflower_hour

If at @TheBirdfair today, call by Marquee 3, Stand 14 to enter our prize draw to win this amazing hamper containing a pair of @SwarovskiOptik CL Companion, our otter book, an SN t-shirt and more! Swing by and say hi!!

Assuming, reluctantly, that a Ghost Orchid isn't found in Britain in what remains of this latest #OrchidSummer, the final roll of the orchid dice is the sinuous emergence of Autumn Lady's-tresses. A firm favourite of mine, and of bumblebees too.

A little more from your French correspondent. It's fashionable in contemporary nature writing to speak of woods in warm, affectionate tones. This #orchidhunter doesn't entirely agree...

A year ago today I visited @TheBirdfair for the first time, kindly invited to speak about #OrchidSummer. It was wonderful to meet so many friends, old and new, and since then Orchid Summer has blossomed in paperback. My sincere thanks to all who've said such kind things about it.

Underland today won the 2019 @wainwrightprize for writing about nature, people & place. Profound thanks to Prize & judges; Underland took many years to write.
I’m giving £1000 of the award to support @WillowherbRvw, which publishes & celebrates diverse voices in nature writing.

I was delighted to see the new paperback edition of @dunnjons “Orchid Summer” on the Bloomsbury stand at #Birdfair.

I reviewed it back in late 2018 and judged it to be absolutely brilliant.

Our e-petition calling for a ban on driven grouse shooting is half way to 100,000 signatures - 52,960 as I write.

See which constituencies have already passd an important milestone

Plz sign and ask your friends to sign too. Plz RT

@dunnjons This summer in Catalan pyrenees a lot and when I say a lot it means a lot!!! 😉

An exhaustive day of orchid-hunting today, with the elusive Ghost Orchid (Epipogium aphyllum) the target. So far, all I'm finding are more Dutchman's Pipe (Monotropa hypopitys) than I've ever seen before. Also pale wraiths, and from a distance they draw the eye every time...

13/8/18 Pyrénées - My wife very kindly gave me part of the last day of our holiday to go botanising. I headed for a good patch of dark woodland with many damp gulleys and after a steep climb was delighted to come across this lone example of Epipogium aphyllum, the Ghost #Orchid.

Ghost Orchid hunting. More to follow shortly...

Just let this sink in for a minute

An out of control shooting industry is bringing shame to Scotland and laughing in the faces of the police, politicians, conservationists and the public.

Its time for change, help make it happen

My weekly summary of the latest rare bird happenings for the lovely folk at @RareBirdAlertUK - this week mostly all having about a swift one in Yorkshire.