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

I REALLY recommend this to learn about orchids with an expert, Jon Dunn! And his book is great too, as a stocking filler! .@dunnjons

If you have yet to buy my book and would like a copy, why not treat a friend or loved one this Christmas too? Want a signed copy? Please visit

Neither outrageous sea beans, Violet Sea Shells, nor even cowries to be found on my walk around my #Shetland peninsula home today. But many fresh limpets with their nacre afire. And that’ll do me.

Out this morning to see if the recent stormy weather here in #Shetland has dredged up any treasures from the deep. Shell-hunting and photography somewhat disrupted by my photobombing companion… 🤦‍♂️

Much as I'd love my followers to consider buying either of my books as a Christmas gift for someone this year (and please do - they're available in all good bookshops, and some morally dubious ones too), I've a few other suggestions I've enjoyed this year I'd like to share... 🧵

Spent the morning working on my new #book, TIGERS BETWEEN EMPIRES, for @fsgbooks. So many good stories I can't wait to share.

I struck lucky beachcombing in a thunderstorm on Vatersay today when I found this pristine Sea Purse, a sea bean that's drifted here from the Caribbean or beyond.

I'm absolutely not an expert at fungi, but was very intrigued to find hundreds of these small black fruiting bodies in my Sheffield garden meadow today. First time I've ever seen them. Google suggests it to be Glutinoglossum glutinosum, the viscid black earth tongue. Fascinating!

Plums and Custard (Tricholomopsis rutilans) lighting up the lush dark of a woodland floor.

You might imagine that such a beautiful #mushroom with such an appealing name would be decidedly tasty. But you would be wrong… Avoid.

So it seems Twitter hasn't gone tits up after all, or at least not yet. A big hello to new followers as the #TwitterNatureCommunity continues to thrive and grow despite everything. Am glad to see you here. Watch this space... book news coming soon, I hope. And meantime, wildlife.

Nice to finally catch up with the Waxwings at Boldon today @DurhamBirdClub @teesbirds1 @NatureUK @Natures_Voice @WaxwingsUK @bbcwildlifemag @WildlifeMag @ChrisGPackham #birdphotography #NaturePhotography #wildlifephotography #BirdsSeenIn2022

These frosty beauties are a rare sight in Shetland. I've a lot of (healthy!) envy for Brydon this evening.

As we all know, buying books for Christmas is all that separates us from the animals. Here's a big fat 🧵 of lovely books you should buy for the people you like. Summat for everyone here, probably.

A justly warm review of my pal @LeifBersweden’s book by the ever-thoughtful @MarkAvery. I trust Mark’s judgement where a good read is concerned.

An arrival of ‘sea stuff’ on St. Mary’s today during westerly gales. After @stagnesnature reported some goose barnacles, I went down & discovered two Columbus crabs - a male & female!! @scillywebb & Dulcie also found this sea bean & a violet sea snail, plus BTWS, PMoW & more! 🙌

Currently thinking Mastodon looks weird and a pale shadow of Twitter in terms of functionality & user-friendliness. But maybe that's just unfamiliarity with it. For what it's worth, and just in case Twitter really does implode, I'm
And on Insta, @dunnjons

Don't think I'll look at these in the same way ever again. By nominative association, the most destructive, juvenile & pointless orchid of them all. Thanks for nothing, Musk. You took a platform that brought joy & connectivity to thousands of naturalists & writers, and trashed it

When pinks fly over your house, shrieking in the mist, you have to tweet them. It’s the rules.

Have a lovely week all x