Today was a really busy day on site as we had five different laser scanners on the go across Jarlshof, and many different tour groups came to visit. It was really misty early in the day, but as the haar drifted away it was nice and overcast (making it easier to photograph the site as HDR isn’t needed!). It was nice to see how interested visitors are in our work, and to meet a few Bradfordians and university alumni who keenly spotted the university logo on my hi vis!

Scanning selfie! I’m a bit windswept!

I continued to scan the Late Iron Age structures with Bradford’s FARO X330, this time focussing on the central wheelhouse close to the sea wall edge. After this I concentrated on the eastern structures. We got a lot done but I didn’t get much of a chance to take photos during work today!

I think for this blog post I’ll write about some of the wildlife we’ve been seeing around Jarlshof as we’ve been surveying over the last few days, especially considering I saw quite a few disgruntled starling parents who didn’t seem to be keen on the laser scanners while trying to feed their chicks!

There’s a thriving population of starlings onsite who have made the most of their landscape by using the drystone walls as their nests and foraging for food on the shoreline. I even saw some chicks who were chirping behind a particularly large orthostat!

The common and arctic terns (I’m not an expert in birds to distinguish the two in flight from a distance!) are beautiful and elegant as they swoop across the shore and dive for food in the water, though not quite as dramatically as the great skua I spotted on Sunday that divebombed into the water like a torpedo!

Yesterday I was lucky to quickly see a seal pop it’s head up from the water, but it dived back quickly before I got a photo! Luckily other members of the team were quicker!

Grey seal spotted yesterday! It has a pointer nose than a common seal! A great photo by Al Rawlinson.

I’m still hoping to see orca some time on this trip. This time of year is the best time to see them, and there were sightings early this afternoon from Sumburgh Head, just 5 minutes away (but on the other side of the island!). Here’s hoping I’ll still have a chance!

I’m guaranteed to see more wildlife this evening as the team is going to be on the Mousa Boat to watch storm petals return to their homes in the Broch of Mousa late this evening. I missed this event last year and it’s meant to be spectacular, so I’m really looking forward to being back on the Isle of Mousa!

Not quite wildlife but I was really happy to meet a friendly Shetland pony up close, who lives in the field opposite Jarlshof this morning. He loves being scratched under his chin!

Me and Sophia say hi to a pony! It has fabulous hair.

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