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Published: 22 June 2017

By Andy Ross

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Larks, and Shalders, and Bonxies. Oh my!

If you have been to Shetland in the Summer you will know that the islands are full of bird song.

This morning while walking to work (after a dreich day yesterday which happened to be the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere) there was an amazing array of sounds all around. High up above the larks were suspended in their own shower of notes, surprisingly loud for such small birds, and a flock of grelags took off from the park opposite the studio as I approached. "Honking" is such an odd word to use to describe their wild and desolate call, and they looked beautiful in a long line streaming across the blue sky filled with purple tinged white and grey clouds. The shalders (oystercatchers) pleepsin' away as they dived bombed a bonxie (Great Skua), added to the general hubbub, and a curlew called while it flew across the fields of bog cotton. Snipe were drumming too as I came into the studio. What a variety of songs and sounds to brighten the already bright day.

If you want to know what the Summer sounds like in Shetland, go onto the RSBN website and click on the bird you want to hear. Each one has an associated recording  which you can click on to listen.