Nature Nudge in our Community





Thank you very much to Magnus and Ross for sharing some of their pictures while they were out purling ida ebb.  I especially love the photos showing the anemone in its different states.  Out of water they close up and store some water in their body so they don’t dry out.  When submerged they get their tentacles out.  These have specialised stinging cells which immobilise prey and the tentacles then move the food to the mouth in the centre.


Great to hear there’s Seaside Science going on in Foula.  The photo of your Sea Lemon is VERY impressive.






Check out these stunning photos (below) from Rhea and her mum Carina who have been purlin ida ebb in Scalloway!

Brilliant to hear the boys enjoyed their day.  Shame your Brumplick escaped before you could get a good look at him but they are very sprickly.  Huge well done to Theo for finding Spriorbis spriorbis as Karen mentioned in the video and great to hear you finished with a beach clean.

A big thank you to Rachel in Fair Isle for allowing us to share this Tweet.  This is a perfect example of symbiosis:  a mutually beneficial relationship between two organisms.  I’ll let you decide who’s getting the best deal – Popcorn or Scampi?

Great to hear you found May Flooers in the ditch near your home in Tingwall Ella.  Thanks for letting us know.  And well done for correctly identifying the “noisy Wild Geese” in the park nearby 🙂

Nancy (the Green Fingered Physics Teacher) Hunter  and her daughter Katie are having some success with sprouting beans and seeds.

They’ve also found lots of nests and snails in their garden….

Nancy’s snail musings…… 🙂

Thank you to Cathy who lives in Aberdeenshire. After listening to the Dawn Chorus on Nature Nudge she decided to do the same.  She sent a recording of what she heard.  Listen out for the honk honk of a pheasant.  That’s one that neither me nor Karen heard.


Well done Rhea who is continuing to do her beach cleans.  She found a really big pipefish (approx 1 foot long) and has sent in these photos. It does look huge – don’t have nightmares…

A huge thank you to Annika Laurenson (aged 11) for getting in touch.  Annika is a keen “ebb purler” and beach comber and she has sent in some photos of what she found.  It looks like she found a Scaddy Man’s Head Nursery!  She also gave her brothers the fright of their lives when she showed them the hermit crab.  A shell with nippers – argh!  Annika has obviously been doing this for a while – it takes a keen, trained eye to spot the really peerie stuff, and a lot of skill to catch a Brumplick!  Keep up the good work Annika 🙂



Look at this amazing photo of a Blackbird’s nest that  Annika came across – her talents as a naturalist continue to impress!   Listen out for the male blackbird  Annika, he is likely to be singing his head off in that area just now.  He’ll sound like this:  Such a beautiful, relaxing, mesmerising sound to the human ear – and yet what he’s saying to his rivals is probably more like “One step closer to my territory Mr, and I’ll rip your wings off!”  🙂

You’ll find more local bird song if you look at the activity called “make a sound map”.

A handy tip if you come near a nest and wish to take a quick photo is to use a selfie stick. This minimises disturbance to the nest which is very important because the eggs cool down really fast if a parent is not there.  Also there are always predators lurking nearby just waiting for a chance to get at those eggs.

A BADGER!?????!!!……………………… (That got you listening 🙂 )

I was soooooooooooooo exited to hear from Mr Keith Turner recently.  Keith used to teach Geography  in AHS before he and his family moved to Speyside.  Keith, Janet and their two sons, Patrick and Fergus, now live in Aberlour near Linn Falls and they are following us here on Nature Nudge!  They are surrounded by interesting wildlife including this badger who visits their garden regularly. They have caught this shot on their garden camera.  I’ve made him promise that they will do a bit more filming/photographing and send their finds to us.


Silver Eels, Squat lobsters and more…….

Rhea’s been out purlin in the ebb again! This always means exciting finds and she hasn’t let us down.  Check out her squat lobster!  How did she find that??  Also the fish is a silver eel.  Rhea tells me that they are rare around these parts, some people even describe them as “endangered” but she thinks they’re just not looking hard enough 🙂  She finds them near a fresh water burn but says this is the biggest one she’s found in the ebb.

Broad Clawed Porcelain Crab!

Now I think this is my most favourite find yet!!  Annika you are amazing at this!

Annika has been back in the ebb and look at this little beauty she found.  Well maybe beauty isn’t quite the right word.  It actually looks quite scary – just as well they don’t grow very big.  I’ve never seen one of these before but have been reading about them.  They don’t grow bigger than 1cm across the carapace (body).  Shetland is their northern limit and they’re very common down in the English Channel and South Wales.    Apparently their colour can vary from orange/red to brown and one claw is “usually” larger than the other.  Well that’s certainly the case here!  I’ve been looking at images of the species online and Annika’s one seems to have the most pronounced difference in claw sizes I can find.  Thanks SO much for sending this in.  I’m off to see if I can find one now.

An Otter!!!!

Malaena Wiseman spotted this otter near her home recently and managed to capture it on camera!

What a brilliant photo!  Thanks SO much for sharing it with us 🙂

Live Grottie Buckie (Cowrie)

Rhea’s dad found this live Grottie buckie while out along the shore.  Its not often you find live ones, its more common to find the empty shell, so its very cool to see this – thank you for sharing.

By the way:  I know there are different Shetland names for the Cowrie.  Grottie buckie is what I’d call them but I’ve also heard them called Whirlie wheeters and Girnie whelks.  Anybody  have any other suggestions?  …….

More Purlin…..


So chuffed to hear that Alexander from Lerwick was inspired to head out to the “ebbs steens” with his mum Lynette.   Great to hear that you were able to identify some of the seaweeds and creatures that you’d seen on the video Alexander!  Keep purlin – you never know what else is lurking down there.  🙂


Wow Donna, well done on your foraging efforts.  Your dandelion honey and dandelion, nettle and sorrik pesto looks and sounds amazing.


More porcelain crabs….

Thanks to Tommy and Henry Hyndman for shedding some more light on Annika’s crab.  Not only have they found similar crabs in Fair Isle but they found one INSIDE a cod!  So we now know that cod will eat these for (what must be) a prickly snack 🙂  Check out Tommy’s Fair Isle Blog for some more beautiful photos of ebb creatures and beyond.

Stunning Underwater Photos

We are having so much fun seeing all your photos and hearing all your stories of your adventures into nature.  It just keeps on getting better and better and we are learning so much (hope you are too).   These latest photos from Annika Laurenson (age 11!) are utterly mesmerising.  She has recently learned how to use an underwater camera and I think you’ll agree the results are outstanding.  I can’t stop looking at them…..  see what you think.

Sourdough Shenanigans

Will you look at what Ollie and his mum have produced…. all from a bowl of flour, water, a little salt and air!!!!  Wow – what an amazing effort.  I’m sure it  tastes as good as it looks.  Its making my mouth water just looking that the pictures. Well done you 🙂

Terrific Tadpoles

Mattie from Lerwick has discovered a pond full of tadpoles.  He’s made this super peerie video so that we can see them too.   Well done Mattie  – its great to have another roving reporter on the Nature Nudge team 🙂


Kian’s Ebb fiinds

A big thank you to Kian for sending in these photos of some of the things he’s found in the ebb while out on his walks.  I think that’s the brightest red anemone we’ve seen yet Kian! 🙂


More of Annika’s strange crabs

Yes… Annika Laurenson has been at it again and found this unusual  little crab.  I am pretty sure it is a shore crab and have, myself, seen ones this colour very occasionally.  I always assumed they were albinos but during Nature Nudge I’ve learned that my assumptions are usually wrong.   And yes! – wrong again.  It turns out that these crabs can change their colour to try and camouflage themselves.  Apparently this is not very good for them as it takes a lot of energy.  Loud shipping and boat noises can also lead to them changing colour.   So well done Annika, you’re always finding something new.

More Malaena Magic!!

Malaena Wiseman  (who brought us the otter above) has been capturing more nature for us with her camera.  This time she’s got a photo of an Egret.  You can see its quite far away so she cleverly took a photo through the binoculars and it worked.  What a handy tip!  Thanks SO much for sending this in.

Oh Wow! Oh Wow! Oh Wow!!! – Amazing Otter Footage!!!

Thank you SOOOO much to Ruth from Bressay for sending in the amazing footage of an Otter near her home.  It is brilliant to see them so close, just going about their daily business.


Unusual “Peerie Hame” for a slug

Lowrie found this Scaddy Man’s Head way out in the hill.  It had obviously been left there by a bird once it had eaten the contents.  This lucky slug found it and made it its home.  Nice and cosy and a good place to hide from predators.   Well spotted Lowrie!!

Homeless Hermit!

On one of her many expeditions to the ebb, Annika found quite big hermit crab. Nothing unusual there, she’s excellent at spotting them.  However, what was unusual was that when she picked it up it leaped out of its shell and so she got a good look at it (not to mention quite a shock!).   Thanks very much for sharing with us here Annika – he’s an odd looking fellow outwit the comfort of his home.

There is a cool video that shows a hermit changing shells.  Follow the link  below to watch it.


Cocky Wildlife

Lockdown has given wildlife some peace and some animals are being spotted far more as they feel braver to come out and about.   They must be wondering where the humans have gone!  Near Aberdeen Royal Infirmary there have been reports of a family of foxes playing around in the grounds.  Cathy from Aberdeenshire has been seeing foxes and hares right up close to her house and she was kind enough to send in some photos of these.  Thanks V much Cathy!