Wildlife photography by visiting professor

Heir Island | 25 January 2020

Dr. Thomas Gorr from the University of Zurich was visiting Heir Island over the new year and has generously shared his photographs with the Heir Island community. Here is a letter from Dr. Gorr about his visit to the island…

Dear “Islanders and Nature Friends of Heir Island”,

My Name is Thomas Gorr. I am a long-time friend of Kerri Clough who is currently renting a home on Heir island. Recently, on Dec 31 and Jan 01 I briefly visited her and family in her home on the island. Since I am an enthusiastic bird watcher/fotographer back home in Zurich, Switzerland, I used my time of the visit to also explore the avifauna (“bird’s world”) on the island. Fortunately, the weather held up and we were even rewarded with plenty of sunny moments plus one spectacular sunset on New Year’s Eve.

During these 2 days I was able to foto-document about 20 bird species, including some rather rare or critically endangered ones, at least with regards to the continent (i.e. Great Northern Loon, Stonechat, Curlew). I also spotted a white wagtail subspecies that’s specific for the British Islands (i.e. Motacilla alba yarellii). There is—in addition to the dominant Herring Gull—certainly 2 or 3 more large-bodied Gull species on the Island, which I only spotted but wasn’t able to photograph.

I am sending a sampler of my fotographs hoping that you’ll find them helpful to admire the rich and versatile avifauna of Heir island. The species were identified either by myself, or if I was uncertain, by ornithologist experts of the Swiss Vogelwarte, i.e. the Swiss database on bird species and bird life in Switzerland (have a look—a wonderful compilation of bird info can be found, in English as well). For each photograph, the birds name is given in English and Latin so that, even if my own English name is not spot-on to your own use, you’ll have the rigorous name in Latin to know which species I meant.

One photograph contains birds of a somewhat uncertain identity. i.e., the photograph of presumably two shags, which were simply too far away for a better scrutiny.

For now … enjoy.

Thomas (Gorr)

Thank you, Dr. Gorr, for sharing your photography with us. They will be enjoyed immensely by everyone. To view Dr. Gorr’s photos, please visit the Wildlife Photography page on this website. More of his photography are also featured in Photo Gallery and the homepage slideshow.