On a recent drive between Lerwick and Sumburgh I counted 11 birds either lying dead by the roadside or spread across the tarmac as a bloody mess of squashed flesh, guts and broken feathers.
As well as several breeds of gull there were at least three shalders and one tirrick. On many occasions I have seen birds that have been badly injured by motor vehicles wandering in fields to suffer a lingering and painful death.
I don’t believe for one minute that any of these birds were accidentally hit. There seems to be a belief held by many Shetland drivers that all birds alighting on the roads are legitimate targets. These drivers may think that they are ridding Shetland of vermin by using their motor vehicles as lethal weapons. In fact they are using their vehicles to cause death and suffering and leaving a bloody mess in their wake.
Judging by the reaction from my customers, the trail of carnage and suffering left by motorists on our roads is doing nothing to endear Shetland’s image to our visitors during the tourist season.