Thursday, 3 July 2014

The Shetlands - Part 1

We have just come back from a fantastic week in The Shetlands. This was a guided wildlife tour with Shetland Wildlife ( and our 'guest' guide David Lindo aka The Urban Birder.

I can't recommend the trip enough truly fantastic. We arrived mid afternoon and were picked up and driven the huge distance (5 minutes!) to our Hotel which happened to be at the end of one of the runways, so for a birder and aviation enthusiast, what a location!

We met the rest of our group (13 of us) at dinner. The fun started pretty much straight away and carried on for the rest of the trip a great group. The birding though started straight after dinner, with a short drive to a boat to take us over to the island of Mousa and close encounters with Storm Petrel. Once we alighted on the island we quickly got our first lifer of the trip with a brief fly by by an Arctic Skua. No bird photos for this trip even though it never really got dark It wasn't suitable for photographing our feathered friends.

It was a fantastic experience standing around a Bronze Age Brock at midnight as the Petrels came in to roost, the noise was brilliant and to watch them scramble into the holes in the wall was fantastic!
The Brock on Mousa
So in bed by 2:30am, after a long day (2 flights to get here!)
Next day saw as head out with The Urban Birder for a short birding walk, before loading up the van and and heading for Unst. We did start though by going to Sumburgh Head first and getting close to the Seabirds. We spent a couple of hours where the Puffins put on a good show:

There were plenty of other birds about, especially Fulmar:
Lots of Guillemot:
Gannets flying by:
Some Twite were 'playing' in the fields behind us:
And as we walked back to the minibus, this juvenile Wheatear posed for a while:

We the had lunch just watching all the bird activity before setting off to Unst and the two ferries that would take us there. At the first ferry at Toft I managed my first shot of an Arctic Skua as it flew over:
As we approached Unst, Hugh our 'Leader' said a Lesser Grey Shrike had been spotted around the Airstrip at Baltasound, coincidentally being where our Hotel was for the next 3 nights. so we stopped by on the way and had good views through the scopes, but a bit far for my lens particularly without my monopod (no room in the luggage!), this is the best I could do:
So I'll end part one here, more to follow.

No comments:

Post a Comment