Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The Shetlands - Part 5

Well now we are back at Sumburgh and the group split into two today as we are scheduled to go on boat trip around Noss from Lerwick, one group going in the morning and one in the afternoon. We decided to go on the afternoon boat and went out with David around the Sumburgh area in the morning, where I managed some Arctic Tern photo's:

and a young Wheatear:
We explored quite a bit around southern mainland adding our first Swallows, a bit rarer this far north. We then headed for Lerwick and explored the town a little, we sat down on a very windy harbour for lunch and were treated to some close encounters with Herring Gull, Arctic Tern and Black Guillemot or Tysties as they are known on the islands:

So on to the boat, we headed out from Lerwick across to Bressay and skirted the rocks there, where we soon came across this:
At last after days of searching an Otter comes to us! This one was quite obliging and came out onto some nearby rocks to 'share' his lunch:

Who could ask for more! Sadly he eventually swam away so we carried on with our trip. We watched some Great Black-backed Gulls being attacked by Terns:
There were also plenty of Gannets about from the colony on Noss:
There were some fishing but I have decided it's almost impossible to get a good photo of it, especially when the it was as dull as it was on this day, this is the best I could do, getting one in its dive:
There were plenty of other birds about, Razorbill, more Black Guillemot, Guillemot, Shag, Puffin and Fulmar:

It's always great to get a different view of the birds from a boat and see things that you can't on land.
As we left the shelter of Bressay it soon became evident that the sea was to rough to get to Noss and see the Gannet colony there from the sea. Our skipper did try but as soon as we hit the open sea we were on a roller coaster, so his view was we would be to busy holding on to actually see anything, so we headed back into shelter and did some underwater viewing inside a large cave using the camera on a small submersible. All very interesting.

On the way back I did get some more Arctic Skua shots, always worth seeing:

So pretty much nearing the end of the Shetland report, we managed to bag a Mountain Hare:
 A Juvenile Great Northern Diver
 A busy Starling
 Another Red-throated Diver
 and an abandoned Seal Pup at the Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary (http://www.shetlandwildlifesanctuary.com/)
So now just some bits and bobs:
The two of us at with Muckle Flugga behind:
I didn't know that David Lindo was only 3ft tall:
There must be an Otter here somewhere!
Our two U.S. group members; Dick and Marshall from Oregon:
Does this bus go to Portland?
And some scenery:
The Simmer Dim from Mousa
 Sumburg Head

 Near Hermaness:
 The famous Bus Shelter (look this up on google!)
 Bressay Lighthouse:

 and finally our Portugese group member; Luis from Madeira

All the Shetland wildlife photos can be found on my Flicker pages:
The Shetlands 2014

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Great posts, species and images! An awesome holiday by the sounds of it!