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Puffin Delight at Sumburgh Head

This morning, with the sun shining again, we headed up to Sumburgh Head. Sumburgh Head is located at the southern tip of mainland Shetland and is a wonderful, accessible seabird colonies within a well-established RSPB nature reserve.

The cliffs surrounding the site are teeming with birds during the summer breeding season. Puffins, Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes and Fulmars can all be found here, but it the close proximity of many of the puffins to the viewing areas, makes this a wonderful place to visit.

The visibility was fab and the area looks incredible at this time of year.

The lichen clad stone walls create the perfect foreground to the stunning views...

Our whole group is desperately hoping that the orca make an appearance this week. For the moment, we made the most of Hugh Harrop's expert knowledge of this species as he used the model of a female orca, to explain all about their movements and how they use these waters.

There are lots of places to stop and have close views of the nesting birds; mainly puffin and fulmar close to the paths and guillemot and razorbills a bit further away. The steep sided gulleys give photographers good opportunities to practise 'in flight' shots as the birds arrive and leave.

There are SO many photographic opportunities up here. Here a a few of my favourite shots of puffins so far...

The poor fulmars feel a bit put out with all the attention on the puffins... here is a rather lovely nesting spot, nestled in the thrift..

With the sun still shining, we walked along the coast from Scatness to Ness of Burghi. Again , the stunning explosion of thrift has turned huge swathes of the landscape into carpets of pink hues. It really took our breath away and the images simply do not do it justice. The colour palette of the rocks, lichen and thrift meant I spent a lot of time on my knees, photographing and trying to capture images that would relay this beauty somehow.

With views of red necked phalarope, arctic skua, bonxie, curlew and arctic skuas on the way back, it had been another wonderful day!


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