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Shetland 2015 – Day 4 Fulmars, Golden Plover & Otter footage

We all had a rather relaxed start this morning after our late bedtime and busy day yesterday before heading up to a rather blustery Esheness. The coastline is stunning up here and the Fulmars were making the most of the winds, cruising around and riding the gusts up and over the cliffs…. a real challenge to photograph… or attempt to! Other chose, sensibly, to tuck themselves into small hollows.

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Driving back along the coast, we stopped to photograph this Arctic Skua bathing in a pool. Stunning birds, they breed up here and are very distinctive in flight due to long feathers in their tails. They are known for attacking incoming seabirds with foods full of fish, forcing them to drop their catch, so they can steal it.

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Heading inland, we were constantly scouring the landscape for any signs of interesting birds and were lucky enough to spot some stunning Golden Plover. I love these birds and have not seen them since I was in Shetland last time. Their plumage is wonderful and you can only really appreciate its intricacies when you see them in photographs. These guys were pretty nervous and flighty, but we managed a few shots, by crawling along in the car and using it as a hide!

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Heading back, this stunning Redshank posed beautifully on a post by the road….

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A quick cup of tea, then I headed up on to the coast headland to change the cards on my Bushnells to see if I had captured any otter footage at the spraint points. The sun was just emerging and it was stunning up on that part of the coast. It is very special to be in a place like that, on your own, with very little sign of any human habitation. Cards collected, I re-positioned the Bushnells slightly due to one wiggling in the high winds on the post I had positioned it on. I had a quick look on the playback screen and could see that I had a couple of clips, so was excited to get back to Cheyne House to take a look.  I was delighted to have captured a couple of lovely clips of a stunning male, who looked in prime condition. I screen captured some images from the video.


This location is truly stunning and it is wonderful to have been privy to this individual’s movements and to see an otter when dry. Its coat looks so different to the wet otters, that we are more likely to see. The coat is dense and you can see why their pelt was so desired in the past.

I am delighted with this footage and hope to capture some more in the coming days.


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