Monday, 22 February 2010

First Post

Having now been here on Unst at 60 degrees north for over 18 months, I've finally got around to starting a blog of our time here in Shetland. I will try and update on a regular basis, but it probably won't be every day - but I'll try ! So bare with me while I get used to this and over the coming weeks I will add to it bit by bit.

During our time here, I have been very lucky to witness some fantastic sightings and savor some wonderful experiences and through this, I hope I can share some of them.

22nd Feb 2010

It's snowing again today, this in turn has meant that the schools are closed on the Northern Isles and so the kids are at home and so this means no solo wildlife watching today.

I did manage to get out over the weekend however with the hope of getting to photograph some local otters in the snow. When I did finally catch up with them, the cloud had rolled in and it then snowed heavily for a while making the lighting very 'flat'. They had emerged from a holt but only spent half an hour fishing before returning below ground as it reached high tide.

The following day, I returned to wait to try and see them again. No otters but several waders visited the beach during my one and half hour wait, including Ringed Plover and Oystercatcher. The beach had several inches of frozen sea water on it which reached down to the waters edge and I am sure, gave the birds a surprise when they tried to feed in the solid ice.


I moved on around the shoreline and heard the distinctive sound of an otter 'bickering'. I soon located two otters on a small skerry just off shore and presumed that it was the mother and cub having a squabble. Watching for a short while, they parted and one headed to some rocks near to where I was lying. The wind was in my favour but I think that it had heard the camera and so didn't hang around for too long. On looking at the pictures later I discovered it wasn't either of the two I'd seen the previous day due to it having a scar on its nose.

Hopefully, with snow forecast for all week, I'll be able to get out and catch up with them again.


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