After lunch, I had to go off of the island with the kids to Yell for the afternoon which, if the weather is good is always a nice little trip. The ferry crossing over Bluemull Sound only takes ten minutes but can often be good for seeing a variety of sea birds and occasionally cetaceans; such as, Neesicks (Porpoise) or Whitesided Dolphins and both Orca and Humpback Whales (though not by me) and often the ferry will turn and follow them for a short while. At the moment there is a large gathering of Dunters (Eider Ducks) which over the last few weeks has risen to between 400 - 500. Amongst them are one or two of the northern race which have a more orange coloured bill and 'sails' not dissimilar to the ones that male Mandarin drakes have, although a different colour. Unfortunately I've yet to find this avian 'needle in a haystack'.
If the weather is right and depending on the wind, there are often good opportunities for photographs from the stern of the ferry as it crosses the sound. Calm conditions are best for birds on the water and windy ones are best for the birds in flight - depending on which direction they are flying of course. Most ducks tend to fly very fast, but, if they are flying into the wind, you do get more of a chance. Also the journey from Unst to Yell is best as the sun (when it is shining) will be behind you, but this then causes problems of its own with it blowing the whites of the plumages. The commoner birds that are around at the moment on Bluemull are Tysties (Black Guillemot), Shag, Eider, Longtailed Duck and ever increasing numbers of Gannets. (The Eider pics were all taken from the ferry with the 500+1.4ex handheld)
Eider or 'Dunter'