Together with another photographer, in early June 2010 I made my first visit to Shetland, Britain's most northerly point. The Birds and Otters of this group of islands were our main photographic targets. The weather was reasonable, with a mixture of good, bad and so-so weather, which is to be expected on these northern islands. Below is a small selection of pictures take from various places on Shetland.

 

One of my main target species was the Black Guillemot, and although most of the birds were out at sea, two individuals still on the rocks posed well for me, on the cliffs of Mousa Island.

I am pleased with above pictures, but wished there were some flying to and from the cliffs for me to get some in flight pictures. 

 

 

A Golden Plover on moorland, Fetlar.

 

 

We only had one chance to photograph the Red-necked Phalarope female, when it came to loch of Funzie, on Fetlar. It only stayed for a few minutes before flying off again. This was another of my target species.

 

 

Arctic Terns (above) in flight. These birds were seen in a number of places on Shetland.

 

Oystercatcher feeding chick on Fetlar.

 

The Fulmar is a member of the Petrel family, and during the past 100 years has become well established around the British coast where there are cliffs for it to breed on.

 

Finding a Wheatear's nest beside a road that was next to a passing place where we could park and take pictures from the car window, was a nice bonus. The two adult birds brought in food for their young every few minutes. Great for photography!

 

 

The Arctic Skua (above) was another of my target species, and Sumburgh Head provided the best oppertunity for getting in flight shots of this bird. The sub-adult bird was standing on a rock in Loch Clumlie.

 

The Great Skua's (above) were not yet nesting when we were there, so they did not launch any attacks on us. The one above was about to land on a rock. 

 

Above a Rock Pipit searching for food, at Sumbrugh Head NR. This is the only Rock Pipit that I have managed to get close enough to take pictures of.

 

 

A few of my favorite Puffin pictures of the trip are above. Although I took some pictures of them in flight, they do not challenge the quality of the in-flight pictures I took of this bird while on the Isle of May several years ago.

 

A flock of Sanderling worked a beach one evening near Scatness. They would have been stopping off for a meal while on their way north to the Arctic Tundra, where they breed. They had all gone the following day.

 

One of the disappointments of the trip was that I failed to get a quality picture of the Red-throated Diver. A number were frequently seen on loch of Funzie, on Fetlar, but they kept some distance away, and the lighting was always poor, or harsh back lighting.

 

Below are some pictures of an Otter family on Mainland Shetland.

 

 

 

The Heath Spotted Orchids were just coming out when we made out visit. The above pictures were all taken on Fetlar.

 

Lichens were abundant on walls and other such substraits all over Shetland. The above picture was taken of these plants on a wall at Sumburgh Head NR.