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Friday, 10 June 2011

Unst - day 5

It was a long day yesterday.

The forecast was for good weather and with the days being so long up here, you could literally start at 4am and go through until 11pm. I didn't quite make 4am but we stayed up to watch the sun set at Muckle Flugga at 10.50!

After a few whiskies with Robbie the night before, I clambered out of bed at 6am and made my way to Saxa Vord with Suze to see if we could photograph the Golden Plover and Bonxies in the morning light.

After coming back for some breakfast we popped to an Otter site quite close to Robbies new place, split up, got as comfortable as one can when sitting on rocks with rotting seaweed nearby, and waited. And waited, and waited.......

3 hours passed and nothing showed - i found out later from one of Robbies friends, Brydon Thomason from Shetland Nature Tours, that a group of photographers had recently hammered the site and the otters are now very wary of shutter noise - a shame and very poor from a nature lovers point of view. The subject always has to come first, not the photo ! Disturbance of a feeding animal gives photographers very bad name.......

Suze and I decided to then visit Hermaness as I really wanted to spend a lot of time with the puffins that had been all over the cliffs on Monday. The walk to the cliffs is a killer, even without a stack of gear.

When I arrived, there were no puffins - and that's how it stayed all afternoon. Very strange, but plan b was to walk on to the gannet colony and there I stayed for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Watching the constant action and movement is fascinating - some of the pairs haven't a nest site yet and others had a chick already. Constant noise, movement and that particular smell that only comes from a seabird colony.

Robbie and Suze picked me up at 9.30 and we drove to the top of Saxa Vord for the sunset - none of us are landscapers, so we were probably better off leaving the cameras in the car to be honest, but the sight was amazing.

I'll try and add some pics and links to these posts when I get home so that if you ever decide to visit the island above all others, you'll see what I've been blogging about.

Off for more otters now and then Fetlar for the afternoon.....

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