Monday 29 August 2022

Dolphins and Minke whale -Shetland

 A large pod of dolphin passed Sumburgh Head the other day. These were a long way out even using a 800mm lens and a big crop

anyway these became good enough to use as ID and they turned out to be a mix of White Beaked and White sided Dolphin, more than 100 in the pod
The pod was well spread out but very active and were joined by a small pod of porpoise and a couple of Minke Whales

Sumburgh Head is always a good spot for whale watching

Wednesday 24 August 2022

Shetland Puffins good breeding season

The Puffins and other auks have now left the cliffs of Shetland
But its been good to see the have had a successful breeding season, i think the best for a long time
This is down to two things, first there has been lots of fish available and hardly any skuas have been present which may have been down to bird flu

Lets hope they continue to have more good breeding seasons to start building up numbers


Tuesday 23 August 2022

Massive Basking Shark- Shetland

 On Monday  we drove down to Grutness to see what was about, very little except a few Dunlin on the pool. Then a message came in that a Basking Shark could be seen at Sumburgh Head.

After a few minutes we were at the top carpark looking west over the cliff wall where a small number of people gathered

I quickly changed position and moved to the west passed the cafe and along to where i normally watch Puffins
It was quite windy and Gannet, Fulmar and Gt Skuas passed close by

With one other observer we looked down directly below the ciffs to get great views of The Basking shark a few hundred feet below

It was a big one well over 25 feet and later found out that this was the biggest most Shetlanders had ever seen

It was going back and forth in the same area for a couple of hours giving amazing views

Being a zooplankton eater it had its mouth wide open and was moving just below the surface

The shark moves close to a shag which didn't notice it at first then dived at the last minute

To give it some scale these are Shags about 75 feet from the sea
A juvenile Kittiwake passes close over head

It was the best view i have had, seen two before but in poor light and not as close. Up to now we have had around 10 Basking Sharks around Shetland. Today it returned to the same spot while up in Yell there was two more and one over near Whalsay

Saturday 6 August 2022