A Shetland early summer boat trip

I’ve had a great day out today leading a trip for Shetland Wildlife – many seabirds of all kinds seen in the course of the day, and much enjoyment had by all concerned. This afternoon we were out on the MV Dunter III, the wildlife-watching vessel of our good friends Seabirds-and-Seals. Our boat trip took us to the spectacular cliffs of Noss, the small island east of Bressay. Whilst good views of Common and Grey Seals, and time spent watching a female Otter fishing for Butterfish alongside the boat were all great moments, the gannetry at Noss stole the show. It’s a maelstrom of activity, with Gannets boiling in the sky above one’s head, the clamour and stink of thousands of nesting birds crammed onto the narrow ledges of the sandstone cliffs, birds fishing just offshore and gathering seaweed for their nests at the foot of the cliffs… Truly an assault on the senses. As our skipper Jonathan skilfully manoeuvred the boat close to the waves breaking at the foot of the towering rock-face, it was one of the latter birds, the seaweed gatherers, that caught my attention in the shadows beneath the cliff. It had found a choice piece of seaweed, and posed obligingly for some photos.

140601 Gannet email

 

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