Shetland 2015 – Day 1

I have been looking forward to this week since we booked it in January… a return visit for Pete and I after our last visit in 2011. Thanks to Paula Moss and Magnus, who live here, we were able to stay at stunning Cheyne House, on the central mainland. Perfectly positioned to travel anywhere , it overlooks  stunning Wadbister voe or inlet. It really is the perfect location for exploring the Shetland Isles.

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The weather was looking surprisingly good, considering Shetland has been battered by wind and rain this Spring. We headed up to Sumburgh, but many of the puffins were down their burrows on eggs. We did get a quick glimpse and hope to go to Hermaness to see the puffins there later in the week. Wheatears by the dozen perched along the fence posts and amongst the Thrift, but few came close enough to photograph.

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Heading to the house, we dropped off all our luggage and decided to walk from along the coast as the skies were clearing and the sun beginning to come out. The coastline here is beautiful and it is an area that feels untouched.

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The Fulmars soaring along the rocky outcrops on stiff wings, were nesting on a sheer ledge. I was able to take a few shots of some perched on the edge…

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Oystercatchers, Wheatear, Pipits, drumming Snipe accompanied us as Pete, Paula and I sat on the headland soaking up this beautiful landscape!

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Our short stroll ended up with us walking several hours!

The industrial mussel beds offshore seemed to be a magnet to Eiders, with rafts of them taking advantage of the free meal. Fantastic to see so many in one location!

The most amazing thing about Shetland at this time of year is that, being so far North, it hardly gets dark! Known as ‘Simmer Dim’ the 21st June boasts almost 24 hr daylight with the sun dipping to the horizon and then rising again. We have booked to go to Mousa, to see the Storm Petrels for that night!

Heading back and feeling a little weary after our 4am rise, we watched the light change from the large picture window at Cheyne… what an incredible view and a great way to finish the day… a cup of tea watching that view!

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