#30DaysWild – Day 20 Ultimate Shetland 2: A Wonderful Otter Encounter!

A rather grey morning greeted us this morning, but we could hardly complain after the spectacular weather we had yesterday. Loading up, we drove out toward Lerwick, stopping at a layby to get great scope and binocular views of the Comon Crane that is on the island at the moment. Photographed by Hugh a few days ago, this spectacular bird carves an impressive form on the landscape.!

Heading to Lerwick, a few hours were available to visit the amazing museum and to have a quick whizz around the shops, before we were back in the minibus, heading toward the ferry to Yell and then onto Unst, where we would be based for the next few nights. We arrived a little early at the ferry, to be greeted  by an otter feeding just below us in the harbour. Excited, we watched from the minibus before the individual moved off around the rock amour. Having our lunch, we kept an eye out on the water, watching eiders, arctic terns, an arctic skua, kittiwakes and a couple of grey seals.

Suddenly an otter appeared right below us….. so close, I could see his whiskers without my binoculars. With the whole group standing around the minibus, this individual casually hunted right in front of us, providing us with superb views and leaving us all with huge smiles and some fantastic images…

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Still buzzing from our otter encounter, we were soon motoring across on the ferry and through Yell, to the next ferry taking us across to Unst.

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We stopped off at a small harbour to set a set of Bushnells to see if we could get some footage of the Unst otters coming and going. We will leave these for a few nights and pick them up on Thursday on our way back to the mainland.

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We finished the day by visiting some small pools, observing golden plover, redshank, a brief view of red-necked phalarope, wheatear, terns and a lovely ringed plover brooding her growing chicks from the chilly wind, under her wings.

Settling in to the hotel, with lovely views and a hearty meal, we were ready for bed. Another superb day!