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Shetland - a puffin paradise

By kinharviephoto, Aug 20 2018 01:38PM

Every year I spend the last two weeks of July on Shetland working for Shetland Wildlife, guiding on their "Walk Shetland" tours. Whilst walking around the dramatic Shetland coastline is the main feature of the trip, watching and photographing the spectacular wildlife we see is just as important. One of the biggest draws for the people who join us is to see puffins and Shetland is a great place to do this.




Sumburgh Head is one of the first places we visit and there is plenty of puffin activity to watch. Many non breeding birds line the cliff tops, and they can be watched from just a few metres away. They are totally unconcerned about the peole watching them as they just get on with their daily activities just like this one engaged in a spot of preening.


Sumburgh Head can be a windy spot but this makes watching and photographing the puffins in flight just a little easier as they hang in the updrafts.




For the photographer it's worth spending a litle time here looking for that opportunity to capture something a little different.



However there are other wonderful places on Shetland to see puffins. The island of Noss is a spectacular National Nature Reserve and well worth a visit. If your travels take you to the northern most island in Shetland, Unst then a visit to Hermaness NNR is a must. A gentle walk across the reserve brings you to the spectacular cliff tops with gannetries, a view of Muckle Flugga, Britains most northerly point, and of course puffins. A little time spent wandering around pays dividends and you can find yourself a very photogenic backdrop for your puffin photography. This is one of my particular favourites.




If a week spent walking around this wonderful wildlife appeals thern why not join us next year on a Shetland Wildlife walking week. For more details click here.

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