Archive for October, 2011

Grey seal pups

31 October, 2011

Every year in the autumn, grey seals pup in remote locations and offshore islands around Shetland and it’s my great privilege to help count the pups as part of ongoing survey. Regrettably this is also one of my busiest times in the run up to Christmas, so I don’t get out anywhere near as many times as I’d like. However, a couple of weeks ago I was very fortunate to go and count seal pups with two experienced colleagues on one of the offshore island breeding sites.

As you can see, the pups are pretty helpless and the task of the observers is to disturb them and the breeding females as little as possible – so these photos were taken quickly as we worked, using a long telephoto lens to get in for some close portraits. These pups are no more than a day or two old or, in the case of a couple of them, no more than a few hours old.

Dead in the water

23 October, 2011

Whilst on the way to Whalsay a few weeks ago I spotted something about a mile off in front the ferry that looked at first like a bouy – a gull stood on it. As we came closer I realised it was a dead animal floating and, presently, the skipper manoeuvred hard over to get a closer look. I think it’s a seal – what do you think?

Hegris at Uyeasound

11 October, 2011

This post should really have made it into September but didn’t! It was in the last day or two of September that I had a very early job on in Unst that warranted me getting the first ferry on the Yell Sound that day heading north. But I also ended up being in time for the first ferry on Bluemull Sound too, which meant I arrived in Unst before sunrise, so it was still too dark to properly see what I’d come to photograph! “No matter” I thought, and went off to Uyeasound to watch the sunrise – and very nice it was too. But, whilst there, I caught sight of 3 fine herons, feeding amomg the kelp and low tide. It was very still and quiet but they let me get quite close. Unfortunately, the light was poor so these were all shot with a fast ISO that has resulted in a slight loss of detail but they’re all quite pleasing and, in any case, these are some of the closest shots I have of herons!