Friday, July 14, 2017


My holiday day is almost over, I'm not looking forward to going back to work - not least because I've been so busy doing so many nice things here that I could do with a lazy week to recover.

One of the many great things about Shetland is it's wildlife; we've seen puffins, porpoises, gannets, seals, the lawn is covered in oystercatchers, terns have dive bombed us, as have skuas, and there have been a lot of otters. More particularly there's been a lot of one otter who has reliably appeared between tides and at dusk. It looks to me like a young female, she has a distinctive pink patch on her nose and is a joy to watch.

Shetland is a brilliant place to spot otters - walk by the shore keeping an eye out for spraint, empty crab shells and sea urchins; likely otter food. Ideally if you spot one hope you find yourself upwind and not silhouetted against the sky - their eyesight is poor so they rely on their sense of smell. If this is the case stay still and they might not notice you. I spent a good 45 minutes watching my otter yesterday before she got downwind of me and swam off. As I was in an undignified as well as uncomfortable position I wasn't altogether sorry to be able to move, but hadn't wanted to disturb the important otter business of eating and fluffing up fur.

The photos aren't great because mobile phones have severe limitations, but it's the best chance I've ever had to try and take any pictures, and it amazing just to be able to watch her for a while. They're enchanting creatures.


  1. Otters kill carp at random and for the fun of it.Owners of fisheries cannot do a thing about it.

  2. Otters kill carp for fun and not just for food.The bane of fisheries.

  3. Thank you again for submitting 'Ring of Bright Water' to the postal book round many years ago. You opened my eyes to these amazing creatures.