Just 6° south of the Arctic Circle, far northern isles and incredible archaeological sites, with spectacular seabird colonies, Storm Petrels and Red-necked Phalaropes.
* Two island groups at the 'Simmer Dim' when the sun barely sets
* Easy flight to Shetland rather than the 14-hour ferry
* Mousa's Storm Petrels, Fetlar's Red-necked Phalaropes
* The spectacular seabird cities of Noss and Sumburgh*Maes Howe, Skara Brae, Ring of Brodgar and Stenness
* Otters and offshore whales and dolphins
* Regular rarities and summering scarce breeders
Fetlar is famous for confiding Red-necked Phalarope, Whimbrel on tundra-like serpentine heath, plus Ringed and Golden Plover, Dunlin, Snipe and Redshank. Red-throated Divers will have young and we’ll hear their weird courtship wailing. Harbours here are favourite haunts of Otters and from inter-island ferries we’ll see synchronised diving Gannets, Puffins escaping marauding skuas, terns, and streams of flying auks.
On Mainland at Tresta Voe, Loch of Spiggie and Loch of Hillwell we’ll see Rock Dove and Raven, Wheatear and Twite. In recent years we’ve seen rarities such as Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Black Kite, Red-throated Pipit and Surf Scoter, whilst Great Northern Diver, Long-tailed Duck, Whooper Swan and King Eider all regularly over-summer. At Sumburgh Head and Lax Firth we’ve seen White-beaked and White-sided Dolphins, and watched Humpback, Minke and predatory Killer Whales! Noss is seabird heaven, with dive-bombing Great Skuas - called ’Bonxies’, meaning bad tempered person! - Arctic Skuas and vast throngs of noisy Guillemot, Razorbill, Kittiwake, Fulmar, Shag and Black Guillemot (Tystie). As we watch 9,000 pairs of Gannet, Puffin inspect us and Common and Arctic Tern feed young.
A trip highlight is our dusk visit to Mousa, where inside the ancient Pictish broch stonework, we are enveloped in silence, until the magical rhythmic ’churring’ of tiny Storm Petrels amongst the stones brings it alive.
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