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Nature photography by John Langley ARPS & Tracy Langley ARPS

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Shetland Isles, Scotland - June 2011

In June 2011 we visited the Shetland Isles. We spent a week on Yell, a week on Unst then a week on the Shetland Mainland. The weather was a mix of wet, wetter then even wetter with strong winds but the wildlife didn't seem to notice.

You would think that a bird with orange legs and orange feet would be easy to spot,

but this ringed plover is well camouflaged on the beach

Golden plovers also blend into the moors well on a golden sunset evening (a rare event)

Red-throated divers frequent the shore line

Great skuas or ‘bonxies’ breed on the moorland cliffs

Dunlin with the black belly of breeding plumage


Starlings raise their young in the lichen-strewn stone walls

An otter pauses briefly to enjoy a fish supper

Fulmars thrive in windy conditions - they’re one of the few birds that seem to take to the wing just for fun

Fulmar courtship is a noisy affair

A gannet stretches and preens before take-off

The near constant wind also means that many of Shetland’s speciality flowers are very small.

Frog orchids can be less than half their normal size

and the diminutive mouse-ear chickweed is found nowhere else in the world !

All over the island, the Shetland Wren was perching on walls and singing

We had a few quizzical looks from the locals

Snipe will perch on anything to get a view over the grass

Redshanks also like to perch and are very nervous, frequently alarm calling

Whimbrel are a speciality on the Shetland moors

Wheatears were breeding around every corner

We spent several days enjoying the close company of puffins