Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Siberian Rubythroat

We've had lots of emails over the last week from folk requesting colour prints of the male Siberian Rubythroat that have been featured on the Shetland Wildlife Facebook page. We have a choice of 4 images for sale (see pic below) and can offer glossy prints in the following sizes:

6 x 4 print:
£3.00 each - order 2 or more different images in the same size and get them for £2.00 each

7 x 5 print:
£5.00 each - order 2 or more different images in the same size and get them for £4.00 each

A4 print:
£10.00 - order 2 or more different images in the same size and get them for £7.00 each

Please add £1.50 p&p per order.

If you'd like a print, please choose which one you'd like from the pic below (they are referenced 1 - 4), pop a cheque in the post made payable to Hugh Harrop and then send to Shetland Wildlife, Longhill, Maywick, Bigton, Shetland ZE2 9JF. We can also accept credit card (Visa or Mastercard) orders over the phone and also handle orders by email using Paypal. Just drop us an email.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Red-necked Grebe - Sept 2011 Wallpaper

September 2011 wallpaper is a Red-necked Grebe. To set the picture as your computer desktop wallpaper background, double click on the image to open it in full size then right-click the mouse while it's over the picture. Select the 'Set as Background' menu option, or the 'Set as Wallpaper' option, depending on your browser type. If you want to learn how to take images like this, click here to join us on an instructional pho-tour.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Focus on Shetland 2012 NOW BOOKING

The best Shetland pho-tours on offer! Outstanding opportunities to photograph an array of breeding waders and seabirds such as Red-necked Phalarope, Storm Petrel, Black Guillemot, Great & Arctic Skua plus seals, arctic alpines, Otters and a good chance of Killer Whales!

Our groups are limited to six, we have nearly 20 years of unrivalled hands-on pho-tour experience and because we live here, we know where, when and how to photograph our unique wildlife.

Let us show you why we do it better than anybody else and why we don't need to hire pho-tour guides from outside of Shetland, who, on their once-a-year visit are perhaps more interested in getting images for themselves, than for you.

Our three scheduled 2011 Focus on Shetland departures sold like hot cakes, so we have now opened up our 2012 dates and they are available for booking.

The 2012 dates are:

Saturday 2nd - Saturday 9th June 2012
Saturday 9th - Saturday 16th June 2012
Saturday 16th June - Saturday 23rd June 2012

Given the demand for 2011 trips, we would advise bookings to be made as soon as possible.

So photograph the best birds with the best resident photographic guides - all organised for you by Shetland's No.1 wildlife holiday company.

Further details can be found by clicking here

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Fin Whale - August 2011 Wallpaper

August 2011 wallpaper is a Fin Whale surfacing. To set the picture as your computer desktop wallpaper background, double click on the image to open it in full size then right-click the mouse while it's over the picture. Select the 'Set as Background' menu option, or the 'Set as Wallpaper' option, depending on your browser type. If you want to learn how to take images like this, click here to join us on an instructional pho-tour.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Finland & Arctic Norway Winter 2012

It remains as popular as ever, so it was no surprise that our exclusive winter pho-tour to Finland and Arctic Norway from 10 - 17 March 2012 sold out! We have therefore arranged an additional week to meet demand and we are now taking bookings for 17 - 24 March 2012. Read all about this awesome trip here and please e mail or call our office on 01950 422483 if you require any further information.

To see what great opportunities this trip offers for bird photography, visit our Facebook gallery created from the 2011 trip and click here, here and here!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Autumn Birding in Shetland 2011

Shetland's track record for attracting rare and scarce migrant birds every Autumn is second to none. Our track record for getting you to see them, is unrivalled. We are already extremely busy for Autumn 2011 with a total of five trips running. Our three 'new style' Fair Isle Autumn migration holidays sold out but 2 places have just become available on the 17 - 24 September departure. Autumn Gold proves as popular as ever and we have 2 spaces left on the 24th September - 1 October trip and 1 space left on the 1 - 8 October trip. Get in touch if you'd like more info or would like to book. See the best birds with the best birders - all organised for you by Shetland's number one and ONLY full-time professional wildlife holiday company!

To whet your appetite, Dave Fairhurst has summed up the autumn of 2010:

"August saw the summering drake Surf Scoter lingering around Burra and Trondra on and off throughout the month. During the month two different Paddyfield Warblers were seen on Unst, and an adult Greenish Warbler was in the Sumburgh Hotel garden for a couple of days - at times it was heard singing! The undoubted highlight of the month was a Sykes's Warbler up on Unst along the Burrafirth Burn The early September highlight from the East was the discovery of Britain's 15th-ever Eastern Olivaceous Warbler in Ireland near Bigton by Hugh & Alan and from the west came two North American Buff Bellied Pipits, both of which gave great views for our travellers! The first bird associated with Meadow Pipits around the North Light on Fair Isle during our first trip of the autumn, and as we watched the bird it was joined firstly by a Yellow Browed Warbler and then incredibly by a male Bluethroat: it could only happen on Fair Isle!! The second bird out at Eshaness was also particularly obliging. Nearby, also from the Canadian Arctic, were up to three Buff Breasted Sandpipers which were completely oblivious to their admirers, often passing within a few metres of us!

As well as the Buff Bellied Pipit our first Fair Isle trip had many memorable birds including: Citrine Wagtail, Barred Warbler, Yellow Browed Warblers, Ortolan Bunting, Common Rosefinches, large numbers of Lapland Buntings, Buff Breasted Sandpiper, Jack Snipe, Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll, and a classic Fair Isle bird which we discovered early one morning - a Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler. On our return to the mainland we were also able to catch up with a rather showy Arctic Warbler in the roses at Sumburgh Head.

Still a true rarity, Red Flanked Bluetail must be one of the most mythical birds to see. With a recent westward range expansion, this autumn has been the best ever for seeing them and our Shetland Wildlife groups didn't miss out. Our groups managed to see three of these enigmatic Robin-like birds which breed in the Siberian Taiga - perhaps the best one being one that we found ourselves up on Unst! Britain's most northerly island was also the place where we caught up with another stunning Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll. Breeding in Northern Greenland and Canada, these snowballs' are much larger and paler than their Scandinavian cousins and as seems to be typical of this species, can be very approachable, this bird being no exception. Being particularly skulky and tricky to identify, Blyth's Reed Warblers are another sought-after rarity and we were lucky this year with our groups seeing three different individuals. This species breeds in Central Asia and winters on the Indian Subcontinent making it all the more incredible that they turn up in Shetland at all. Western Bonelli's Warblers are one of the smartest looking leaf' warblers from Southern Europe and we managed to catch up with two different individuals this autumn including one bird feeding in sycamores at Seafield in Lerwick. Equally as confiding was the Radde's Warbler at Sumburgh Farm.

Now treated as a full species, the Sykes's Warbler is a very rare vagrant from north east Arabia and Iran, and we were fortunate enough this autumn to see two individuals: the first was a long staying bird at Channerwick, and the second a far more confiding bird on Fetlar. In early October we were very lucky to connect with another Shetland speciality, this time a Lanceolated Warbler. This bird was favouring the walls and garden at Britain's most northerly house on Unst. Lanceys' can show very well at times, and this bird was no exception with us watching it down to just a couple of metres! Despite the lack of westerly winds (a good thing as far as we are concerned!), a Swainson's Thrush was found in Levenwick in early October and several of our groups enjoyed views of this diminutive North American thrush. Also hailing from America, a Spotted Sandpiper was seen on Strand Loch for just one day in mid October.

We did very well for shrikes this autumn with both Red Backed and Great Greys seen on several occasions but it was the superb Isabelline Shrike at Spiggie that stands out. Present for five days in October the antics of this bird were arguably the highlight of the autumn for many. At times the bird could be watched devouring small birds and tearing rodents apart from one of its several larders! Nature at its best!

Our final trip of the season was to Fair Isle and we weren't disappointed! We were able to get some of our newly arrived guests onto both Pallas's and Sykes's Warblers within an hour of their arrival here on Shetland! Our highlights on the island included Blyth's Reed Warbler, Olive Backed Pipit, Radde's Warbler, Little Bunting, several Barred Warblers (including one bird feeding on the window ledge of our guest house!), Short Eared Owl, Red Kite (a very rare bird up here on Shetland), Jack Snipe and an excellent number of Lapland Buntings. It might not be the rarest of birds for the trip list, but the sight of a Long Eared Owl perched at 'the shop' will last long in the memory."

















Thursday, 7 July 2011

Long-tailed Skua - July 2011 Wallpaper

July 2011 wallpaper features our summering Long-tailed Skua, photographed on Monday 4 July 2011. To set the picture as your computer desktop wallpaper background, double click on the image to open it in full size then right-click the mouse while it's over the picture. Select the 'Set as Background' menu option, or the 'Set as Wallpaper' option, depending on your browser type. If you want to learn how to take images like this, click here to join us on an instructional pho-tour.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Great Reed Warbler: Great Garden Tick!

Am currently guiding trips from dawn until dusk at this time of year, so very little time to update these pages - but you can keep up to date with day-to-day news on our Facebook page. Last Sunday, I stepped outside and was amazed to hear a singing male Great Reed Warbler in our garden - a superb garden and patch tick! The bird gave Michelle and I good views from the house but with the cameras in the van, the bird stayed deep in cover when I attempted to photograph it. However, it continued to 'sing' in short bursts so I at least managed a few decent sound recordings before having to meet our pho-tour group and head over to Mousa!







Saturday, 28 May 2011

Killer Whale: June 2011 Wallpaper

June 2011 wallpaper is a Killer Whale, photographed in Mousa Sound in July 2006 whilst we were working with the BBC film crew making the Nature of Britain series. To set the picture as your computer desktop wallpaper background, double click on the image to open it in full size then right-click the mouse while it's over the picture. Select the 'Set as Background' menu option, or the 'Set as Wallpaper' option, depending on your browser type. If you want to learn how to take images like this, click here to join us on an instructional pho-tour. For even more inspiring Shetland Killer Whale images, see our Facebook page by clicking here and following the 'photos' link on the left hand menu bar. We have created an album with over 100 images of these majestic creatures!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Finland & Norway Winter Pho-tour 2012



All the arrangements for our exclusive 2012 winter pho-tour to Finland and Arctic Norway are now in place and the trip will run from Saturday 10 - Saturday 17 March 2012. We have just three spaces left as of today, so if you are interested in joining this unique trip, please refer to the itinerary and booking instructions by clicking here. 2011 was once again a complete sell out - and we even added an additional tour to meet demand. Book early!

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Hungary Pho-tour Images

A small selection of images from the April 2011 Shetland Wildlife pho-tour to eastern Hungary. Over 100 images from the trip have been uploaded to an album on our Facebook page so click HERE to view them. We will be running this superb trip again in 2012 from 28 April - 5 May. Further details are here. The trip is strictly limited to just 6 photographers; 2011 was another sell-out so we would advise early reservations to be made for 2012.



































Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Red-footed Falcon: May 2011 Wallpaper

May 2011 wallpaper is a preening female Red-footed Falcon, photographed on our pho-tour to Eastern Hungary last month. To set the picture as your computer desktop wallpaper background, double click on the image to open it in full size then right-click the mouse while it's over the picture. Select the 'Set as Background' menu option, or the 'Set as Wallpaper' option, depending on your browser type. If you want to learn how to take images like this, click here to join us on an instructional pho-tour.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Keep up to date with Shetland Wildlife!

Keep up to date with Shetland Wildlife sightings as they happen! Want to know where and when exciting Shetland wildlife like Killer Whales were seen? Want to know which way they were heading or where the best place to go and look for them might be? Want to be kept up to date with our news and all other major wildlife sightings as they happen during your visit to Shetland? If you are a Facebook user click HERE and join the Shetland Wildlife community by clicking 'like'. By doing so also means that you can configure Facebook to view news on your iphone, Blackberry or Smartphone and even have our updates delivered by SMS text. Not on Facebook? Not a problem - we have also linked our Facebook page via RSS from our Twitter page so all major sightings will still be 'tweeted'.and both platforms updated - even when we are 'out-in-the-field' watching the wildlife we want you to see!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Killer Whales!

Here is a record shot of one of the 3 Killer Whales we saw off Dalsetter and Troswick earlier this afternoon. Even distant photos like this can prove useful in identifying individual Killer Whales. The fin shape (unusually rounded at the tip) and 'indent' on the rear edge means we should be able to get a 'match' and I'm certain we've already found it in the Killer Whale ID catalogue - have sent this image away for confirmation. Will update once we get a response. Thanks to the crew of the MV Good Shepherd for discovering this pod and getting the news out!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Red-throated Diver: April 2011 Wallpaper

April 2011 wallpaper is this Red-throated Diver, photographed on Fetlar, Shetland in June 2010. To set the picture as your computer desktop wallpaper background, double click on the image to open it in full size then right-click the mouse while it's over the picture. Select the 'Set as Background' menu option, or the 'Set as Wallpaper' option, depending on your browser type. If you want to learn how to take images like this, click here to join us on an instructional pho-tour or click here to win one!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Monday, 21 March 2011

2011 Shetland Photo Competition

Promote Shetland and Shetland Wildlife - sponsors of the 1st prize - are pleased to announce the 2011 Shetland Photographic Competition. The competition is open to resident and visiting amateur photographers. We are looking for unique and inspiring images that capture your imagination and record a moment in time.

We want you to capture breathtaking and original images which reflect and portray the outstanding wildlife Shetland has to offer. Subjects may include anything that is wild: birds, wild flowers, whales & dolphins, otters, seals etc. Please do not submit images of captive wildlife or livestock (sheep, ponies etc). Landscapes which portray wildlife in a natural setting (eg. Seabird colonies) are acceptable. Photographs must be taken in Shetland between 1st February 2011 and 31st March 2012. All entries will be judged by Hugh Harrop and the Promote Shetland team. The winner will be announced soon after the competition closes on 5 April 2012.

1st Prize - a superb 7-day photography holiday donated by Shetland Wildlife to be taken in June 2012 - worth over £1,000.00 !!!

2nd Prize - A delicious Shetland hamper from the Shetland Fudge Company

3rd Prize - a signed copy of Simon King's new 'Shetland Nature Diaries' book

So cameras at the ready!

For further information click here or please contact Promote Shetland on 01595 98 98 98.

To view the 2010 winning entries, click here.

Terms & Conditions:-

1. The Shetland Photographic Competition is organised by Promote Shetland, in association with Shetland Wildlife.
2. The competition is open to resident and visiting photographers.
3. Photographs must be taken in Shetland between 1 Feb 2011 and 31 March 2012.
4. Photos must be submitted in a digital format via our entry form.
5. Images should be no larger than 5MB and saved in JPEG format. Only minor manipulation is allowed and we may request to see the original file for any short listed entries we consider.
6. The limit is one photograph per entrant and it must be accompanied by a description, preferably as detailed as possible (up to100 words).
7. All entries must be the sole work of the photographer and the submitter of the photographs must be the copyright owner.
8. Entry into the competition will permit use of the photographs in Promote Shetland's online image gallery.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Eider eating a Spider!

Not an arachnid - but a crab! This young drake Common Eider offered incredible photo opportunities as it devoured this Spider Crab by first of all eating the legs and then swallowing the body whole!















Thursday, 17 March 2011

Red Grouse

Red Grouse are always fantastic birds to try and photograph. Here are a few images from the moorland session earlier in the week...