Thursday, January 31, 2013

Up Helly Aa Trip Part 1

Shetland again! This time in January and for a special event along with wildlife encounters! Well some of the wildlife encounters were hoped for - never sure with otters! Actually even the birds dont always appear either but then most of you know that! So another Shetland Wildlife trip - with Hugh Harrop and Jon Dunn plus 16 assorted travellers! You can look up Up Helly Aa on Promote Shetland website. I will not go into great historical detail here as I want the atmosphere/ambiance...... Before I arrived there was a target list of birds I wanted to see some so easy up here in the winter that I as sure of seeing and then there were the others! A Ring-billed Gull had been showing on East Voe Scalloway - really wanted to see him - a rare bird for Shetland and anted for my Shetland list, Long eared Owls can be easier here than down south so talons crossed and Iceland Gull but these had been few and far this winter so just a possiblity. The usual suspects were expected Long-tailed Ducks, Eider and Black Guillemot - with Purple Sandpipers and Slavonian Grebes plus a diver or two. Seals both Common and Grey I knew would be seen. Mountain Hare - see them yes but could I ever get a photo or even a record shot? Would we see an Otter? What would Up Helly Aa really be like to experience? Yes I had seen photos and it looked good....

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