Saturday, 26 January 2013

A wander around the Ness of Setter, Lunna Ness

Although the day started off pretty grim and wet it was forecast to clear up in the afternoon and by 1pm the rain had stopped. I went up to Lunna and parked at the Kirk for a wander around The Ness of Setter to Boatsroom Voe with the hope of seeing some otters.

The tide was low and there were plenty of the usual shore birds along with a few oyster catchers and herons too.

Looking back to the Hunters Monument across West Lunna Voe...

With the low sun it was hard to see clearly on this first stretch of the walk, but it was great to be out for what is my first walk of any significance since early December.

There was more than enough of dead 'life'though, wit various birds, rabbits and the odd sheep remains.

I'm not quite sure what this is the skull of...

But I do know this poor birdy is a shag...

Sadly I found a couple more of these, no rings or anything on them, and this one had no obvious sign of death so I presume it is just the winter taking it's toll.

 As I walked around the coast I obviously got a bit sloppy in my observation so had the usual sight of an otter running off through the ebb stones and into the sea. I was a bit miffed at myself for that. I sat for a while just in case it returned or I could watch it at sea, but it didn't. Needless to say my concentration was renewed as I carried on around the coast.

Here's the view from Setter Ness across Hamna Voe to Outrabister and the end of Lunna Ness..

Thankfully my renewed efforts were rewarded as I saw a pair of otters just off shore. I sat and watched them for a while as they hunted and played and made their way to a bit of coast along from me.

When they went under I moved until I was near to the rocks they come out on. As usual I cursed my lack of a long lens (these are close crops), but I could see them fine mooching about and grooming each other...

They then moved it to a gully in the rocks and I saw my chance to get even closer. I carefully slid and clambered over the rocks as quietly as I could, stopping every now and again to check they hadn't gone back out some where else and finally found a gap in the rocks to spy on them.

They were all cosied up and grooming each other. Annoyingly I struggled to get my camera to focus on them so this is the only photo I got of them at close range...

I later realised I still had the focus set to wide area from something I'd be doing the other day so it kept catching the rocks in the narrow gap and focussing on them! Lesson learnt. I still enjoyed seeing them so close and only left because it was getting on by then and I still had a way back to the car.

As I put the camera away and headed back the full moon was rising over Lunna Ness and bright orange from the reflected sunset, so I took it back out to take this quick high ISO panorama over Boatsroom Voe...

And that was that, first walk of the year with only a handful of coughing fits and the sighting of three otters, two of them super close!


  1. Fantastic...the only otter I saw in the summer was on the far shore at Burravoe. Would love to come up in the winter too.

  2. Yeh winter is fine, but I can see why people wait until the summer. I'm hoping for a fine night for Up Helly Aa

  3. Fingers crossed for you though it looks as though some stormy weather is tracking in and you might catch the beginning of it Tues night. We will be hooking up our iPad to the TV to watch the webcams again. Give us a wave ;)

  4. Yeh just been looking, supposed to not so bad in the day then pick up again with rain for the evening :o(