Mostly Puffins, July 2019

A few months ago I, perhaps foolishly, lamented that I’d seen every flavour of weather in a few days with the exception of fog.

Last weekend I got the fog.

Quendale Bay - No See View
Quendale Bay - Sea View

It being high summer on Shetland, the temperature had soared into the low teens - and mostly it was entirely safe to venture out without a knitted Fair Isle hat, and for some of the time there were both blue skies and sunshine in evidence.

All calm - looking along West Voe from Sumburgh Head
Calm around Horse Island - from Sumburgh Head
Mists around Scat Ness - Fitful Head just about visible in the background
Quendale Beach - lovely in (almost) any weather
Low cloud over Fitful Head

The calm weather gave plenty of opportunity for puffin action - and since it is definitely peak puffin at the moment there was plenty of that to be seen.  The last few weeks of the puffin season involve a lot of breeding adults bringing food back to the burrows and lots of the non-breeding adults hanging around on the cliffs tops (presuming trying to figure out what they are going to have to do once they are of breeding age, or possibly just scouting out desirable burrows for next year).

Arriving - complete with supplies
Which burrow was I using this year?
Close Formation Flying - puffin style 

One potential risk (or bonus, as some of us might see it) is that the persistent fog can and does disrupt the flights in and out of Sumburgh.  And sure enough on the day I was due to fly off, the fog swirled low around the runways for much of the morning playing havoc with the timetables.  Then, suddenly as my flight time ticked round the clouds lifted and everything went back to schedule.  

Oh well, maybe I'll be stranded on Shetland next time.

If you feel the need of more photos from Shetland - have a look at the latest Flickr album.

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