Shetland Autumn V2 - September 2018

When I spent time on Shetland in August I wrote about the gentle transition from Summer into Autumn.  To all intents and purposes the weather felt distinctly summer-like, the only real giveaway that the year had moved on was the departure of the breeding birds (like the puffins and guillemots) from the cliffs.

Fast forward a few weeks, and we’re into Autumn proper.  Northlink are issuing weather advisories, and the Met Office have already used up two of the 21 storm names allocated for this winter (Storm #17 this winter will be Storm Ross).

The autumn migrants are starting to arrive, this means that every quarry and bit of sheltered shrubbery seems to have a group of heavily-optically-equipped blokes (almost always blokes) lurking in the hope of encountering a wind-swept migrant bird or two.

The autumn also means that the weather is very changeable - there can be storms (usually un-named) blowing through all the time, the waves get their first serious outing of the season, and even when there aren't big winds there are likely to be rainy squalls passing through too.  At this time of year the traditional Shetland description for a good day is one that is 'between the weathers' - if the weather is fine today, it'll almost certainly be wild again tomorrow.

Every trip to Shetland has it's highlights, this time, there were three.  

Spending time watching waves battering the west side of Scat Ness,  getting my final fixes (for the season) of scones and Linzertorte at my favourite pop-up cafe and, particularly, getting to spend time photographing gannets diving within a few metres of the shoreline in West Voe. 

Autumn Waves on the west-side of Scat Ness
Sunshine and passing showers bring rainbows, West Voe of Sumburgh
En route to Sumburgh Head - a fantastic walk in any weather
Sumburgh Head Cafe
West Voe rolling waves
Gannet scouting over West Voe
Incoming - gannet in West Voe

If you feel the need for more pictures - try my latest Flickr album.

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