Wild Shetland 2020
Wild Shetland 2020
uffin in golden glow evening light
Shetland sunset
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Tours / Wild Shetland 2020

Wild Shetland 2020 in partnership with Shetland Nature.

This exciting brand new Wild Shetland tour is packed full of the very best wildlife Shetland has to offer. It really is the ultimate wildlife Shetland tour. For this trip I will be working with Brydon Thomason from Shetland Nature. Brydon is a born and bred Shetlander and his knowledge and lifetime experiences of the islands wildlife is unsurpassed. Myself and Brydon will be your main guides for the week as we photograph and enjoy the unique set of species throughout this unparalled   itinerary in the six day (seven night) tour.

Target Species overview;

  • Otters
  • Long-tailed Ducks
  • Gannets- (both from land and boat feeding frenzy)
  • Puffins
  • Black Guillemot
  • Great Skua
  • Displaying Red-throated Divers- from hides
  • Nesting Ravens- from hides

Early spring in Shetland is a special and yet underrated period. In many ways it is a season between seasons, with breeding birds arriving back on territory and wintering birds preparing to leave and with lengthening days. It is also an excellent time for the islands iconic otters.

The itinerary and assignments

Otters: during the week there will be a rotation of two-three photographers taken to work around the tide on otters. Each of these days guests will be taken to the very best and most active locations where field craft and subject knowledge become as much a factor as finding this popular species.

Long-tailed Ducks: Shetland supports a significant population of this charismatic Arctic sea duck during winter months. By early spring number peak here as birds congregate before dispersing north to their Arctic breeding grounds. Flocks of up to 1,000 birds have been recorded in recent years- the largest numbers seen in the UK. It is a rare chance to see and photograph this beautiful ducks in summer plumage.

Gannets: two colonies will be visited offering the opportunity of exciting imagery from cliff tops and from a boat, for the exhilarating feeding frenzy.

Puffin: three colonies will feature in the itinerary; Sumburgh, Noss and Hermaness. This is an interesting time for Puffins, many of which are only just arriving back and so are keen to rekindle bonds with their life partners.

Black Guillemot: we will visit a picturesque and accessible small colony to photograph this iconic species of auk which to the Puffins they all too often take a back seat but they are every bit as charismatic, beautiful and indeed full of character.

Great Skua: Shetlands avian apex predator, the Bonxie, as its more commonly known in Shetland are back on the moorlands and patrolling the clifftops and surrounding seas by now, with numbers increasing through the month.

Red-Throated Diver: a very special and unique opportunity to photograph this beautiful species on a breeding lochan, from a hide under schedule 1 license. This is a very special time for divers as they, like most other species tend to be pair bonding during this period and so their exhilarating courtship and display takes place on the sea is often also done on territory.

Raven nest: a rare privilege to study and photograph a bird as iconic and sharp witted as a Raven and all their fascinating behaviour from a hide at a nest site.

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    Cost: £1785 per person

    Deposit: Non refundable deposit of £400 to secure place. Final balance due 6 weeks prior to trip.

    Guide(s): Neil McIntyre , Brydon Thomason and on occasions an extra guide may be added to assist on certain days.

    Group Size: 7 Guests (Full)

    Tour Dates

    Arrive Shetland Saturday 25th April 2020 to meet at Sumburgh Hotel that evening.
    Tour finishes Saturday 2nd May 2020 on Unst. Transfers back to Lerwick or Sumburgh airport  provided.


    • Seven nights accommodation and all meals. Trip is split with three nights in Sumburgh Hotel and four nights in Saxa Vord on Unst.
    • Noss boat charter
    • Minibus/fuel/ internal island ferries
    • All guiding services.

    Not Included

    • Items of a personal nature.
    • Any alcoholic drinks.
    • Any travel to and from Shetland.


    Suggested Equipment for this tour
    • Digital DSLRs or Mirrorless type system.
    • Lenses – minimum 300mm on a cropped sensor be fine or a 500mm on Full frame. Also some shorter lenses like a 70-200mm and a 24-70mm which is a must for the Gannet feeding frenzy,
    • Cable release for any late evening landscape or slow shutter speed shots.
    • Spare batteries and charger.
    • Tele converters if you have any.
    If you have any concerns over equipment please feel free to give me a call or email to discuss. Clothing Weather on Shetland can be unpredictable so best to be prepared for different weather conditions
    • Warm water proof jacket and trousers. Avoid bright colours and noisy material if possible.
    • Fleece or similar.
    • Good walking boots.


    fitness level image
    Some parts of this trip like the walk to Hermaness and Noss involve a moderate walk which on occasions is on uneven ground of around 5 miles maximum . None of it is severe and most is on paths or board walks and will be done at your own pace. However you will have your equipment to carry so please bear this in mind as we want your trip to be enjoyable. We will discuss the night before what to take and not to take with you on these walking days.