Visited a family I have not been to see for a couple of months now. On approaching their favoured stretch of coastline in the ,others range, I could hear the unmistakable and oh so familiar sound of the young dog cub's whistling squeak. There are few, if any sounds to be heard along the Shetland shores that kicks off my adrenalin levels like it! Most cubs, when awake and out of contact with their mother use this contact call, which can carry some distance, especially on a calm day. Even at well over a year old they use this call, which although adults are not often vocal becomes a much more subdued and quieter short yelp. The often whickering used confrontationally or even at play is more perhaps typical for adults
From a distance I scanned the shore and rocky outcrops and reefs exposed by the fallen tide. Sure enough, their he was, squeaking away, eagerly awaiting his mothers return- and no doubt hopefully with lunch!
By the time I got into position and had merged myself into the rocky shoreline, she had joined him. They groomed and played, typically of families do as if they had not seen one and other for weeks! After a few minutes she sneaked away to forage again, leaving him waiting, nervous as he watched for her return, not able to settle till she did.
She returned with a tiny sea scorpion, which he was not long in pollishing off. After more grooming and play they took to the watter, where they set to and played. Like many winter days, there was very little light and I was up to ISO 1600. But, the days are lengthening in a few months it will barely even get dark!!