Monday, 29 September 2014

Shetland Otter families in late September

 The older three cub family above (around five/six months) and the younger ones, around four/five months bellow.

A fantastic and very typical late September morning, a light SE wind, low cloud and drizzle with the occasional clearing and dry spell- it took quite a lot to resist the birding temptations but the prospect of spending time with a mother and three young cubs won the day!
Really was so authentic and such a fitting autumn scene and sound, whilst searching for and watching this mum and her cubs there were several large flocks of Pink-footed geese going over, I even managed to shoot some video with the D4 of the cubs at play whilst the flocks of pinks called overhead.
Interestingly I had the other mum and three cubs at this same site on the way to find these guys, an older family but only by a couple of months.Worked on them for just half an hour or so but moved on as it was still fairly dark and they appeared to be on the move, then I moved on to these guys.
When I first found her I was scanning the bank of one of her main holts when her head popped up- typically anxious and checking the air for any unwanted scents- mine of course was blowing well inland and in opposite direction. I was also quite a distance from her holt so as not to be too close and give her the distance needed so to be out of sight. I was thrilled to watch her drag each cub one by one down the grassy bank and across the boulder beach to the waters edge.
Eventually they she began to forage and I followed her for several hours with the cubs before heading away whenthey returned to another holt to lay up later in the morning.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Young otter cubs in Shetland

Its a really exciting time in Shetland for otters as many females that have had cubs mid to late summer are gaining confidence with their cubs and are beginning to be out a little more with them, taking them out into the salt water and getting them used to an environment that they are so dependent on.
Over the past few weeks I have been seeing several 'new' families at many of the sites I use. Some of the cubs, (including a couple of families with three) are just three to four months old. This week I am delighted to actually have some time off to work on them. I am very much looking forward to working at my own photography as I tend not to take my camera when working with photographers on otters for too many reasons to go into in this post.
Mind you it really is of course a privilege and always a pleasure to do the work I do but there is often a day when I do of course wish I had my own gear- like earlier this week watching a mum with three young cubs, so young that they can not even dive under water yet and she carrying them by the scruff of their necks!
So any way, here is a selection of young cubs from previous years, taken between autumn and early winter, I hope to add some more recent images of young cubs over the coming days.... 


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Otters in Shetland- mum and dog cub against black backdrop

A selection of images from an encounter last week. A mum and her dog cub who is now coming up on a year old now. Last weeks 1-2-1 otter photography itinerary went really well with some really fantastic behaviour and plenty of otters each day, up to six on one in particular. Currently leading another 1-2-1 this week which is also going well. More on that soon....

Some might think this sequence dark, which it is a tad but I liked the black rocks as a backdrop actually, a slightly different look to the composition and went for the underexposed look.