Shetland otter photography and stories with Richard Shucksmith
Shetland has one of the highest densities of otters in Europe, and is by far one of the best places to see and photograph otters. Shetland otters predominately live along the coastal edge, fishing in the sea, spending a lot of their time feeding during the day. Due to the otters behaviour this makes Shetland a great place to observe otters, it is certainly one of the best places I have lived in Scotland to photograph otters. I spend many hours on the coast following and photographing Shetland’s otters, and I have gained intimate knowledge of this charismatic animal and the coastlines where it lives. ‘Otter talk’ is about sharing those experiences, and stories about individual otters and families, and the trial and tribulations the Shetland otter faces living on a wild coast.
Shetland otters, ponies and a lucky escape
The orangey glow in the sky was reflecting in the water, giving it a magical look. I picked up the otter with my binoculars and I could see he was working the kelp bed towards me. I slowly moved into position below the skyline and watched as the otter got closer.
Book launch: Otters in Shetland The tale of the draatsi
At last- after years of planning and the inevitable blood sweat and tears endured with such a huge project, it is finally here and the story of Shetlands otters is communicated through our book Otters in Shetland- The tale of the draatsi.
Shetland otters, too many for one coastline?
Walking one of my favourite stretches of coast to watch Shetland otters, in particular families, is always a great thrill and often full of surprises. Knowing there is a mother with three cubs and a mum with a single cub on this particular coastline nearly always guarantees sightings.
The Shetland otter and her three cubs
It became apparent, very quickly; it was a female with three cubs. It was a great display for us, over the next three hours, as we followed the family watching them catch fish and play fighting.
In search of Shetland otters
Setting out to look for a mum and three cubs gave me a rest bite from sitting behind computer writing about otters. I was not disappointed and found the mum and three cubs already out feeding along the Shetland coast.
The making of a cameraman – ‘tracking otter’s’
Tracking Shetland wild otters is no mean feat for a cameraman trying to make is mark. Otters he did track and made a great film about Shetland otters.
Winter time – tough for a Shetland otter family
The weather was OK so headed out to check up on a family of Shetland otters and observed some very interesting behaviour. In particular, this family, the mother had three cubs and now she only has one.
Photographing Shetland otters – otter and photographer behaviour
I had been away from home for the last month and could not wait to get out and look for Shetland otters, and see what they were up to. It was a very windy as I headed out the door but I was not disappointed.
Shetland Otters – the meeting of two families
It turned into a special a day for following Shetland otters. I had decided to go and walk a stretch of coast to look for otter that I had not walked for quite awhile. It had constantly been in the back of mind this autumn/winter as a place where I should go and check on the otters
Where are those Shetland otters?
The sky was black and heavy snow showers all morning. However I was keen to get out having been stuck behind the computer and look for the otters I had been following. Low water was at 4:30pm, the wind was in the north making it perfect for an afternoon for searching the coast.
Following and learning about Shetland otters
Went back out this morning to look for Shetland otters, in particular a mother and cub I have been following. On my way to the coast I passed another otter and her two cubs in the bay but still the wind is the wrong way to even think about trying to photograph this family.
In the field with Shetland otters
Over the last 3 days I have been out early morning to catch the low tide that was occurring around first light, getting to know and trying to photograph the local otters. I find otters such fascinating creatures and can spend hours just observing them.