Otters are charismatic lovable animals, full of character and interesting behaviour. They can be difficult to find, to follow and to photograph. However, Shetland has the highest density of otters in Europe and probably one of the best studied populations in the UK. This alone makes it one of the best places in Europe to see otters. What makes it even better is the fact that in Shetland otters spend a lot of their time foraging during the day, significantly increasing your chances of watching and photographing otters.
I am obsessed with otters, and being an inquisitive ecologist I have made it my business to get to know all about the lives of otters in Shetland and their relationship with the coast. However, no matter how much time you spend in the field, otters have great ways of surprising you.
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.