David Gifford Photography

Playing in the Rain

Photo: Playing in the Rain

Had a brilliant day of serious otter tracking on Sunday with my friend Brydon Thomason. Brydon offers specialist otter watching / photography holidays, and so keeps track (pun intended) of many otter families around Shetland's shores. I joined him on a reconnaissance of two wild and remote sites, looking for signs of otter activity...

We quickly connected with a mother and two cubs at the first site. With an onshore wind removing our scent, we were able to follow the otters as they started fishing. We worked ourselves into a perfect position, hidden behind rocks as the three otters came ashore together. This gave us a great view - at ideal photographic range - of the cubs playing on the shore. Unfortunately, what had been fine weather ten minutes before had turned to drizzle, and then became a torrential downpour! It was by far the heaviest rain I'd ever taken photos in (Brydon too) and I dared only take a few photos (including the above) before getting the camera into cover. I won't forget my lens rain-cover next time!

At the second site I have to give Brydon credit for spotting another female otter at extreme distance (I'm sure his new Zeiss bins helped!) and then spotting her two cubs on the shore. We watched them for about an hour and were in perfect position when one of the cubs came ashore with a Scorpion fish, right in front of us. Another fantastic encounter.

You can find out about Brydon's tours and holidays on his website ShetlandNature.net


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