By PicLocata

Noss puffins

We spent a sunny day on Noss. It's a two ferry trip from Shetland Mainland; first a car ferry to Bressay and then a small boat across to the wildlife reserve of Noss.

We sat on a slope above the cliffs to watch the puffins. They were lots, apparently in groups, and they approached us quite confidently, to within a few metres. These two were doing a courting display - shaking and touching their beaks. The third one watched closely; perhaps hoping for a chance to join in.

We saw so much more. Puffins fighting. Young gannets launching off the clifftop in a stream. Bonxies flying in pairs over the moorland, and one couple sharing a rabbit peacefully. Two wrens with just one young one, feeding on the grass by the sea. A ringed plover running ahead of us, pretending to have a broken wing; sometimes two broken wings - it exaggerated more than was plausible.

A new sight for me was a male wheatear hovering a couple of metres above the ground for a few seconds, before flying to a new position and repeating. It seems they can search for food that way, just like a tiny kestrel!

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