Bearded Seal

Headed up to Yell this morning to follow up yesterday’s possible Middendorf’s Bean Geese. A slithery and uncertain drive for much of the journey as it had snowed (yet again) overnight, and the gritters didn’t seem to have caught up with it judging by the amount of roads still white with packed snow.

Good views of 3 fishing Otters en route, including one that tried to take a Black Guillemot from below – I watched the trail of bubbles on the calm sea bearing straight to the tystie, which realised what was happening at the last possible moment and flung itself into the air as the Otter surfaced where it had been resting. What a photo that would have made…

 Finally, onto Yell itself. Not knowing precisely where to look, I gave DP a call – only to discover I should have called him before setting out, as the geese had been outside his house yesterday for mere minutes before flying off again. Woe.

I figured that being up on Yell it might be worth going to look for the Bearded Seal that was first seen for a day in January, and then reported again last week. It was obviously just meant to be a mammal day, as I found it hauled out on the shore beside the road to Mid Yell. Absolutely awesome views – I took hundreds of photos, but can’t face going through them all tonight. Here’s a couple of random samples…

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11 Responses

  1. What a superb creature! Terrific photos.

  2. Jon,

    One of these here at the moment, tried for it yesterday and dipped. Great pix.

  3. Great shots – ‘ours’ is almost entirely silver at the moment with a clump of fur missing from the top of its head.
    Superb whiskers – again, fabulous images these.

  4. Great shots Jon – love the look-away-from-camera ones. I’d have joined you if I’d have got back earlier from France!

    • Those head-turned photos were borne out of necessity rather than design! The seal’s got a big, ugly flesh wound at the base of the left flipper, so I was trying to take pix where the head obscured the wound.

      I should perhaps have done what Dougie Preston did with his pix on Nature in Shetland and used Photoshop to ‘heal’ the wound!

  5. Great photos of the beard seal!

    An otter taking a guillemot certainly would have been one hell of a photo!

  6. wow! amazing photos!

  7. All the photos in this post are truly outstanding!

    The “double reflection” on the Black Guillemot picture is very unusual and just breathtaking, with the light streaks on the bird’s cheek and the humoristic distortion of the bird’s shape in the water. Just beautiful!
    The otter pic shows a nice balance between being an action shot and a still life.
    And the Bearded Seal is just wonderful, I especially like the composition of the colours with the blue background on the first two pictures.
    And there’s something about the last pic that screams “Dr. Watson”!

    Seriously, I have hardly ever seen such good photos in one single blog post.

  8. Good to see you back. Superb shots of the seal.

  9. that Bearded Seal looks like it just escaped from the Whoville.

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