Snowy Owls back in Shetland
There was a lot of excitement in Shetland last month with the first Snowy Owl to be seen for several years.
Snowy Owls haven’t actually bred in the islands since the 1960s/1970s – an event which was discovered by the late Bobby Tulloch, co-founding partner of Island Holidays. This one was spotted on South Mainland but apparently didn’t hang around for long. Snowy Owls are Arctic birds, perfectly designed to fit into that environment. I was lucky enough to go out with Bobby in the early 1980’s on Fetlar where the last remaining female was sitting on a rock allowing herself to be admired by a handful of birders who had made the journey north. It was one of those experiences you never forget, as was my first otter on Shetland. For our tour at the end of May we don’t hold out much hope for Snowy Owls but all our groups in recent years have had good sightings of otters plus, of course, the wealth of birdlife which these fabulous islands have to offer. You’ll gather Shetland is one of my favourites!