Shetland Nature

Wildlife, Birding & Photography Holidays in the Shetland Islands

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Otters in Shetland

Wild Otters are undoubtedly one of the most charismatic and captivating mammals in Britain. Few creatures encapsulate both the ‘aw’ and the ‘wow’ factors like Otters do; from their stealthy hunting and predatory abilities to the intimate, adorable and playful antics of a mother and her cubs.

Shetland is arguably the best place in Britain to see Eurasian Otters with the islands actually boasting the highest density of these marvellously evocative mammals anywhere in Europe and in fact probably the world!

Here Otters evolved to be much more at home in the salt-water coastal environment where they thrive in Shetlands pristine waters. Along much of Shetlands more sheltered tidal bays and coastlines their daily routines largely revolve around the rhythm of the tides.

Each season essentially offers many different opportunities and aspects of behaviour as for Otters in Shetlands ever changing elements and environment, life goes on. In contrast to Eurasian Otters throughout many parts of Britain, Otters feed during daylight hours as opposed to their nocturnal habits in freshwater environments. As a result of this summer is a time of plenty for them; with a sun that barely sets they can be very selective as to when they feed however during winter there is but a few hours of day light. This means activity tends to be condensed into the shortened days and in turn offers a wealth of wonderful opportunities to enjoy.

Otters and what we can do for you

Otters are a speciality of ours and one that has mainly been built around Brydon’s knowledge and reputation as a leading Otter guide. Our knowledge of Otters here and the sites they inhabit is second to none and in turn is unrivalled by any tour company running holidays in Shetland. We study Otters all year round and by doing so know which sites are being used and when. This allows us to communicate an intimate insight into these evocative animals’ lives.

During all our holidays we dedicate time (and often on several days) along some of the most densely populated Otter sites in Britain and by doing this have yet to fail. Our small group sizes on our holidays have been meticulously designed with this in mind and allow us an insight simply not possible with larger groups. Large groups are rarely conducive for watching Otters, especially in their natural environment. Read more about these Holidays.

For visitors seeking to learn and experience more we also run Otter Watching Day Tours all year round and offer bespoke holidays for small groups and or families. Such a personal experience further adds to how emotive an experience spending time with these captivating creatures can be.

For photographers Brydon runs a very specialist one to one guiding service – read more about Otter Photography with Brydon Thomason.

We are corporate members of the IOSF