Below you'll find an excerpt from the expedition cruise with M/S Stockholm to the Orkney and Shetland Islands, 30th April – 11th May 2016.
Friday 6th May - Fair Isle
This small, remote island half-way between Orkney and Shetland has a population of about 70 people, and is owned by the National Trust for Scotland, mainly because of its great importance for seabirds and migratory species. We berthed in North Haven, near the Bird Observatory, and went ashore in lovely spring sunshine to explore this island gem. Fair Isle sheep with their new-born lambs keep the grass immaculately short, and first we investigated Landberg, a 2000-year old promontory fort defended by several banks and ditches, where we sat watching puffins rafting in the bay below and coming to land at their burrows by our feet. Then most of us went for a hike with Adam to the dramatic scenery of the northern part of the island, ending at the 1891 Stevenson lighthouse.
After lunch we explored the nooks and crannies of the shoreline by Zodiac, gazing up at ledges full of Common guillemots, Razorbills, Northern Gannets and Northern Fulmars preparing to nest. The rocky waterline revealed Purple sandpipers and Ruddy turnstones, and Grey seals popped their heads above the water to observe us. Then there was time to wander at leisure taking in the evening light, or purchasing some of the famous Fair Isle knitwear at the Observatory.