We are delighted to announce that we have yet again won an award, this time in the Travel & Hospitality Awards 2024……more coming soon with a press release. THANK YOU!!

 

 

 

 

“Not what we were expecting when we woke up yesterday morning……A BELUGA !!! a high Arctic marine mammal in the sub-zero winter wonderland Shetland is currently experiencing, to get to the site was hard enough, but worth every freezing moment for a once in a lifetime wildlife sighting”

A stunning ivory white BELUGA whale was spotted off West Ayre in Hillswick yesterday morning by Margaret and Jeff Tungatt who contacted the admin of the local Cetacean WhatsApp page with the sighting, then made public mid-morning. Phil, Ayda (8) & I tried to head out north but the weather with pure arctic conditions, thick snow & drift made our plans impossible & we turned back. However around 1pm, the weather improved & we again set of north in our 4×4. We made a diversion to pick up good friend & ace cameraman & drone photographer Richard Shucksmith & made it to West Ayre, Hillswick about an hour before dark. The sea was very dark & skies ominous as we scanned the bay, & almost immediately picked up the incredible sight of a ghostly ivory white large BELUGA, regularly surfacing & clearly visible at distance contrasting against the dark water. The large, active animal appeared healthy, feeding & regularly diving for a few minutes at a time, we could even follow it’s white shape below the surface. Beluga apparently feed on various fish species as well as crabs, octopus, squid & snails & this one could be seen up-ending to feed on a couple of occasions.

Richard captured breath-taking drone footage of this rare Arctic & Sub-Arctic marine mammal (seriously doesn’t get better than that please check it out!! LINK here: https://fb.watch/pEVp-PJU8G/ & it was hugely exciting for all four of us to not only watch the animal surfacing & see it’s iconic ‘melon-head’ shape & beautiful tail shape at distance, but also enjoy it ‘live’ via Richard’s drone camera. I got some distant record shots & a nice little video which serves as a perfect memory of Shetland’s 6th BELUGA. It was a very special moment for all of us at Shetland Seabird Tours – The Noss Boat, & one we will remember for years to come. Rebecca has previously seen Beluga in Spitsbergen whilst guiding there is 2012 but it was a world cetacean tick for everyone else. It is still present today 18th January 2024 & we hope if the weather improves many others will get to enjoy seeing they spectacular, iconic Arctic species as the weather improves. It is difficult to know exactly why the Beluga is here in Shetland waters, along with the 5 other Beluga records, we have also had Bearded Seals & Walrus on the Isles of the the last few years. These are all high arctic species & we must consider that these rare but increasing sightings are highly likely the result of climate change & the aptly named climate catastrophe we are faced with today. The strong northerly storms & arctic weather front we have been experiencing of late, may also have caused the Hillswick Beluga to have become disorientated & separated from it’s pod, & of course although it looks healthy, we never really know if there are more serious individual, internal health issues at play. We hope it will feed well whilst here & be able to make it’s way back further north as soon as possible.

ON THE BELOW LINK FOR OUR VIDEO OF THE BELUGA SURFACING OFF HILLSWICK.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/C2N-dtCxOoY/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link&igsh=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==

 

Loch Ness Monster or …… A BELUGA!
BELUGA BAY – West Ayre Bay, Hillswick.

 

Shetland Seabird Tours – The Noss Boat – November article.

This month we celebrate the 200th issue of I’I shetland!! 🎉

“In recognition of this milestone, we have selected stories subjectively from each year since its launch in 2006! We hope you enjoy our selection, remembering those occasions along with us, as well as celebrating your community in print. We thank all our advertisers, reads and contributors that make i’i Shetland special and Shetland’s monthly magazine.” 💛

“Other features this month include The Accordion & Fiddle Festival, Shetland Jewellery ‘Shining Bright’, Bruce Williamson, Shetland Swing performance, Elizabeth Atia’s latest recipe, Shetland Wildlife with Rebecca Nason, i’i Kids for the peerie ones, your photography in Readers Pics and much more! Pick up your copy today!” i’i Shetland, Nov’23

 

 

Why not give you’re loved ones a very special Christmas present this year, with a boat tour with seasoned professionals to enjoy one of Europe’s finest wildlife spectacles – the sight, smell & sound of over 25,000 northern gannets & a wealth of other seabirds & marine life around the towering Noss cliffs & around Bressay. Whether you are already on Shetland or planning a holiday here – make sure you add this exciting, popular, top Shetland visitor attraction to your visit today ……… Merry Christmas!

 

 

Call – email or text us today to order a NOSS BOAT gift vouchers for Christmas!

 

Celebrating Shetland’s Community

“Our popular monthly magazine, i’i shetland, tells the stories of the people and happenings in the lively Shetland community. From local events to personal triumphs and the births of Shetland’s newest residents, we tell the stories of the people that make Shetland the wonderful place it is.

Our magazine is written, designed and published by Millgaet Media, centred around the stunning photography produced by our team of exceptional photographers”

The Noss Boat co-owner, wildlife photographer & naturalist Rebecca Nason, writes a monthly article in Shetland’s popular local magazine i’i Shetland. October’s article was titled “OWLING OCTOBER” and contained beautiful images of Long-eared Owls together with an interesting insight into their lives and their migration through the Shetland Islands. All images taken on Shetland mainland and Fair Isle. November’s article ‘YELLOW FELLOW’ is out now!

We have been proud partners of Geopark Shetland since being invited to join forces in 2019 & are delighted to continue our journey with them into 2023/4 & beyond. We are excited to include aspects of Shetland’s incredibly diverse geology during our live Noss Boat commentary & to offer geological information enthusiastically to our many passengers each year. We are very happy to raise the geological profile of Shetland where we can & to offer direction for further exploration in this important area of Shetland’s natural history. Look out for the very colourful geological map onboard & please ask for our new free geology leaflets.

 

3 billion years in the making…

WHAT IS A UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARK?

A UNESCO Global Geopark is an area with internationally important rocks and landscapes, all of which are managed responsibly for tourism, conservation and education. Whilst geology may be their foundation, UNESCO Global Geoparks build upon that by bringing it together with other aspects of heritage, such as archaeology, history, culture and biodiversity, all of which are intricately linked with the ground beneath our feet. Shetland UNESCO Global Geopark is managed by Shetland Amenity Trust.

WHAT HAPPENS IN UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARKS?

Tourism:Geoparks are places of thriving responsible tourism and development, where people live and work. They act as catalysts for community enterprise, innovation and business for the benefit of everyone.

Conservation: UNESCO Global Geopark status does not offer statutory protection and places no restrictions on development or on farming practices. Instead, UNESCO Global Geoparks work in conjunction with existing designations to promote the protection of our local environment.

Education: Geoparks are outdoor classrooms and living laboratories, where the stunning landscapes inspire learning and discovery, contributing to environmental education that helps deepen our understanding of the world around us.

 

 

We are thrilled to have The Noss Boat sponsored by Opticron again this season, who, since the Spring, have embellished our new Noss Boat upholstered seating with a pair of their wonderful binoculars in every front pocket, so that every one of our thousands of passengers we welcome aboard each year, has the opportunity to ‘get close & personal’ with Shetland’s marine wildlife. We understand that not everyone is an ornithologist or keen naturalist with their own binoculars to hand, so we are delighted to give everyone aboard, young, old, experienced or novice, the opportunity to handle & use these lightweight, clear, bright & sharp optics to heighten their Noss Boat wildlife boat experience with us. Opticron have supported us since our first season  – Do check them & their range of optics out!

THANK YOU OPTICRON – Phil & Rebecca SST

  Adventurer II WP 8×32

Adventurer II WP roof prism binoculars offer the first-time and casual user of optics terrific quality and value for money. Suitable for all types of general and wildlife observation, the models deliver bright, clear images with full field of view for spectacle wearers. Nitrogen waterproof and finished in quality textured rubber armour, the binoculars are well balanced in the hand and incorporate BAK4 roof prisms and fully multi-coated lenses. A great choice for anyone wanting a sturdy and reliable binocular with sound handling and a high standard of fit and finish.

Features

  • Roof prism design finished in textured rubber armour
  • Nitrogen waterproof construction
  • Fully multi-coated optical system
  • Long eye relief eyepieces for spectacle wearers
  • Twist-type retractable eyecups
  • Wide band focusing
  • Tripod adapter socket

Sea Watching

The study of sea-going creatures requires patience and sometimes a good deal of luck! When that special moment occurs – a whale breaching or a pod of dolphins appears ship-side – make sure you have the right equipment to get a close up view.

Birdwatching

Opticron products have been chosen to meet the needs of birdwatchers of all abilities and types. See their website for their range and choice based on your budget or basic specification requirements.

 

“Founded in the UK in 1970, Opticron is a family-owned business with over forty years experience in consumer optics. In that time we have met and exceeded the demands of tens of thousands of enthusiasts and occasional users looking for a pair of high quality affordable binoculars, a telescope or an accessory to help them pursue their pastime, hobby or obsession!

We continue to specialise in delivering the best solution to wildlife enthusiasts irrespective of age, budget or experience. We aim to provide the very best mix of quality, choice and value backed up with customer service worth the name.

The company’s maxim “smaller, lighter, brighter, sharper” is the driving force behind the compact and lightweight equipment on offer. Designed and engineered to meet the varied demands of often highly discriminating customers who really use their equipment, we also try to offer a wide range of individual models and model variants to ensure people get to own the very best instrument suited to them.

Quality and value are two factors critical to the success of our business. Both have been developed and are maintained in partnership with a small number of trusted manufacturers. The benefits of these relationships are best seen in the optical performance of the equipment, the prices and guarantees offered and the value for money which we believe is second to none.

Innovation is a key part of our philosophy – bringing new and better solutions to our customers as they demand more and different things from their equipment. One of the first companies outside Europe’s ‘big three’ to launch an internally focused, 2m close focus roof prism binocular in 1995, we were a forerunner in the development of the Travelscope (a high quality interchangeable eyepiece spottingscope that meant larger scopes could be left at home), and we offer the widest range of quality full-size field monoculars of any company in the business” Opticron About Us – Website