Scottish movie star Ewan McGregor is to narrate a new factual TV documentary on Shetland.
Wild Shetland: Scotland’s Viking Frontier will air on BBC One Scotland on Wednesday, 23 January, from 8-9pm.
The documentary gives a captivating portrait of wild Shetland with dramatic footage which includes an orca pod hunting seals along the rocky coasts, while otter cubs, puffins, Arctic terns and gannets battle the seasons in the breath-taking scenery of these stunningly beautiful, most northerly of Scottish Islands.
The fire festival of Up Helly Aa opens the film as hundreds of costumed Viking raiders drag their longship through the streets of Lerwick.
Shetland is made up of over 100 different islands and spectacular aerials reveal its varied scenery with clear nights bringing the magical northern lights out to play.
As the wheel of the seasons turns, the cliffs of Hermaness fill with tens of thousands of gannets, who flock to the dramatic sea stacks to breed.
On Shetland’s most remote Island Fair Isle, the celebrities of the bird world are returning to the grassy slopes – colourful and comical puffins.
Puffins pair for life. In the breeding season couples re-unite after spending months apart on the open sea. But one returning male puffin is in for a shock. He returns to his burrow to find his mate courting a new male.
More and more spring visitors are arriving into Shetland. Locally known as the Terrick, Arctic Terns – Shetland’s ‘sea swallow’ are traditional harbingers of Spring into these Northerly Isles. It’s the longest migration of any animal on earth all the way from Antarctica and each pair must renew their bonds with courting couples all around.
On the Island of Fetlar one of Europe’s most unusual breeding birds has also returned to breed. Found nowhere else in Britain – Red-necked phalaropes don’t adhere to more traditional chick rearing with the gaudy female choosing a mate while the more dowdy-looking male has the task of incubating the eggs and looking after the chicks.
Harbour seals line the silver white sandy beaches as females are starting to produce pups. But they need to be very careful! Killer whales also known as Orca have become increasingly common summer visitors to Shetland in recent years and they have developed a taste for seals.
Made by Maramedia, the company which also made the acclaimed Highlands: Scotland’s Wild Heart, Wild Shetland: Scotland’s Viking Frontier also features original music by an award winning Scottish composer Fraser Purdie and vocals by Julie Fowlis.