Sumburgh Nature And Wildlife

The soaring sandstone cliffs of Sumburgh Head provide breathtaking views of Shetland, and on a clear day, the island of Fair Isle can be seen to the south.

Puffins at Sumburgh Head Zoom Puffins at Sumburgh Head Colourful blooms of Spring Squill and Thrift (Sea Pinks) adorn the cliff tops, however it is probably the seabirds that provide the main attraction for visitors.

Sumburgh Head is an RSPB Nature Reserve and is home to tens of thousands of seabirds in the summer including Fulmars, Gulliemots, Kittiwakes and Shags. The area is probably the most accessible place in the British Isles to get close to Puffins, or ‘Tammie Nories’ as they are known locally. These entertaining seabirds are a popular feature of the cliffs during the summer months and visitors can see them from only a few feet away!

In winter Fulmars and Shags can still be seen and a flock of Twite are frequently seen around the reserve.

The rich marine food supply here attracts a diversity of sea-mammals, which as led to the area becoming increasingly well known as an excellent whale-watching spot. There are regular sightings of Killer and Minke Whales and Harbour Porpoises. Grey Seals are often to be found hauled up on the rocks at the bottoms of the cliffs.

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