Bird Watching

Marwick Head seabird city Marwick Head - seabird city!From puffins to sea eagles, Orkney offers bird watchers some of Europe’s most important and interesting species. As a chartered wildlife operator, we can take you to the best places to see and photograph many of the species that frequent the Orkney archipelago. Although birdwatching can be enjoyed throughout the year, April to July is one of the best times to experience it. The sandstone ledges of the sea-cliff reserves are colonised in early summer by tens of thousands of breeding seabirds, such as fulmars, guillemots, kittiwakes and razorbills.

razorbills RazorbillsIn autumn and winter Orkney becomes home to 50,000 waders that feed on the islands' shorelines while whooper swans and graylag geese graze fields inland. Some even rarer migrants can appear almost anywhere during the spring and autumn months, including, recently, a sandhill crane and a red-eyed vireo, both from North America. North Ronaldsay is a particular migrant hotspot and a great place to spot birds at migration time with its own dedicated bird observatory.

The islands are also home to 13 RSPB reserves and 36 Sites of Special Scientific Interest, which include breeding areas for arctic terns and skuas, so if you're a keen birder then why not hire the MV 'Sunrise' for a day’s viewing with your friends. Overnight or even week-long birding excursions can be arranged for more dedicated and adventurous parties of birders on board the MV 'Sunrise'.

Photography © Chris Werb.