From hides and trails of Orkney’s many reserves to the deck of a chartered wildlife operator, spot the many migratory and seabirds that settle in 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 bird species who settle on the islands to breed, such as fulmars, guillemots, kittiwakes and razorbills.
In autumn and winter Orkney becomes home to 50,000 waders who feed on the islands' shorelines while whooper swans and graylag geese graze in fields inland. Some even more rare migrants can appear almost anywhere during the spring and autumn months, including a sandhill crane and a red-eyed vireo, both from North America. North Ronaldsay, with its bird observatory, is a particular migrant hotspot and well a great place to spot birds at migration time.
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.
If you're a keen birder - visiting or local - why not post your sightings online at the Orkneybirding forum? This will help others birdwatchers and also add to our conservation knowledge.
Browse our list of providers to plan your birdwatching trip in Orkney today.