Shingle and Rocky Shore


This habitat is typical of most of the island's coastline. In the shingle areas above the high tide line nesting Arctic Tern and Ringed Plover can be found. Elsewhere the Tysties, or Black Guillemots, nest beneath jumbles of larger rocks and boulders. Walkers must beware the occasional Fulmar protecting its egg or chick on a ledge, for these distinctive, stocky birds will spit a foul substance at an apparent threat!

At low tide a large area of rock, seaweed and rock pools is exposed, which provides feeding for a number of species. The sheep head for the seaweed while waders such as Purple Sandpiper, Turnstone and Redshank search out invertebrates.

Further down the shore, at the sea's edge, resting Grey Seals, Cormorants and Shags can often be seen. Eiders also relax here and feed in the shallows, foraging mainly for mussels. Out at sea passing Gannets may be seen plunge-diving for fish. Watching the skuas can be very entertaining, as they attack the feeding gulls and terns to rob them of their food.