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Dunnet Links National Nature Reserve
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Archeology | Heritage | Flora & Fauna | Fishing | Attractions | Home
| Castletown Heritage Centre |

 

Birds are the most fascinating, varied and noticeable of the natural life around us. Watching them is popular and pleasurable.

The area around Dunnet Bay and Dunnet Head is of particular interest to Ornithologists. Embracing the principal bird habitats of land, waterside and water, there is an abundant variety of birdlife.

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The land is basically grassland or heather moor with a little woodland. Waterside habitat lies adjacent to the area’s lochs, feeder streams, ditches and bogs. The lochs also provide a water habitat, but the main water area is obviously the sea around the shore, which has both sandy dunes and rocky cliffs.

This page shows the best places to see birds and gives a checklist of birds which breed regularly in the area, along with birds of passage and rare visitors.

How you act will affect how much bird life you see. Go quietly - especially during the breeding season.

 

BEST SITES TO VIEW BIRDS

 

BIRDS THAT BREED HERE

Red Throated Diver
Little Grebe
Fulmar
Cormorant
Heron
Mute Swan
Shelduck
Wigeon
Teal

Mallard
Tufted Duck
Long Tailed Duck
Red Breasted Merganser
Sparrowhawk
Buzzard
Kestrel
Peregrine
Red Grouse
Pheasant
Grey Partridge
Moorhen

Oystercatcher
Ringed Plover
Golden Plover
Lapwing
Dunlin
Snipe
Curlew
Redshank
Common Sandpiper
Blackheaded Gull
Common Gull
Herring Gull
Great Black Backed Gull
Arctic Tern
Rock Dove
Wood Pigeon
Skylark
Swallow
House Martin
Meadow Pipit
Pied Wagtail
Wren
Dunnock
Robin
Stonechat
Whinchat
Wheatear
Blackbird
Song Thrush
Grasshopper Warbler
Sedge Warbler
Willow Warbler
Goldcrest
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Jackdaw
Rook
Carrion Crow
Raven
Starling
House Sparrow
Chaffinch
Greenfinch
Goldfinch
Siskin
Redpoll
Yellow Hammer
Reed Bunting
Razorbill
Little Tern
Black Guillemot

BIRDS OF PASSAGE

Slavonian Grebe
Fulmar
Gannet
Whooper Swan
Pink Footed Goose
White Fronted Goose
Greylag Goose
Mandarin
Gadwall
Pintail
Shoveller
Goldeneye
Goosander
Merlin
Coot
Golden Plover
Knot
Little Stint
Curlew Sandpiper
Ruff
Black Tailed Godwit
Whimbrel
Greenshank
Snow Bunting
Green Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper
Turnstone
Arctic Skua
Great Skua
Kittiwake
Sandwich Tern
Swift
Sand Martin
Waxwing
Redstart
Fieldfare
Redwing
Whitethroat
Garden Warbler
Blackcap
Chiffchaff
Spotted Flycatcher
Long Tailed Tit
Brambling
Crossbill
Bullfinch

RARE AND VERY RARE BIRDS

Great Northern Diver
Slavonian Grebe
Bean Goose
Canada Goose
Barnacle Goose
Gadwall
Garganey
Shoveller
Red Crested Pochard
Lesser Scaup
King Eider
Common Scoter
Marsh Harrier
Goshawk
Osprey
Quail
Water Rail
Pacific Golden Plover
Grey Plover
Temmincks Stint
Jack Snipe
Woodcock
Bartailed Godwit
Spotted Redshank
Little Gull
Glaucous Gull
Red Backed Shrike
Brunnick's Guillemot
White Billed Diver
Baird's Sandpiper
Marsh Sandpiper
Ross's Gull
Common Tern
White Winged Black Tern
Tawny Owl
Red Rumped Swallow
Yellow Wagtail
Grey Wagtail
Ring Ouzel
Mistle Thrush
Reed Warbler
Lesser Whitethroat
Wood Warbler
Red Breasted Flycatcher
Pied Flycatcher
Tree Sparrow
Common Rosefinch
Hawfinch
Red Necked Grebe
Cory's Shearwater
Manx Shearwater
Honey Buzzard
Surf Scoter
Red Necked Phalarope
Long Tailed Skua
Hoopoe
Dipper
Corncrake
Barred Warbler
Tree Creeper
Great Grey Shrike
Cuckoo
Collared Pratencole
Pectoral Sandpiper
Wilson's Phalarope
Ivory Gull
Black Tern

 

For the enthusiast, there is a hide overlooking a shallow pond at the North West corner of St. John's Loch. Further information may be obtained from Julian Smith, St. John's, Brough.

(Tel. 01847 851 280.)

 

FOLLOW THE COUNTRY CODE

The Country Code

SAFETY - BE CAREFUL

 

Dunnet Bay Group wishes to express thanks to Julian Smith, local ornithologist, for the provision of the information contained on this page.

 

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in conjunction with
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Caithness & Sutherland Enterprise

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