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Foula - BirdForum Opus

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One of the more remote of the Shetland Islands, Foula lies more than 20km west of Mainland and consists of steep grassy slopes, moorland and bog with the dramatic 370m Kame Cliffs at the western end.

There are a few small pools on the island, some cultivated areas and a few patches of denser vegetation found in the most sheltered spots. Foula is famous for its internationally important numbers of breeding seabirds and in particular the Great Skua.


Notable Species

In addition there is a range of other breeding seabirds such as Northern Fulmar and Manx Shearwater, European Storm-petrel and small numbers of Leach's Storm-petrel, Common Guillemot and Black Guillemot, Razorbill and Atlantic Puffin. Also breeding on Foula are Shag, Northern Gannet, Kittiwake and Arctic Tern as well as Red-throated Diver.

Breeding waders include Oystercatcher, Golden Plover, Ringed Plover and Dunlin.

Sooty Shearwater is a regular autumn migrant in very small numbers and various waders occur at this season. Purple Sandpiper is common in autumn and winter. Passerine migrants appear in small numbers during passage periods.


Increased autumn watching in recent years has resulted in a species list for the island in excess of 280 species and rarities are frequently seen.Sora Crake, Pectoral Sandpiper, Upland Sandpiper, Black-billed Cuckoo and American Robin from across the Atlantic have been recorded.

From the south there are records of Hoopoe and Eurasian Scops Owl and from the east have come Pechora Pipit and Red-throated Pipit, Arctic Warbler and Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler and Lesser Grey Shrike.


Birds you can see here include:

Red-throated Diver, Northern Fulmar, Manx Shearwater, European Storm-petrel, Leach's Storm-petrel, Northern Gannet, European Shag, Common Eider, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Eurasian Golden Plover, Red Knot, Sanderling, Purple Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Jack Snipe, Common Snipe, Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Ruddy Turnstone, Great Skua, Arctic Skua, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Glaucous Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake, Arctic Tern, Common Guillemot, Razorbill, Black Guillemot, Atlantic Puffin, Rock Dove, Common Swift, Eurasian Skylark, Barn Swallow, Northern House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit, Common Wren, Common Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, European Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Eurasian Blackbird, Fieldfare, Redwing, Hooded Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Twite, Lapland Bunting, Snow Bunting

Other Wildlife

White-beaked Dolphin Lagenorhynchus albirostris is among the cetaceans regularly seen during the ferry crossing.

Site Information

History and Use

To do

Areas of Interest

To do

Access and Facilities

A ferry sails on Tuesdays and Fridays from Walls on the west coast of Mainland and also on alternate Thursdays from Walls and Scalloway. In summer there are frequent flights from Tingwall airport.

Accommodation on the island must be booked in advance.

Contact Details

To do

External Links

Content and images originally posted by Steve