Marwick Head

The clifftops of the western coast of Orkney are home to many sea birds and Marwick Head is one of the three RSPB nature reserves on the Orkney islands.

Cliffs at Marwick Head

Cliffs at Marwick Head

Exposed to the Atlantic Ocean, the clifftops are home to the largest cliff nesting seabird colony on the Orkney mainland.

Some of the star species you are likely to encounter in this seabird city include; Fulmars, Razorbills, Kittiwakes and Guillemots and Puffins.

You may also be lucky enough to see Hen harriers, Artic skuas and Red-throated divers.  In a good season, over 25,ooo nesting birds use the sandstone cliff ledges of Mariwck Head.

The beach of Marwick Bay attracts a wide range of wading birds and ducks, the reserve also extends to some of the wet meadows immediately behind the footpath where Short eared owls (Catty faces) are often seen sitting on fence posts in the afternoon sun.

Early summer in May and June is the best time to see these birds and the carpets of pink Thrift.

The Marwick Head circular walk along the cliff path, will lead to the Kitchener Memorial and gives stunning views over to the island of Hoy.

More information

RSPB – Marwick Head

Welcome to Scotland – Marwick Head

Kitchener Memorial – Spirit of Orkney