It’s been a little while since we gave an update on what’s been happening across our reserves but I promise that we’ve had a lot going on!

The puffins are back at Sumburgh Head! Seeing these little guys is always a sign spring is underway and it’s always fun to take a break from the computer and pop out the office door to say hello to them.

A single puffin sat on a cliff
A Puffin at Sumburgh Head

Down at Loch of Spiggie, the hide has been decorated with some incredible artwork which is a collaboration between RSPB Shetland, local primary schools and the artist Gilly B. Make sure you pop in to have a look – it’s amazing! The tern rafts are back out in place in the loch, though are currently covered. This is to prevent gulls claiming them before the Arctic Terns make it home! Once the terns are back we will remove the cover and keep everything crossed that it is to their liking. Anyone passing Spiggie may have noticed we’ve had a new scrape put in. This has created more feeding habitat for the wading birds that breed at Spiggie.

A wader scape reflects the blue of the sky
The new wader scrape at Spiggie

Mousa is open again for the season with the Mousa Boat running their day trips and helping us get across to the island. We’ve been across getting signs out and checking how everything has fared over the winter. There’s still jobs to do (there always is) but we had an enjoyable overnight stay to kick off the survey season with our Tystie (Black Guillemot) count.

A sign with a picture of a storm petrel and some text is infront of a stone wall with the sea and cliffs in the background
Magical Mousa

In Fetlar we’ve had some work carried out to improve access to the hide with a new track being put in – you no longer need to climb over any stiles to make your way down there. The final bits of habitat management work were carried out and the sluice boards have been put in across all the sites to raise water levels ready for the breeding season.

A wet flush on the mires of funzie
RSPB Mires of Funzie looking wet

One of the big bits of news for the reserves team has been that our new Assistant Warden Lizzy has started! She’s been getting stuck in, so make sure you say hello if you see her out and about.

We’re now in the midst of survey season – an exciting time when we get to welcome all the breeding birds home. I’ll write some more about that next time.


Recent sightings
Mousa Bonxie, Wheatear, Merlin, Tysties, Shags, Curlew, Ringed Plover, Redshank, Wren, Red-throated Diver

SpiggieLong-tailed duck, Teal , Shoveller, Whooper Swan, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Brambling, Blackcap, Shelduck, Sand Martin, Bonxie, Whimbrel, Ring Ouzel, Black-headed Gull, Ringed Plover, Chiffchaff

Sumburgh HeadPuffins, Great Northern Diver, Fulmar, Swallow, Kittiwake, Guillemot, Robin, Goldcrest, Peregrine, Wheatear, Razorbill, Twite