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Nature in Shetland

winner of a Shetland Environment Award 2004





Mousa RSPB Reserve

This page is not an official source of information for the RSPB.

The island of Mousa is most famous for its 2000 year old Iron Age broch, which is the best-preserved broch in the world, where many of the islandís 6,000 pairs of Storm Petrels (called ala-mooties in Shetland) nest. Mousa is also famous for its 400 breeding Harbour Seals (sometimes called Common Seals). Mousa is also home to Arctic Terns (tirricks), Black Guillemots (tysties), Arctic Skuas (skooty allans), Great Skuas (bonxies), Ringed Plovers (sandy lus), Oystercatchers (shalders) and even a few Puffins (tammy nories).

The ferry journey across Mousa Sound can provide views of Harbour Porpoises (neesicks) and occasionally Killer and Minke Whales.

The footpath around the southern part of the island (2.5 km, 1.5 miles) offers views of the wildlife, but is quite rough and strong footwear is advisable; Information signs, reserve leaflet, summer warden and a few special events.

Opening times:
The reserve is open from mid-April to mid-September.

How to find the reserve
Mousa lies just off the east coast of Mainland Shetland about 14 miles (22.5 kilometres) south of Lerwick and about 24 kilometres (15 miles) north of Sumburgh Airport. It is accessible by ferry (see below); weather permitting, from Leebitton, Sandwick.

Tom Jamieson runs the ferry service to Mousa, offering trips during the day and unique night time trips to see the storm petrels as they flit around the broch after dark. Tom has generously offered a 10% discount for RSPB members. For further information about trips to Mousa telephone Tom Jamieson at 01950 431367 or mobile 07901 872339 or email Mousa Boat Trips or visit their web site Mousa Boat Trips.

RSPB webpage on the reserve.

Contact: RSPB, East House, Sumburgh Head Lighthouse, Virkie, Shetland ZE3 9JN  Tel: (01950) 460800.

Tystie - Bobby Tulloch


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