Noss National Nature Reserve / Isle of Noss ***
Region: Shetland Islands
Looking over Noss Sound to Noss / © Copyright Rob Farrow and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
The Isle of Noss is a small gem of an island offering one of the most spectacular wildlife sights in the world. Its truly striking landscape provides for the perfect environment that supports a colossal number of birds. Its grass-topped, vertical cliffs, some 500’ (152 m) high, plunge straight into the sea.
Established as a National Nature Reserve in 1955, Noss is home to over 300,000 breeding seabirds. The first sighting of Noss always imprints strongly on a visitor’s memories. Even those with no previous interest in birds cannot help being impressed by the stupendous aural chorus of around 150,000 adult birds and chicks at the peak of the breeding season. This wildlife reserve is an important colony for nesting gannets, shags, kittiwakes, razorbills, guillemots, herring gulls, fulmars and skuas. Without a doubt, a visit here is one of the most awe-inspiring wildlife experiences on earth. For that reason, Noss is often referred to as ‘Seabird City’ or the ‘Garden of the Cliffs.’
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