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Stronsay Wildlife, the Flora and Fauna of Stronsay Island

Stronsay is an island in Orkney, Scotland situated to the North of the British Isles. Stronsay is part of an extensive group of Islands where the Atlantic Ocean and North Sea meet, known as the Orkney Islands. Stronsay's shape is irregular and its name originates from the Old Norse for Star Island. Stronsay is one of the inhabited islands in the Orkneys.


Stronsay Wildlife, the Flora and Fauna of Stronsay Island

Wildlife found on Stronsay, amongst other, include common and grey seals. Dolphins, porpoises and whales are sometimes seen from Stronsay, and what better way to spend a pleasant summer afternoon looking out to sea from the island in the hopes of spotting any of these magnificent sea-creatures.


Stronsay Wild Birds

Wild birds abound around Stronsay including red-throated divers, sort-eared owls, the arctic tern plus many many breeding sea birds around the coast of Stronsay.

The cliffs of Stronsay to the South and West of the island offer a home to large colonies of breeding gannets and fulmars. Stronsay also has a loch and marshes which are home to wild ducks and waders. Merganser Ducks and Shoveler Ducks can be seen and you would be very fortunate to spot the rare pintail as there are only approx. 50 breeding pairs of these birds in Britain.

Rarer avian visitors to Stronsay Island include the American golden plover, the Arctic red poll, the Pied wheatear, the Rustic bunting, the Scarlet rosefinch, the Tawny pipit and various warblers including: Radde's warbler, the marsh warbler and the subalpine warbler.


Stronsay Flowers and Plants

Stronsay is also good for those wishing to see flora as the island offers a good habitat for many rare plants and wild flowers.

Whilst walking on Stronsay look out for Coltsfoot, Marsh Marigold and Celandine which are followed by Primroses, Violets, Speedwell, and Flag Irises.

Stronsay island is treeless but other wild flowers include oysterplant, frog orchids, and adder's tongue.


Stronsay Animals

Grey seals are common on Stronsay and are easily spotted during the autumn, their breeding season.

Good places to see Grey Seals on Stronsay include: Linga Holm, the Holms of Spurness, the Bay of Holland, Huip, Auskerry and Papa Stronsay.

The common seal is also often seen on Stronsay.

Dolphins and whales can sometimes be seen from the beaches and cliffs of Stronsay Island.


Stronsay Beast

The Stronsay Beast is an interesting addition to the wildlife of Stronsay. The mysterious creature was washed up on a beach of Stronsay in the early 1800s. Check out the Stronsay Beast page for more information.


Stronsay Beast Photograph 1.

A sketch of the Stronsay Beast made by Sir Alexander Gibson in 1808. The Stronsay Beast was measured as having a circumference around its middle of 10 feet (approx. 3 metres).


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