Orkney’s location between the North Atlantic and the North Sea enjoys a temperate climate and as such a wealth of sea life. Arguably the most impressive of which are the sea mammals; from seals in their abundance to shy otters and impressive whales and basking sharks. Porpoises are common in Orkney waters and in recent years close encounters with Atlantic white sided dolphins and Orca have become more frequent.
Eight percent of the land area in Orkney is made up of 13 RSPB nature reserves. Immense sea cliffs, wetlands and loch shores and the heather covered hills help support the rich variety of Orkney’s bird life. Sea bird colonies nest on remote cliffs at certain times of the year packed with fulmars, guillemots, puffins and kittiwakes. Diving gannets are a particularly stunning sight when viewed from the boat. Orkney’s wetlands support huge numbers of waders and wildfowl while farmlands are well managed to support wildflowers in their abundance, as well as corncrakes, finches and bumblebees. Wildflowers thrive on our moorlands as do hen harriers, short-eared owls and red-throated divers. Artic hares live high on the Hoy Hills and change colour with the seasons.