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Seasonal highlights

Each season brings a different experience at our nature reserves. In spring, the air is filled with birdsong as they compete to establish territories and attract a mate. In summer, look out for young birds making their first venture into the outside world. Autumn brings large movements of migrating birds - some heading south to a warmer climate, others seeking refuge in the UK from the cold Arctic winter. In winter, look out for large flocks of birds gathering to feed, or flying at dusk to form large roosts to keep warm.

Spring

On spring evenings, long-tailed ducks can be seen displaying in their breeding plumage. Hear skylarks displaying.

Long-tailed duck - male in breeding plumageShoveler - maleSkylarkSnipe
Long-tailed duckShovelerSkylarkSnipe

Summer

See a variety of nesting waders including oystercatchers, lapwing, curlew, snipe and redshanks. Tufted ducks, teals and mallards also breed on the loch. Arctic terns, Arctic skuas, kittiwakes and great skuas often use the loch for bathing. Otters are present on the reserve, but you are more likely to see droppings or spraints than the otters themselves.

Arctic skua - light formArctic ternCurlewOystercatcher
Arctic skuaArctic ternCurlewOystercatcher

Autumn

Loch of Spiggie becomes one of Shetland's most important lochs for wildfowl, especially whooper swans that are returning from their breeding grounds. Other passage and wintering wildfowl include greylag geese, tufted ducks, pochards, goldeneyes, wigeons, long-tailed ducks and teals.

Goldeneye - maleGreylag goosePochard - maleWhooper swan - adult
GoldeneyeGreylag goosePochardWhooper swan

Winter

The wildfowl are still present in large numbers, especially whooper swans and winter ducks.

Teal - maleTufted duck - maleWhooper swan - adultWigeon - male
TealTufted duckWhooper swanWigeon

Contact us

  • Tel: 01950 460800

Where is it?

  • Lat/lng: 59.932260,-1.331758
  • Grid reference: HU374165
  • Nearest town: Sumburgh, Mainland Shetland
  • County: Shetland
  • Country: Scotland

Get directions

Note: Some reserves are not served directly by public transport and, in these cases, a nearby destination (from which you may need to walk or take a taxi or ferry) may be offered.

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