Bird Watching (UK) - - Seabird Special Gannets -

Our is­lands are home to some 68% of the global breed­ing pop­u­la­tion of Gan­nets, equat­ing to 220,000 pairs. Here are some of the coun­try’s key Gan­net colonies.

1. BASS ROCK, FIRTH OF FORTH The Rock is the place af­ter which the Gan­net got its scientific name, Morus bas­sanus, and has re­cently be­come the largest Gan­net colony in the world, with more than 75,000 pairs.

2. SAINT KILDA, OUTER HEBRIDES The St Kilda ar­chi­pel­ago’s colonies hold more than 60,000 pairs of Gan­nets.

3. SULA SGEIR This un­in­hab­ited is­land 64km north of Lewis, has about 5,000 Gan­net pairs. ‘Sula’ is from the Old Norse word for Gan­net.

4. HERMANESS, UNST, SHET­LAND Hermaness NNR in­cludes a colony of 40,000 pairs of Gan­net, mostly on the is­land of Muckle Flugga.

5. NOSS, SHET­LAND Noss hosts some 22,000 pairs of Gan­nets.

6. AILSA CRAIG, AYRSHIRE Ailsa Craig is fa­mous for pro­duc­ing the gran­ite from which curl­ing stones are made and for hav­ing a mas­sive colony of some 36,000 pairs of Gan­nets.

7. GRASSHOLM, PEMBROKESHIRE The re­mote off­shore is­land of Grassholm has 36,000 pairs of Gan­nets.

8. BEMP­TON CLIFFS, EAST YORK­SHIRE Not the largest Gan­net colony (11, 000 pairs), but this is the only main­land Gan­net colony in Eng­land.

9. TROUP HEAD, ABERDEENSHIRE Along with Bemp­ton Cliffs, East York­shire, this is one of only two main­land Gan­net colonies in the UK.

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