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Orkney Nature Festival 2014

Wildlife webcams

Copinsay is an uninhabited island just off the east coast of Orkney. It is an RSPB reserve boasting wonderful year round wildlife and the autumn highlight is 2000 grey seals that come to the beaches each year to breed. Our camera is  trained on a secluded beach throughout the pupping season. You'll be able to watch the progress of the newly born seal pups, from birth, through to weaning and finally as they start their independent lives in the sea.

High Definition images are shown on screens at the Visit Scotland Tourist Information Centre in Kirkwall, Kirkwall Airport, Shapinsay Heritage Centre and Highland Park Visitor Centre. Orkney's broadband does not allow us to show High Definition footage online so the live images above give you an idea of what is seen. However, over the next few weeks we'll be uploading recorded HD footage of all the activity on the beach.

Seal watching

Our camera will give fantastic views of seals but if you do want to view them in the wild, here's a couple of things to bear in mind.

Keep your distance. It may be tempting to get close to pups on the beach for photographs, but this disrupts normal colony behaviour, disturbs adult seals greatly and can easily result in pups being injured or killed.

Keep a low profile. Adult seals feel very vulnerable out of the water. When a beach full of females is scared by onlookers, they can trample pups in their haste to get back to the water. Try to avoid being obvious against the skyline and making sudden movements. Find an elevated spot to sit quietly and observe with binoculars. If you feel you are causing a disturbance - move on.

Where to go in Orkney. Windwick Bay in South Ronaldsay is a good place to see grey seals and their pups. There is a coastal footpath along the cliffs and the seals can be viewed well from there.

Summer 2014 - Divercam

Orkney is one of the few British strongholds for breeding red-throated divers. They particularly favour moorland lochans. This species is sensitive to disturbance, so a discrete webcam was the ideal way to enable us all to follow a Mainland pair of this specially protected species over the 2014 breeding season. Here are some of the video highlights from July.

F:Divercam Edits 05.08.14Diver Cam Edit 02 05.08.14 from Orkney Nature Festival on Vimeo.


H:Red DiversRed Divers JULY EditsRedDivers JULY.sub03 from Orkney Nature Festival on Vimeo.