On beyond San'ick is the headland of Noness, which is a special place to our family since it was our father's croft, where we grew up in the 1950's, returning to Beach House (where my father grew up) in 1963. The croft has stayed in the family, and it is very well known to us.

Although more visited these days when most folk have cars, it is still a wild place and teems with wildlife - if you know where to look. Almost every seabird common to Shetland nests there, except gannets which commonly fish there. Other birds such as starling, house sparrow, wheatear, wrens, rock-dove, ravens and hoodie-crows nest in cliff cracks and caves or in the drystane daeks, and I have seen peregrine (probably not nesting). There are high sheer cliffs on the east side and south-west, with lower cliffs from the croft northwards. The scattald (common-grazing) for the two Noness crofts is in the Head, beyond the Head daek (drystane wall) so it is uncultivated. Larks, shalder (oyster catchers), sandy-loogs (ringed plover), dunter (eider) and aalins (arctic skua) ground-nest there, despite the colony of bonxies (great skua) which have spread there from Mousa since the 1960's (these are predatory - I have seen them kill newborn lambs - but are protected). We used to hear corncrake every year - but not now.

You will also see many seal (worth listening for sealsong near the selkie cave on a quiet summer evening) and occasional whales of different species. Otter are common here, and whitterit (stoat) come and go (can be numerous some years). Usually it teems with rabbits.

The cliffs at Muckle Brei Geo are the highest sheer cliffs in Sandwick, and care should be exercised around Noness which is surrounded by high cliffs except below the croft - where there are great rock pools to explore at low tide.

Scroll down for a range of images ........


On the road to Noness

On the road to Noness

East side of Noness (Sumburgh Head visible)

Stormy day at Noness, gannets (solans) fishing

Looking west from Noness

Looking west from Noness

Looking west from Noness (Levenwick)

Looking west from Noness (Da Haelicks)

Looking west from Noness

Looking west from Noness Head

Looking west from Noness

Looking west from Noness Head

Looking north from Noness Head

Looking north from Noness Head

Looking east from Noness (Mousa broch)

East side of Noness, Muckle Brei Geo (to Burland)

East side of Noness, Peerie Brei Geo

Point of Noness (west side)

East side of Noness, Muckle Brei Geo cliffs

Point of Noness (east side) from Billy Geo

Flagstone vally at Billy Geo, by point of Noness

Gillimot & kittiewake in Billy Geo

Blackbacks at Noness

Bonxies (great skuas) off Noness

Staneshakker (wheatear) at Noness

Bonxies washing on Noness loch

Scarves at Vins Geo, Noness

Scarv (shag) at Noness

Selkie (seal) at Vins Geo, Noness

Selkie cave, east side of Noness

Blaa Hol by Laggers Geo, Noness (Burland behind)

Blaa Hol by Laggers Geo, Noness

Auld drystane lammie hoose, Noness croft

Auld drystane byre, Noness croft

Hölly Rock, Noness

Kirn ("churn") (venting sea-cave) of Noness

Sheep by Noness loch

In Noness head, autumn

Point o' Rug, Noness

Tirrik (tern) at Noness

Mouth of burn of Dalsa, Noness

Sea-pinks (thrift), Noness head

Point of Vincent, Noness

Point of Noness (bannock hole cave)

Point of Vincent, Noness

Caught off Noness

Breid Geo, Noness

Skerries & clear water, Breid Geo, Noness

Split Nose o' Hestie Geo, Noness
(usually puffins, none here today, just maalies)

Auld Noness Head well (no cover now, slimey)

Waves and autumn light, Noness

Waves and autumn light, Noness

Shetland sheep and colour-variant lambs, Noness

Drystane yard daeks, Noness croft

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