The Gannet

The Northern Gannet is the largest sea bird to be found in the North Atlantic with a wingspan of almost two metres and is the species we have around the British and Irish coasts.  There are two other species of gannet in the world, which are found around the coasts of South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.

Britain is internationally important for the gannet, it is a common bird around our coasts and during the breeding season it can be found in many places where we have sea cliffs.  About two thirds of the world population of Northern Gannets can be found in British waters, these include some very big colonies known as Gannetrys.  Some gannetrys are reasonably accessable such as Bass rock off the coast of Edinburgh which can be seen from the mainland and has become quite a tourist attraction.

The largest gannetry in the world is on St. Kilda which is about 100 miles west of the Scottish mainland and holds over 20% of the worlds population.  St. Kilda is a place I have yet to visit, it is rich in many birds not just Gannets, and is very high on the list of places that I would like to visit in the British Isles.

These images were taken over a number of seasons in Shetland and the Irish coast.