Calf of Eday SPA

Status: Designated


Site overview

This is a small, uninhabited island to the north of the island of Eday in the Orkney archipelago. The island has a rocky coastline with cliffs on the north and east coasts.  The site is of importance as a nesting area for breeding seabirds, which feed in surrounding waters. Gulls and Cormorants nest in the dry heath and grassland areas, whilst fulmars, kittiwakes and auks nest on the cliffs.

MPA Type

Special Protection Area

Special Protection Areas (SPAs) are strictly protected sites designated uner European legislation. They are established to protect rare and vulnerable birds and for regularly occurring migratory species.

Designation date

1 June 1998

Surface Area

26.74 km2 (10.32 mi.2)


34.53 km (21.46 mi.)

  • Northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis)

    Almost gull-like, this grey and white seabird is related to the albatrosses. It flies low over the sea on stiff wings.

  • Great black-backed gull (Larus marinus)

    A very large, stocky, black-backed gull.

  • Black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla)

    A small cliff nesting seabird named for it its nasal “ki-ti-waak”” callnotes. The population is declining in some areas

  • Seabird assemblage (Seabird assemblage)

    Important areas where a number of seabird species occur in significant numbers.

  • Common guillemot (Uria aalge)

    One of the most common birds breeding on sheer, crowded cliffs known as ‘seabird cities’. This seabird only comes to land to breed and spends the rest of its life at sea.

  • Great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

    A large, dark waterbird. Often seen standing with its wings spread out to dry. The UK provides internationally important wintering grounds for these birds.

  • Marine areas, Sea inlets

Did you know?…

Over half a million people have voiced their support for ‘marine protected area’ designation in the UK through our campaigns

To the shelf limits, Scotland has 61% of UK waters, of which 23% are now in existing or new ‘marine protected areas’