Sumburgh Head is located at the southern tip of the Shetland Mainland in northern Scotland. The head is a 100m high rocky spur capped by the Sumburgh Head Lighthouse. The Old Norse name was Dunrøstar høfdi, it means "The Head onto the loud tide-race", referring to the noise of Sumburgh Roost.
The area is an RSPB nature reserve. The cliffs were home to large numbers of seabirds with for example 33,000 puffins in the year 2000. These numbers have declined sharply with number dropped to 570 in 2017. This decline also applies to other species.
Robert Stevenson was the engineer in charge of building the Sumburgh Head lighthouse. Work started on the building in 1819, and the light was first lit in 1821.
As well as birds, Sumburgh Head has become a popular viewing point for whales and dolphins.
- Eerie silence falls on Shetland cliffs that once echoed to seabirds’ cries, the guardian.com, Robin McKie, 3 June 2018
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