Copinsay (from Old Norse " Kolbeinsey " = " Kolbein Hrúgas Island" ), is a small uninhabited island in the Orkney today, which is about 5.5 km off Deerness, the eastern peninsula of Mainland.


Copinsay and its small bars ( Corn Holm, Black Holm and Holm Ward ) are part of a nature reserve (RSPB reserve), which was acquired in 1972 by the RSPB. The spars are located on the west side and within walking distance at low water of Copinsay from.

The "Horse of Copinsay " is a steep rock in the sea off the northeast side of the island. The 28 -meter-high rock has a blowhole on the north end, which is conspicuous in inclement weather, when the spray is visible. Because of the strong swell that is hard to reach "horse".

Until 1958, when the last residents moved to Mainland, the island was inhabited. Today there are still a school building, two farms and stables, as well as a road visible. The island must have been inhabited in prehistoric times, as it has an ancient burial site found.

Today some more fields to be ordered at the request of the RSPB to offer the corncrake habitat.



On the island there is a large colony of gray seals of about 2000 animals which bring their pups regularly in November to the world.

The wedge-shaped Scottish island is a long 70 -meter-high cliff on the east side, the preferred nesting place of sea birds. On the island of Holmen and the breed kittiwakes, guillemots, fulmars, puffins, razorbills, guillemots. There is the rare corncrake in the grass below the cliffs. Also, shags, rock pigeons, ravens, eider ducks and arctic terns breed here. In the past, there were peregrine falcon. Copinsay is particularly visited in early summer when the birds nest and the plants bloom. On the "horse" there are colonies of gulls, gannets, cormorants and.

Overall, the island during the breeding season is regularly used by about 70,000 seabirds.


In 1915, the now automated, towering 79 meters above the water level Lighthouse ( Architects: David Alan Stevenson and Charles Alexander Stevenson ) was completed on the island, who went to the First World War in operation and completed the lighting on the eastern side of Orkney.