Midhowe is also the starting point for the Westness Walk, described as the most important archaeological mile in Scotland, it spans settlements from the first Stone Age settlers, the Pictish Iron Age, the Viking invaders, the period of the Earls and the troubled crofting times.
Rousay's richest habitats are its moors (with birds such as Red-throated Divers, Hen Harriers and Merlins) and its maritime heaths which are home to colonies of Arctic Terns and Arctic Skuas while, in addition, the western cliffs hold considerable colonies of Guillemots, Kittiwakes and Fulmars. In contrast, Egilsay is famed for its wetlands, with many breeding ducks and waders, and its traditionally managed farmland which has allowed that increasingly rare species, the Corncrake to survive. Seven calling Corncrakes were present in 1997 and a reserve, newly acquired by the RSPB, is being managed specifically with their needs in mind.
There is also a large population of Seals and Otters on Rousay.
The Seals can be seen most often at Saviskaill Bay but the Otters tend to be more elusive!