RSPB Loch Gruinart

Islay | Gruinart | Nature reserve | ★★★

[Geese at Loch Gruinart]

Islay during the cold months is best known for its huge numbers of overwintering wildfowl. Tens of thousands of barnacle and white-fronted geese flock here from Greenland to spend about 6 months on and around Loch Gruinart, the shallow sea loch that bites a sizeable chunk out of the northern part of the island. Start at the RSPB visitor centre for an intro, then wander down the nature trail to a couple of bird hides closer to the loch. Just as effective in our experience is to drive around the plains west of Gruinart; it's all good goose habitat around here, and the roads should be quiet enough that you can stop for photos whenever you fancy. As well as the headline species, several species of duck and wader spend the winter on Loch Gruinart too, and you've a good chance of spotting golden or white-tailed eagles hunting for birds of all sizes.

[Visitor centre (12/1/18)]

Location & info

📌 RSPB Loch Gruinart ★★★
Visitor centre is by B8017 at Aoradh, Gruinart, Islay, G.R.: NR 275673 ///noted.exact.drags
Always open (visitor centre: daily) | Free

💬 Visiting both hides is about 1 mi (round trip) on narrow paths, boggy near the hides (wellies recommended).

[White-fronted and barnacle geese near Loch Gorm]

[Dawn flight near Loch Gorm]

[Whooper swan at Loch Gruinart (12/1/18)]

[View over Loch Gruinart from the nature trail (12/1/18)]

[White-fronted and barnacle geese (12/1/18)]

[Eagle hassling the geese on the reserve (12/1/18)]

[Eagle (12/1/18)]

[Nature trail (12/1/18)]

[Down by the lochside (12/1/18)]

[Loch Gruinart from Kilnave Chapel]


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