Per­fect for birds and other wildlife, in­clud­ing seals

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding -

THE SIN­GLE TRACK road pass­ing Salen Bay is al­ways a mag­net for vis­it­ing bird­ers. Start­ing in the north, with a view of Aros Cas­tle, the fresh-wa­ter River Aros drops into the bay, cre­at­ing a great preen­ing area for birds, es­pe­cially gulls. Both Grey Wag­tail and Dipper are com­mon in sum­mer, along with Com­mon Sand­piper, Oys­ter­catcher and even Eider. Waders are al­ways good to look for around the rocks and sea­weed, with Curlew, Red­shank, Turn­stone and even the odd Green­shank. Black­tailed God­wits also drop in dur­ing mi­gra­tion, along with Whim­brel and Dun­lin, so look out for them. Grey Herons seem to be ev­ery­where and there are res­i­dent Mute Swans. In 2011, a Pied-billed Grebe could be seen in the bay for the whole month of March. Kit­ti­wake, Com­mon Gull, Arc­tic Tern, Cor­morant and Shag are all pos­si­ble and Black Guille­mots are com­mon around the area. But you may have to look harder for Great North­ern, Black-throated and Red-throated Divers. Wi­geon en­joy the area in au­tumn, along with the odd Teal and Mal­lard, while Red­breasted Mer­gansers and Shel­duck can be found in sum­mer. View­ing the wood­land along the road­side, you may see sum­mer spe­cials like Wood War­bler, Red­start, Spot­ted Fly­catcher and Black­cap. Buz­zards are com­mon here along with Spar­rowhawk. Other rar­i­ties found in the area in­clude Hobby, Hawfinch, Waxwing and ‘north­ern’ Long-tailed Tit. Ot­ters are a trade­mark of this area, and Com­mon Seals haul­ing out onto the small is­lands make for some great pic­tures – so re­mem­ber your cam­era! JOHN MILES bird­watch­ing.co.uk

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