See winter geese in the wilds of the Outer Hebrides
THIS AREA OF Lewis was designated as a local nature reserve by Scottish Natural Heritage in 2005. It was the first area in the Western Isles, which seems very slow when you know how many good areas are found here. This a shallow eutrophic loch surrounded by marsh and crofting land. The local community have added an impressive hide and it seems that whenever you visit the area you may see a rarity. The large colony of Black-headed Gulls sets the scene in spring, which encourages Wigeon to breed and many waders, such as Redshank, Oystercatcher and Lapwing. Passing waders include Buff-breasted, Pectoral, Wood and Marsh Sandpipers, and Blackwinged Pratincole. The gull list includes Ivory, Laughing, Bonaparte’s and Ring-billed Wildfowl are also impressive, with Ring-necked Duck, American Wigeon and Green-winged Teal. Geese have included Red-breasted, Lesser Canada, Tundra Bean, both Whitefronts often coming in with Pinkfeet and Greylags. Even if many of these are not present, you always have Corn Crakes to fall back on in summer, with birds turning up all around the roadside (which offers better views of the marsh). Check out gardens, too, for migrant passerines. Winter buntings include Snow and Lapland.