There’s a great variety of winter wildfowl at this inland site
TOP TIP Check the burn to the right of the hide – Willow Tits feed here
CASTLE LOCH IS a great place for birds all year, with large numbers of Pink-footed Geese arriving in September and leaving in April. Other geese are drawn to the area, with both Tundra Bean and European White-fronted Geese here in the 2011-12 winter and with regular Greylag and Canada Geese using the area. A large flock of Wigeon winter here, with the occasional American Wigeon tucked into the feeding birds, while diving ducks include large numbers of Tufted with Goldeneye and Goosanders. Pochard have dropped in numbers, with many now staying in Europe rather than taking the flight across the North Sea. Other diving ducks possible include the occasional Scaup and Lesser Scaup, Red-crested Pochard and Long-tailed Duck. The loch is a great place to find a Smew and has had all five species of grebes, with a Pied-billed found in 1987 and American Coot in 2004. Divers can also drop in and winter sees Bittern in the loch edge reedbeds. Summer sees good numbers of breeding warblers, with
Reed Warbler reaching its northern limit. Low water levels can see passage waders with Wood, Green and Common Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Spotted Redshank and Greenshank all dropping in, but the bird many people come for is the Willow Tit. Feeders are in the first car park.