Mountains and sea loch offer great mixed birding
Torridon is on the west coast of Scotland, 109 miles north of Fort William and 80 miles west of Inverness. It sits on the North 500 route, so is now passed by many people who possibly haven’t visited the shore of Loch Torridon with its mixed bird life. The loch is surrounded by numerous mountains to the north, including Liathach, Beinn Alligin and Beinn Eighe, all of which are more than 3,000ft high. The rugged mountains are incredibly old – the Torridonian sandstone that forms the bulk of all the mountains dates back 750 million years. Start off via the visitor centre and check the trees for Crossbills with Willow Warbler, Redstart and Tree Pipit in spring. There is a straight walk to the shore with open fields on your left where you may spot Meadow Pipit, Sky Lark and resident Pied and possible spring White Wagtail. The hide at the end of the lane is ideal during rainy periods but could be better positioned for views across the loch. At low tide a fresh water stream/burn enters the loch with several islands visible. Here, I found many waders from Greenshank to Whimbrel in May. Ringed Plover were on territory, while Dunlin were local birds feeding up before breeding close by. A flock of Golden Plover on the south side fields were also local birds rather than Icelandic. All three divers were visible
out in the loch, while at the rocks at Am Ploc, both Turnstone and Purple Sandpiper were fattening up ready for migration, along with Whimbrel. Greylag Geese were here, along with Shelduck and Red-breasted Mergansers. Both Golden and White tailed Eagles are possible.