Loch Fleet National Nature Reserve
Nature Reserve in Easter Ross & Black Isle
The estuary, coastline and spectacular pine woodland at Loch Fleet is a great place to see wildlife, whatever the season or time of day. Fast-flowing currents empty the tidal basin of water on every tide leaving sandbanks exposed. Here you can spot seals and their pups hauled out on the banks or when the tide is high, watch the intense feeding activity of hungry wading birds from the bird hide on the shore in Balblair Bay. Keep your eyes peeled for the elusive osprey diving for fish in summer and impressive numbers of other wader and wildfowl species in winter. There are a range of easy walks around the Reserve, which take you through the coastal dunes on a carpet of wild flowers or into the pine woodlands. Listen out for siskin, redstart and crossbills in the tall pines. It’s an easy walk or cycle from the village of Golspie to the woods, and the bird hide is around half a mile from the entrance to the woodland. Littleferry at the end of the road is a great place for a picnic and is a tranquil spot with an old pier and an icehouse nestling among a cluster of houses.