Blogs: Wonderful wild wetlands

2nd February 2017

To mark World Wetlands Day  here are seven of the Trust's wonderful watery Wildlife Reserves. Each one is a haven for wildlife and well worth a visit, click on the reserve page to find out more. 

Greylag geese in flight. Steve Gardner
Greylag geese in flight. Steve Gardner

Bawsinch and Duddingston Loch Wildlife Reserve, Edinburgh

A short distance from the city centre and the only natural freshwater loch in Edinburgh, Duddingston Loch attracts large numbers of waterfowl. Otters have been spotted swimming along the shore in winter. The reserve is also an important breeding site for herons. 

Balgavies Loch Wildife Reserve, Near Forfar, Angus

Water Rail ©
Water rail ©Nick Littlewood

Long recognised as an important site for wildlife, Balgavies Loch is surrounded by reedbeds and wet willow woodland. The reserve attracts birds including water rail and great crested grebe, and ospreys fish on the loch during summer. 

Bemersyde Moss Wildlife Reserve, Near Melrose, Borders

A long strip of marsh, willow scrub and open water. Bemersyde Moss is home to large numbers of wintering wildfowl including teal, goldeneye and wigeon. Otters are sometimes seen from the bird hide. 

Knockshinnoch Lagoons Wildlife Reserve, Near Cumnock, Ayrshire 

Knockshinnoch Lagoons ©GIll Smart
Knockshinnoch Lagoons ©Gill Smart

A diverse mosaic of islands, lagoons, marsh, reed beds and wet woodland created surrounded by coal bings on the upper River Nith Valley. In summer Knockshinnoch Lagoons reserve is home to breeding birds including water rail, whinchat, and reed bunting, flocks of migrating birds including barnacle and greyland geese and whooper swans can be seen in winter.

Loch of Lintrathen Wildlife Reserve, Near Kirriemuir, Angus

Loch of Lintrathen is the main water supply for Dundee and Angus. A number of birds live on the loch including tufted ducks, shovelers, and coots. In winter the reserve hosts wildfowl including several thousand greylag geese that migrate from Iceland.

Loch Ardinning, Near Strathblane, Stirling 

Heron © Ron Mitchell
Heron © Ron Mitchell

The loch is a rich habitat for butterflies and dragonflies, as well as the delicate water lobelia, which comes into flower in July. Mature willow, alder and birch trees fringe the south side of Loch Ardinning while reeds and rushes at the northern end provide cover for wildfowl including tufted ducks. 

Yetholm Loch Wildlife Reserve, Near Kelso, Borders

An important area for breeding and wintering wildfowl including mute swans and greylag geese on the edge of the Cheviots. Wet woodland, fen and swamp on the southern end of Yetholm Loch attracts reed bunting, snipe and curlew. A wide range of birds, and occasionally otters, can be spotted from the hide. 

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