Today I visited the RSPB reserve at Lochwinnoch in Renfrewshire.This is one of the few wetlands in west Scotland and a the great spot for watching swans, wigeons and a wide variety of ducks during the winter months.
The great thing about Lochwinnoch is that it is easy to get to by public transport. The train station is across the road and the Stagecoach X34, X35, X36 and X37 services all stop at the roundabout at the top of the road.
Today I took the X34 bus as I wanted to try out the free WiFi which Stagecoach now provide on many of their buses. This was excellent and nearly caused me to miss my stop as I was so engrossed on the BBC website!
Arriving at the Visitor Centre
From the bus stop it is a half mile walk to the RSPB visitor centre. As I walked into the grounds of the centre I was serenaded by a Robin. There were a large number of visitors there today at the centre as it provides excellent views of Airds Meadow.
After signing in at reception I met up with some friends to take a walk round the reserve. The weather was bright and sunny, but the cold wind made it feel quite cold.
There is a path round Airds Meadow and one hide – there were two hides but one was burnt down by vandals and can be seen lying on the bank of the loch.
Birds on the Loch
At the hide we looked out at the birds on the loch and saw male and female Goosander, Black headed Gulls, Mallards, Wigeon, Pochard and tufted ducks. A Heron was spotted on on the far side of the loch.
The birds were all quite far out so my scope came in handy to get a good view of them as the binoculars were not quite powerful enough.
Some sailing boats could be seen on the far side of the loch. It was a peaceful scene, similar to Baron’s Haugh in Motherwell.
We followed the footpath to the end and returned to the visitor centre.
Birds at Visitor Centre
The bird feeders outside the main window gave close-up views of Chaffinch, Bluetits, Bullfinch, Blackbirds and Mallards. Although many of these birds are regular visitors to my bird table, I rarely get a chance to see them as close up as at Lochwinnoch.
Before returning home, we took a walk along a path on the other side of the meadow and saw a lone female swan searching for for food. The sun was now beginning to set so we returned to the visitor centre to say goodbye before returning home.
It had been a good day out.
RSPB Lochwinnoch – http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/l/lochwinnoch/about.aspx
- Lat/lng: 55.78825,-4.61874
- Postcode: PA12 4JF
- Grid reference: NS358580
- Nearest town: Paisley, Renfrewshire
Car: On A737 Glasgow to Beith road.
Bus: Stagecoach X34, X35 X36 and X37.
Train: Scotrail Glasgow to Ardrossan service.