RSPB reserve 
summer for breeding waders but winter can be good for ducks and geese

National Grid ND 024605 0o0´/0o0´ N/A c.200ha m, river, bog and flushes with meadows 

Birding Site Guide

The RSPB reserve is along the road to Thurso, take the turning to Achvarasdal and then the road that heads south from Shebster. There is a sign on a gate in the lowest part and the reserve is located either side. Loch Calder can just be seen to the southeast. Apart from the signs along the road there are no facilities at this new reserve. Parking can be found on west side of road at the turning towards the forestry track. The reserve has a canalized river through it and calcareous influence wet flushes and bog pools in the lowest areas. Surrounding this are meadows and some sow flowers for birds and bees (mainly legumes and some foreign flowers). On the east slopes beyond are heather and plantations to the west with higher hills to the south. 

Species found here are typical species of the flow country area and include Greylag Goose (real wild ones), Red-throated and Black-throated Diver, Dipper, Dunlin, Greenshank, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl, Common Scoter and maybe Golden Eagle. 

Species seen

  • Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus
  • Eurasian Buzzard Buteo buteo
  • Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus
  • Common Wood-Pigeon Columba palumbus
  • Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis
  • Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
  • Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis
  • Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
  • Hooded Crow Corvus cornix
  • Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
  • Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus



White-tailed Bumblebee (complex 3 species) Bombus cryptarum White-tailed Bumblebee (complex 3 species) Bombus magnus



  • Yarrow Achillea millefolium
  • Heath Rush Juncus squarrosus
  • Common Bird's-foot-trefoil Lotus corniculatus
  • Sainfoin Onobrychis viciifolia
  • Lousewort Pedicularis sylvatica
  • Devil's-bit Scabious Succisa pratensis

Author: BSG